Aviation safety investigations & reports

Airbus Industries A320-211, VH-HYC, Coolangatta QLD, 24 February 1990

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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A report was received from a member of the public concerning the approach flown by VH-HYC into Coolangatta. The report stated that the aircraft appeared from cloud and rain at a very low altitude, well west of the required track, and in an abnormally high nose attitude. It then commenced a rapid left bank accompanied by an increase in engine thrust to regain track and continue the approach to landing. The reporter considered that this had been a highly dangerous method of approaching Runway 14. Other reports were received alleging that the aircraft had landed heavily at Coolangatta. Following receipt of the complaint, the aircraft technical crew was interviewed. The crew reported that the approach was flown by the First Officer and proceeded normally to the Minimum Descent Altitude of 650 feet. When visual reference to the ground was not established approaching the Missed Approach Point, the First Officer increased engine power to commence the Missed Approach Procedure. However,as he did so, the Captain gained visual reference to the ground, took control of the aircraft, and continued to landing. The crew reported that the landing was normal. A readout of the aircraft's Digital Flight Data Recorder during the period of the approach and landing was completed. The readout showed that the approach had been flown in accordance with the published procedure for a pilot interpreted instrument approach to the runway. It also indicated that the approach was stabilised and that from the Minimum Descent Altitude, the aircraft was manoeuvred smoothly to achieve precise alignment with the runway. The landing was smooth with a light touchdown and there were no excessive deceleration forces. The investigation concluded that there was no evidence to support the allegations concerning the approach and landing, either from the aircraft technical crew, or the Flight Data Recorder readout.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 24 February 1990   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1210    
Location: Coolangatta    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Miscellaneous - Other  
Release date: 02 March 1990   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus Industrie  
Aircraft model A320  
Aircraft registration VH-HYC  
Serial number 24  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Sydney NSW  
Departure time N/K  
Destination Coolangatta QLD