A Skytraders Airbus A319 was involved in an incident at Cocos Island where the aircraft started rolling while its rear airstairs were still down.
According to a report from The Australian newspaper, the aircraft was carrying 120 asylum seekers and had begun taxiing when bystanders noticed that the aircraft was dragging its rear airstairs, causing sparks to fly from the stairs. The report also claims that a number of bystanders were forced to run onto the runway to get the attention of the pilot.
“There was a human error at the issue in closing the door which was combined with an erroenous cockpit indicator. The indicator in the cockpit said the stairs were retracted and the doors were closed,” Skytraders chief pilot Terry Vickers told Flightglobal.com, adding that cabin crew alerted the flightcrew after hearing the sound of the stairs dragging. He also said that he was not aware of ground staff running in front of the aircraft, nor was it about to takeoff before being stopped, as per the reports in The Australian.
The ATSB has indicated that it will conduct an investigation into the incident, which would be short and factual in nature, as it is considered low scale.