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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 194241
Last updated: 26 November 2021
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Time:11:49 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic SF34 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Saab 340B
Owner/operator:Regional Express Airlines
Registration: VH-NRX
MSN: 340B-291
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 19
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Category:Serious incident
Location:19km from Sydney, NSW -   Australia
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:YMAY
Destination airport:YSSY
Investigating agency: ATSB
A Saab 340B aircraft, registered VH-NRX was being operated as RXA768 on a routine passenger flight from Albury, New South Wales (NSW) to Sydney, NSW. On board the aircraft were 16 passengers and 3 crew.
About 55 nautical miles south-west of Sydney airport, the crew noticed uncommanded engine indications and began the necessary checklists. While undertaking the checklist items, the crew experienced minor vibrations from the right engine. These vibrations worsened as the checklist progressed and became visually evident to the First Officer. As a result the crew commenced the engine shutdown procedure. During the engine shutdown procedure, the propeller separated from the aircraft. The crew made a Pan-Pan call to air traffic control, and completed the engine shutdown procedure. The aircraft landed without incident at Sydney airport.
On 21 March 2017, the NSW Police Aviation Support Branch (PolAir) undertook a search operation for the separated propeller. The propeller was located in an area under dense forest about 8NM south-west of Sydney airport. The propeller was found with the flange section of propeller shaft secured to the propeller assembly and a fracture through the propeller shaft.

Contributing factors:
- The propeller shaft failed as a result of a fatigue crack that had initiated at the dowel pin hole and propagated through the shaft until it could no longer transmit the required loads.
- The engine manufacturer did not have specific inspection procedures in the maintenance documents of the propeller shaft to detect a fatigue crack originating from the dowel pin hole. [Safety Issue]
Other safety factors:
- The form used by Regional Express during a propeller removal and installation, HM-26 Revision 5, included the task to inspect the propeller gearbox, but did not provide for recording of inspection findings as defined within documented procedures. Consequently, this did not provide for the best opportunity to ensure potential defects were identified, recorded and monitored.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 6 months
Download report: Final report
Safety recommendations:

Safety recommendation AO-2017-032-SI-01 issued 13 April 2017 by ATSB



Photo of VH-NRX courtesy

Adelaide - International (YPAD / ADL)
13 October 2020; (c) Gavin Hughes

Section of the propeller shaft showing the fatigue crack progressing into the shaft (ATSB)

The Saab 340 propeller as found in bushland by PolAir (ATSB)

Propeller gearbox schematic (ATSB)

Revision history:

17-Mar-2017 06:46 bidgee Added
17-Mar-2017 08:48 harro Updated [Embed code]
17-Mar-2017 09:05 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Embed code]
17-Mar-2017 09:05 Aerossurance Updated [Location]
17-Mar-2017 09:09 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]
17-Mar-2017 09:09 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]
17-Mar-2017 09:58 harro Updated [Time]
17-Mar-2017 20:06 Iceman 29 Updated [Photo, ]
17-Mar-2017 20:08 Iceman 29 Updated [Photo, ]
21-Mar-2017 07:29 harro Updated [Narrative, Photo, ]
13-Apr-2017 19:20 harro Updated [Narrative]
14-Apr-2017 09:16 harro Updated [Embed code]
27-Jun-2017 18:30 harro Updated [Narrative]
10-Oct-2018 14:56 harro Updated [Embed code, Narrative, Accident report, ]
10-Oct-2018 16:16 harro Updated [Photo]
10-Oct-2018 16:17 harro Updated [Photo]
10-Oct-2018 16:19 harro Updated [Photo]

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