Aviation safety investigations & reports

Operational non-compliance involving a The Boeing Company 767, JA8970, 6km SE Sydney, Aerodrome, NSW on 9 February 1998

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The Boeing 767 had departed from runway 16R at Sydney, NSW and the crew were tracking via a GUEST 2 standard instrument departure (SID) with an initial altitude restriction of 5,000 ft. The SID required the aircraft to track via the 163 radial of the Sydney very high frequency omni-directional radio range beacon (VOR) for 10NM before turning right to track for Glenfield. On first radio contact with Departures Control, the crew were instructed to climb to flight level (FL) 280 but, incorrectly, read back "to heading 280" and commenced a turn to the right when approximately 2 NM south of the runway. The air traffic controller did not realise that the crew had read back heading 280 and replied using the word "affirm". He also re-iterated the instruction to climb to FL280, which the crew correctly read back. This situation resulted in the crew believing that they had been cleared to climb to FL280 and to turn right to Glenfield, while the controller believed that the crew were climbing to FL280 via the SID track. The turn was observed on radar and, although there were several other aircraft in the general area, radar vectors by air traffic control ensured that no breakdown of separation standards occurred.
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 13KB]
General details
Date: 09 February 1998   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 11:44 ESuT    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Operational non-compliance  
Release date: 21 July 1998   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 767  
Aircraft registration JA8970  
Sector Other  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Sydney NSW  
Destination Kensai Japan