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Airnorth crash highlights importance of simulators — ATSB

written by australianaviation.com.au | February 23, 2012

A file image of VH-ANB. (Martin Eadie)

The training crash that killed two experienced pilots in Darwin in 2010 highlights the importance of using flight simulators to practice for dangerous situations, the ATSB has said in a report on the accident.

The Airnorth Embraer EMB-120 turboprop, VH-ANB, crashed moments after takeoff on March 29 2010 during a simulated engine failure. The flight was intended to revalidate the command instrument rating of one of the pilots.

Reads the ATSB’s summary: “The increased drag from the ‘windmilling’ propeller increased the control forces required to maintain the aircraft’s flightpath. The pilot under check allowed the speed to decrease and the aircraft to bank toward the inoperative engine. Additionally, he increased power on the right engine, and engaged the yaw damper in an attempt to stabilise the aircraft’s flight. Those actions increased his workload and made control of the aircraft more difficult. The PIC did not restore power to the left engine to discontinue the manoeuvre. The few seconds available before the aircraft became uncontrollable were insufficient to allow ‘trouble shooting’ and deliberation before resolving the situation.”

The ATSB says, “the occurrence provides a timely reminder of the risks associated with in-flight asymmetric training and the importance of the work being carried out by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to mandate the use of simulators for non-normal flying training and proficiency checks in larger aircraft.”

Since the incident, Airnorth has been approved to undertake EMB-120 training on a simulator, the ATSB says.

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