Narrative: An Embraer 120ER Brasilia turboprop plane, registered VH-ANB, was destroyed in a takeoff accident at Darwin Airport, NT (DRW), Australia. Both pilots were killed. The EMB-120 prepared to take off from the taxiway E2 intersection of runway 29. The flight was a training flight to revalidate the captain's command instrument rating. The supervisory pilot/training captain advised the aerodrome controller that the departure would incorporate asymmetric flight (a simulated engine failure), and was approved by the controller to perform the manoeuvre. Witnesses reported that the takeoff appeared 'normal' until a few moments after becoming airborne, when the aircraft rolled and diverged left from its takeoff path. They watched as the aircraft continued rolling left, and entered a steep nose-down attitude. The airplane impacted the ground in a right wing-low, nose-down attitude of about 65 degrees. A high intensity, fuel-fed fire that followed the collision with the ground destroyed most of the fuselage and cabin and right wing.
CONTRIBUTING SAFETY FACTORS: - The pilot in command initiated a simulated left engine failure just after becoming airborne and at a speed that did not allow adequate margin for error. - The pilot in command simulated a failure of the left engine by selecting flight idle instead of zero thrust, thereby simulating a simultaneous failure of the left engine and its propeller autofeather system, instead of a failure of the engine alone. - The pilot under check operated the aircraft at a speed and attitude (bank angle) that when uncorrected, resulted in a loss of control. - The pilot under check increased his workload by increasing torque on the right engine and selecting the yaw damper. - The pilot in command probably became preoccupied and did not abandon the simulated engine failure after the heading and speed tolerance for the manoeuvre were exceeded and before control of the aircraft was lost.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) - Australia