Friday, December 2, 2016

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) Releases Final Report into Whitsunday Tiger Moth VH-ARU Forced Landing - Birdstrike Ruled Out

The Whitsunday Tiger Moth Adventures distinctive red 1942-built De Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth VH-ARU was forced to make an emergency landing at Funnel Bay near Airlie Beach on Saturday 2 July when the plane's propeller started making a strange noise while on one of its popular aerobatic joyflights.

The Australia Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has recently released its final report in the forced landing, and it has ruled out a bird strike, which was suspected to be the cause of the propeller failure as on-board video footage had shown the camera being "knocked by something flying back".

The report said there was no evidence of bird strike when the footage was reviewed frame by frame.  Small parts of the propeller that were retrieved held no bird remains.  However, the report was unable to definitively determine why the propeller failed.

The propeller manufacturer did say though that a failure was indicative of an "overspeed" event. This could not be confirmed however, as the propeller broke off over the water and most of it couldn't be retrieved.  The report stated that "the factors contributing to the propeller failure could not be determined by the timber fragments".

The report also praised the pilot, Nick Rorison, who had done well to scope out an alternative landing area once he realised the plane would not make it back to the runway at Shute Harbour.  "The pilot had a secondary plan to land on the beach at Funnel Bay" it stated.

"This incident highlights the value of always having a consideration of landing areas available in case a forced landing is required. Alerting air traffic control as emergencies arise enables them to provide the necessary and appropriate assistance."

The full report can be found on the ATSB website by clicking HERE.

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