REX can’t wait for the ATSB to investigate its recent single engine flight from Wagga Wagga to Sydney.

Its chief of staff, Jim Davis, says that after the engine was shut down the deteriorating weather conditions at the town made it unsafe to return, and the risks of making a single engined approach to Canberra, which was by then the nearest airport, were considered too high because of turbulent cloudy conditions and nearby mountains it would have to avoid in the event of a go-around.

“The pilot was very unhappy about having to continue to Sydney, but was able to fly at an altitude where ice formation on the wings would not occur,” Davis says.

“He was also helped by one of our engineers who happened to be flying as a passenger and was able to diagnose the warning lights that led to the shut down as a false alarm. But the engine was kept shut down as a precaution.”

Davis said once the turbo prop cleared the southern highlands and reached the Sydney basin it made sense to continue to the main airport rather than Camden because it wasn’t much further away, and the flight crew were completely familiar with the approaches and had the benefit of precise air traffic management compared to the alternative of a short strip used by light aircraft on the metropolitan outskirts.

“We did everything as sensibly as we could,” Davis says.

Peter Fray

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