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The aircraft had commenced its take-off run on runway 19 when the driver of an FAC car on the eastern side of the runway radiod the Surface Movement controller (SMC) with a request to cross the runway at taxyway Mike. The SMC who did not hear the transmission properly, assumed that the car was already on the western side of the active runway and approved what he thought was a clearance to enter the taxyway. The driver of the car did not realise that the clearance did not contain the words "clearance to cross the runway" and subsequently did not question the SMC. He also did not stop the car at the holding point to check for air traffic. He did not see the approaching jet until the car had entered the runway. He attempted to accelerate the car out of the way. The aircraft became airborne about 200 m short of the car and overflew at about 80 ft. Analysis The SMC did not follow standard ATS procedures. He did not ask for a repeat of the transmission from the FAC car driver and did not check the physical location of the vehicle before issuing a clearance. The clearance he issued did not comply with local operating instructions. The controller was moderately busy at the time. The driver of the car did not follow ground safety instructions. He did not receive a correctly phrased clearance, nor did he stop at the holding point to check for any aircraft landing or taking off. A collision between the aircraft and the car was avoided by good fortune only. The aircraft became airborne before reaching the taxyway.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 14KB]
General details
Date: 29 January 1997 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 8:17 EST  
 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
 Occurrence type: Runway incursion 
Release date: 20 March 1997 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: The Boeing Company 
Aircraft model: 737-377 
Aircraft registration: VH-CZO 
Sector: Jet 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Brisbane QLD
Destination:Townsville QLD
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Last update 28 October 2014