Roo-plane collision: report notes fencing flaws
THE Australian Transport Safety Bureau has issued its final report into an incident at Thangool Aerodrome in September which left a freight aircraft grounded with a dented propeller and a local marsupial worse off for the encounter.
The incident occurred just before 6am on September 1 right after the Toll Aviation metroliner had touched down.
The plane was travelling at 80 knots (about 148kmh) when the pilot caught a glimpse of an animal crossing the runway, before hearing a bang as it collided with the plane's right propeller.
The animal was found to be a small kangaroo.
The pilot reported vibration through the aircraft, but there were no injuries and he was able to reduce the plane's speed.
The plane's right engine and propeller had to be replaced.
Thangool's Aerodrome Safety Officer said there had been no kangaroo strikes for 28 years, due to mitigation measures and pre-landing runway inspections.
However, the report made note of a lack of wildlife protective fencing at the aerodrome, which is only partially fenced along a stretch of its runway and two other short sections.
Banana Shire Council, which owns and operates the aerodrome, was told last month its bid for funding for the remaining fencing through the Australian Government's Regional Aviation Access Programme was unsuccessful.
Council chief executive officer Ray Geraghty said the council had programmed upgrades for this year and might have to complete it in stages, depending on cost.
A similar application for animal-proof fencing at Taroom Aerodrome under the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Programme was successful.