Burst Tire Causes Sunstate Airlines Dash 8 Return To Brisbane

A Sunstate Airlines Dash 8 400 burst a tire when taking off from Brisbane, Australia, yesterday, Sunday, September 29th, 2019. The Aviation Herald is reporting that the inboard left main tire burst when departing. After holding at 10,000 feet for over an hour, the aircraft returned safely to Brisbane and landed without incident.

VH-QOC, the aircraft involved in yesterday’s burst tire incident at Brisbane. Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons.

According to the Aviation Herald report, Sunstate Airlines was operating QF2512 to Mackay, Australia, for Qantas. QF2512 is the daily 09:45 departure from Brisbane and was due to arrive at Mackay at 11:35. Mackay is approximately 1,000 kilometers north of Brisbane.

What happened?

The Dash 8 400, registered as VH-QOC was carrying 72 passengers when according to News.com, a loud bang was heard when taking off. One passenger was reported as saying;

“As we were going down the runway there was a loud bang, as we almost took off, and we didn’t know what it was”.

The pilots requested a runway inspection from Brisbane ATC.

“We may have done a tire on takeoff, if we can get an inspection thanks,”

An inspection confirmed there was considerable tire debris down one side of the runway. 

The Dash 8 400 has six tires and is designed to land safely without all six being fully functional.

The aircraft leveled out at 10,000 feet just north of Brisbane and circled for an hour, burning off fuel. The passenger quoted on News.com went on to say;

VH-QOC’s tracking yesterday when operating QF2512. Source: FlightAware.

“The captain came on and just explained he thinks one of the inner tires had burst … It was really calm – actually too calm.”

After circling, VH-QOC landed safely back in Brisbane at 11:29 and passengers were transferred onto other Mackay bound flights later in the day.

Who are Sunstate Airlines?

VH-QOC is 13 years old, having been delivered to Sunstate Airlines in 2006. Sunstate Airlines is a Queensland based regional airline that operates a fleet of 31 Dash 8 400s. These days it is a subsidiary of Qantas and the Dash 8s, whilst registered to Sunstate, buzz around Queensland in Qantas livery.

Sunstate has been operating for several decades, originally taking over intrastate routes in Queensland vacated by the now-defunct domestic airline, Trans Australia Airlines (TAA). In the 1980s, TAA was rebranded as Australian Airlines and, in 1989, Australian Airline bought an initial stake in Sunstate Airlines. One year later, Australian Airlines brought the remainder of Sunstate Airlines.

Sunstate Airlines operates 31 Dash 8 400s for Qantas. Photo: Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons.

Soon after, Australian Airlines was absorbed into the Qantas brand. Sunstate went with it. In 2001, Sunstate was brought under the QantasLink brand, but Sunstate Airlines as a corporate subsidiary of Qantas still exists and is based in Brisbane. Somewhat ironically, its head office is located in the same suburb as Virgin Australia.

Sunstate’s Dash 8s now fly around Queensland and are also used on QantasLink services out of Sydney and Melbourne. For passengers, Sunstate’s aircraft are just another Qantas flight.

Yesterday’s incident in Brisbane is the second tire incident for a QantasLink Dash 8 in the last month. On September 11, 2019, VH-QOI burst a tire when taking off from Canberra en route to Sydney. The plane, also operated by Sunstate Airlines, returned to Canberra and landed safely.

Simple Flying has reached out to Qantas for a comment on the incident in Brisbane yesterday.