Passengers Maritime Safety Queensland head Captain Patrick Quirk, Police Commissioner Ian Stewart, Police Minister Mark Ryan, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll, and Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Martin, pose with firefighters after the emergency landing in January.
Passengers Maritime Safety Queensland head Captain Patrick Quirk, Police Commissioner Ian Stewart, Police Minister Mark Ryan, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll, and Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Martin, pose with firefighters after the emergency landing in January.

What went wrong on Government plane

A GOVERNMENT plane that was carrying the Queensland Police Commissioner and Police Minister when it almost went down en route to Townsville in January had serious damage to its boost rotor.

An investigation into the emergency landing of the Cessna Citation 560 on January 26 while on a business flight from Brisbane found that the crew heard a loud bang coming from the rear of the plane.

 

Upstream view of the low pressure compressor boost rotor. Source: Pratt & Whitney Canada/Australian Transport Safety Bureau
Upstream view of the low pressure compressor boost rotor. Source: Pratt & Whitney Canada/Australian Transport Safety Bureau

 

Moments later smoke was seen in the cockpit and the plane nosedived, forcing the pilot and co-pilot to wear oxygen masks.

After a safe landing back in Brisbane closer inspection found several dents in the plane's boost rotor and one blade that was missing.

But the investigation also found that boost rotor issues rarely lead to catastrophic consequences.

who was on-board

■ Police Minister Mark Ryan

■ Police Commissioner Ian Stewart

■ Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Martin

■ Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll

■ Maritime Safety Queensland head Captain Patrick Quirk

■ A government staffer

 

Police Minister Mark Ryan was on-board. Picture: AAP Image/Jono Searle
Police Minister Mark Ryan was on-board. Picture: AAP Image/Jono Searle

 

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart was also there. Picture: AAP/Matthew Nicholls
Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart was also there. Picture: AAP/Matthew Nicholls

 

"While blade separation will cause engine malfunctions, potentially leading to an inability to achieve full commanded thrust, the associated risks to the safety of continued flight are minor," the ATSB found.

"Failures are very likely to be contained … and procedures for managing engine malfunctions are detailed and effective as shown in this occurrence."

On the plane were Police Minister Mark Ryan, Police Commissioner Ian Stewart, Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Martin, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll, Maritime Safety Queensland head Captain Patrick Quirk and a government staffer.

They were travelling to meet Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at an Australia Day event when the Cessna suddenly plunged towards ground near Bundaberg.

 

Damage on the boost rotor.
Damage on the boost rotor.

 

After the incident, a government spokesman said the Police Commissioner took charge at the time.

"Commissioner Stewart immediately took charge, reassuring other passengers and directing them to follow emergency procedures as the pilots turned the plane around," the spokesman said in January.

"The plane took off at 5.50am and was met under emergency landing at the Government Air Wing by several fire appliances and representatives of Brisbane Airport Corporation just after 7am.

Minister Ryan described the incident as a frightening experience. "But I knew the fantastic and highly experienced pilots of the Government Air Wing were in control," he said.

"I'm grateful to them for their professionalism, skill, reassurance, and calmness," Minister Ryan said at the time.



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