Aviation safety investigations & reports

Boeing B707-351C, 5N-ASY, Williamtown NSW, 15 September 1990

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The aircraft was engaged on a livestock charter flight, having departed Honolulu with an endurance of about 90 minutes in excess of the planned flight time. Sydney also had an operational requirement for 30 minutes traffic holding for arriving aircraft. At 0030 hours UTC the aircraft reported at UNSUS with an endurance of 2 hours, although the fuel margin for arrival at Sydney was now reduced to a total of 20 minutes. No concern was raised by the flight crew. The Operational Flight Controller at the Sydney Operations Centre, who was also responsible for monitoring the progress of the flight, did not recognise the situation and alert the Senior Operations Controller (SOC). At 0128 hours the aircraft called Sydney Control and reported being low on fuel and requested an approach for landing on runway 16. At 0130 the aircraft, reported 45 minutes fuel remaining. The estimated arrival time Sydney was now 0212 hours. The SOC immediately took control of the situation and offered a diversion to Williamtown which would save about 70 track miles. This was accepted by the crew. Radar vectors were provided direct to Williamtown, which was reporting weather conditions as, wind 140 degrees/20-30, cloud 5/8 2000, visibility plus 10 kilometres reducing in rain showers. On final approach for runway 12 the aircraft was approved to carry out a left orbit to lose excessive height after which it was cleared to land. After landing the aircraft was unable to taxy off the runway due to total fuel exhaustion. The crew subsequently reported that both outboard engines had stopped on short finals, and the inboard engines stopped during the landing roll. At no stage of the flight did the crew declare an emergency. The aircraft had earlier passed near Nandi, Tontouta and Brisbane where suitable refuelling facilities were available.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 24KB]
General details
Date: 15 September 1990   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1208    
Location   (show map): Williamtown    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Miscellaneous - Other  
Release date: 25 July 1991   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 707  
Aircraft registration 5N-ASY  
Serial number 18922  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Honolulu Hawaii  
Departure time 622  
Destination Sydney NSW