Rex Provides Further Details On Flight ZL 786 Albury-Sydney

Published on : Monday, March 20, 2017

downloadRegional Express (Rex) flight ZL768 from Albury to Sydney,
carrying 16 passengers and 3 crew, was on approach to land at Sydney Airport when its
right hand propeller separated from its shaft approximately 25 km south west of Sydney.
The crew followed standard operating procedures and reported the event to Air Traffic
Control (ATC) for priority landing. The aircraft landed normally and none of the passengers
or crew needed further assistance.

The following has been established over the last three days of investigations:
– Following abnormal indications on the right hand engine and in accordance with
checklist procedures, the crew shut down the engine;
– Shutting down the engine also feathers the propeller in order to reduce drag;
– It was at this point that the propeller assembly was seen by the First Officer to
separate from its shaft;
– The propeller assembly was seen to rotate upwards and to the right. The
propeller was seen rotating in a horizontal position and then moving away without
making contact with the aircraft;
– Both passengers and crew reported that the flight thereafter was smooth and the
landing was normal in spite of bad weather at Sydney with winds exceeding 35
– All passengers have been contacted and none required further assistance;
– The propeller was found to have sheared off at the shaft and all the fittings at the
main assembly were intact;
– The propeller has not yet been located;
– The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and the Civil Aviation Safety
Authority (CASA) were immediately informed following the event. The ATSB has
despatched a team of investigators to Sydney and the aircraft has been
– Rex has also been in constant communication with the aircraft manufacturer,
Saab and the engine manufacturer, General Electric (GE). The latter has also
kept the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of the United States fully
appraised of the situation and the developments.

While waiting for the ATSB to determine the root cause of the incident through its
metallurgical analysis and other investigations, Rex has decided, by abundance of caution,
to immediately remove from service and quarantine all Propeller Gear Boxes and shafts of
the same series as that of the incident for further inspection and testing if warranted.
Rex’s Chief Operating Officer Mr Neville Howell said; “This is an extremely rare event and
the only other recorded similar event was in 1991 when US carrier Comair’s aircraft also
landed safely after a separation of its propeller.”

“Rex places great emphasis on emergency procedures during the crew’s bi-annual training
so that when rare emergencies like this one arise, the crew are well rehearsed to respond
appropriately to ensure a safe outcome. The Saab 340 aircraft is designed to climb, cruise and land on one engine with appropriate levels of redundancy to cope with these

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I commend the Captain and First Officer (FO) for their management of the event.”

“The crew demonstrated enormous composure and discipline under extraordinary
circumstances, and I commend their professionalism. The Captain displayed exceptional
skills in landing the aircraft so smoothly in bad weather and strong winds, so much so that
the passengers did not notice anything different.”

“We would also like to thank the flight attendant and our staff at Sydney Airport for their
assistance and support to our passengers.”

“An audio clip of the exchange between the FO and ATC has been obtained by the media,
and the entire aviation world is full of praise for the calm, collected and professional manner in which the young FO interfaced with ATC. This is a great testimony to the quality of training at Rex’s Australian Airline Pilot Academy (AAPA) where the FO was a Rex cadet graduate in 2014, as well as to the CAR 217 Training and Checking Organisation within Rex.”

“As there is an on-going investigation by the ATSB, Rex will leave it to this authority to
provide any technical updates it deems appropriate. However, we wish to state
categorically that all our actions and decisions will be taken in strict compliance with the
instructions of the various authorities and Original Equipment Manufacturers, and we have safety as our paramount consideration.”



Source:- Rex


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