Further investigation into Trislander engine failure

INTERNATIONAL air safety watchdogs are to launch an investigation into whether the failure of a Trislander engine last year presents a risk for similar aircraft across the world.

The tail engine of the Aurigny Trislander which blew out 15 minutes into its flight from Alderney to Southampton on 27 March 2012.
The tail engine of the Aurigny Trislander which blew out 15 minutes into its flight from Alderney to Southampton on 27 March 2012.

INTERNATIONAL air safety watchdogs are to launch an investigation into whether the failure of a Trislander engine last year presents a risk for similar aircraft across the world.

The inquiry, by the European Aviation Safety Agency and the UK Civil Aviation Authority, stems from the newly released Air Accident Investigation Board’s report into the engine failure of a Trislander travelling from Alderney to Southampton on 27 March last year.

Investigating AAIB officers found that there had been six previous incidents where the pilot of a Trislander, or its sister model the Islander, had not been able to ‘feather’ the propeller after engine failure.

The report concluded that, as both types of aircraft are still used worldwide in a public transport role, further investigation was needed into whether there was a link between engine and propeller feathering difficulties and the threat it could pose to safety.

Comments for: "Further investigation into Trislander engine failure "


To worry about engine failure and disregard the fact that there is only one pilot is bizarre.

Food poisoning, an ear infection, causing sudden disorientation, it does not need to be the big ones like stroke, heart related problems,

Single pilot aircraft carrying the public has always been a disaster waiting to happen.

For Real Brah

I agree with you, I've found it way more important to have a co pilot on these planes. Its an accident waiting to happen.


Would you be happy to pay more for your fare, if they did carry two crew?

Yvonne Burford

As an ex-Trislander pilot (who also has two-crew time) I don't see the issue with single crew. None of the sectors routinely operated exceeds 45 minutes. Aurigny has been operating single crew for decades without major pilot incapacitation and pilots who operate single crew undergo more frequent medicals, including ECGs.


Agree a pilot would not fly if he or she was feeling unwell. A sudden illness is unlikely to strike on a 10 minute short flight. I fly on the trislanders frequently and have never had a problem with the crew arrangements nor do thousands of others.

ye olde travel

It was just a case that someone hadn't closed the furnace door properly and a lump of coal shot out....


These aircraft are old,very noisey,and should have been taken out of service many years ago!


I see nothing wrong with these great little aircraft!

I know this aircraft is is the public transport section of aviation, however if you think these are old and past it, you should see some of the great examples in the private sector!

The longer we can use Trilanders or simular aircraft the better :) -


Do you want to pay a higher fare, Don? Or are you happy travelling on an aircraft which has an almost unblemished safety record?

To put it bluntly, Aurigny Trislanders are a pretty good bet if you haven't written your will.

Gsy Girl

OR ... the elastic band snapped ........


Sad if the Trislanders (Islanders too) vanish

Well beyond their use by date now

They have done sterling taxi services for CI and elsewhere

No doubt the fleet will be replaced by similar but will still be single pilot!!


Let's hope that they are replaced with something similar to the trislander experience. By that i mean:

- being able to sit down and be on in the air in less than 2 minutes

- no waiting for clueless idiots shoving their oversized bags into the lockers

- the friendly and informal atmosphere of the short flight

riduna reporter.

I can recall the press reports of this happening, when according to Aurigny PR man , mr Hart, the cowling came loose and there was a loss of oil pressure in the engine, the CAA report may explain why this happened a bit better, as a cylinder sheared off the engine and went through the cowling !! pics are shown on the CAA report...http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/BN2A%20MK.III-2%20Trislander%20G-BDTO%2004-13.pdf


There would be no need to pay more for your fare as if the operators employed trainee pilots who are at the point of training where they have to log up their hours in the air the trainee pilots could actually be paying the operator.

As far as the single pilot getting sick ? for whatever reason a sudden bout of disorientation can strike immediately.


If I were going to be killed in a plane crash the Tri-Lander would be my first choice every time, due to its excelent saftey record.


Plus the fact it is likely to bounce off whatever it crashes into due to them flying at approx 20mph!!!

They are tried and tested aircraft and yes the duty free/drink service is poor and you do occasionally get wet in the aircraft?? But they would win my vote every time and I hate flying!!


Surely if you were killed in a plane crash it wouldn't matter how safe the plane was, as you would be dead!!



Not necessarily!



You miss my point.

MarkB said "If I were going to be killed in a plane crash"

My point being, it matters not how "safe" the plane is, if you die then you die!!

Terry Langlois

scivster - I suspect that you are missing the essential point of markB's comment: he was being comical


Sorry, I did miss your point!


Yes but at least I would have died knowing I was in one of the safest planes around.


Scant consolation for your family members I would imagine!!



I make a point of not flying in these "oversafe" aircraft ever since I saw the oil leaking out from the hole under the engines.There comes a time when every piece of machinary has outlived its useful life and should be replaced!


Fair enough Don. But each engine has an hour limit after which time it must be replaced with a new engine. Hence you'll be hard pushed to find a Lycoming piston engine powering a Trislander which is more than a decade old - you certainly won't find any that are 40 years old and, indeed, you'll be hard-pushed to find any part which is that old other than the body itself.

Nearly all parts (wings, engines, interiors, lights, propellors) have been replaced over the years; these aircraft are actually significantly newer than their nominal manufacturing date.

Devil's Advocate

Agree with Ed - any 'old' aircraft in constant use is like Trigger's broom - most structural and mechanical parts have been replaced at some point, probably more than once. The common cause of aircraft problems is 'Fatigue failure' where parts that are cyclically flexed gradually harden up and eventually crack and fail. The mechanics of this are well understood and parts given finite working lifespans to ensure they're replaced before they're likely to crack.