Loss of control Accident Fairchild SA227-AC Metro III VH-OZA, Wednesday 9 April 2008
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Date:Wednesday 9 April 2008
Type:Silhouette image of generic SW4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Fairchild SA227-AC Metro III
Owner/operator:Airtex Aviation
Registration: VH-OZA
MSN: AC-600
Year of manufacture:1984
Total airframe hrs:32339 hours
Cycles:46710 flights
Engine model:Garrett TPE331-11U-611G
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:19 km SE off Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW (SYD) -   Australia
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW (SYD/YSSY)
Destination airport:Brisbane International Airport, QLD (BNE/YBBN)
Investigating agency: ATSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Metro III VH-OZA was cleared for takeoff from runway 16R at the Sydney-Kingsford Smith Airport, NSW (SYD). It became airborne at 23:23 and shortly afterwards the pilot had been instructed to transfer to the departures controller’s radio frequency.
On first radio contact with that controller, the pilot was advised that the aircraft was identified on radar. At 23:25:30, the controller instructed the pilot to turn left onto a heading of 090 degrees, which was acknowledged. Instead of the expected left turn, the radar returns indicated that the aircraft was turning right, towards the south-west. At 23:25:54, the controller confirmed with the pilot that he was to turn left and at 23:25:59 the pilot once again acknowledged the left turn and added "I’ve got a slight technical fault here".
No further transmissions were received from the pilot. The radar returns over the next 70 seconds showed the aircraft completed a left turn followed by a right turn before disappearing from radar. The Metro crashed into the sea.
On 12 May 2008, a significant wreckage field was identified. That wreckage was spread over an area approximately 1,200 m long and 400 m wide.

- It was very likely that the aircraft’s alternating current electrical power system was not energised at any time during the flight.
- It was very likely that the aircraft became airborne without a functioning primary attitude reference or autopilot that, combined with the added workload of managing the ‘slight technical fault’, led to pilot spatial disorientation and subsequent loss of control.

- The pilot’s Metro III endorsement training was not conducted in accordance with the operator’s approved training and checking manual, with the result that the pilot’s competence and ultimately, safety of the operation could not be assured. [Significant safety issue]
- The chief pilot was performing the duties and responsibilities of several key positions in the operator’s organisational structure, increasing the risk of omissions in the operator’s training and checking requirements.
- The conduct of the flight single-pilot increased the risk of errors of omission, such as not turning on or noticing the failure of aircraft items and systems, or complying with directions.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Report number: AO-2008-026
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years 1 month
Download report: Final report


ATSB AO-2008-026



photo (c) ATSB; Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW (SYD); 09 April 2008

photo (c) ATSB; off Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW (SYD)

photo (c) ATSB; off Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW (SYD)

photo (c) ATSB

photo (c) ATSB

photo (c) ATSB

photo (c) ATSB

photo (c) via Werner Fischdick; Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW (SYD/YSSY); April 2000

Revision history:


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