Narrative: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.
CONTRIBUTING SAFETY FACTORS:
- 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.
OTHER SAFETY FACTORS:
- 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.
» ATSB AO-2008-026
Official accident investigation report
|investigating agency: ||Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) - Australia |
|report status: ||Preliminary|
|report number: ||ATSB AO-2008-026|
|duration of investigation:||107 days (3.6 months)|
|download report: ||
Collision with water 19 km SE Sydney, NSW, 9 April 2008
VH-IAW was sold to Airtex in November 2002 and later re-registered VH-OZA
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW to Brisbane International Airport, QLD as the crow flies is 751 km (469 miles).