Aviation safety investigations & reports

Fuel - Other involving a Piper Aircraft Corp PA-31-350, VH-SVN, Norfolk Island, Aerodrome, on 28 April 1998

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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Prior to the aircraft departing Lord Howe Island, the Terminal Area Forecast (TAF) for Norfolk Island did not require the pilot in command to arrive with fuel for holding or for diversion to an alternate airfield. During the course of the flight, the weather at Norfolk Island deteriorated. The TAF was initially amended to require 30 minutes holding and later amended to require 60 minutes of holding fuel. The pilot advised that he became aware of the deteriorating weather at his destination only after he had passed the point of no return (PNR). When the aircraft arrived in the Norfolk Island circuit area, the pilot assessed the conditions as unsuitable to land and commenced holding at low level over the water, but within visual range of the island. Approximately 45 minutes later, the weather conditions improved sufficiently for the pilot to make a visual approach and landing. The aircraft landed with required fuel reserves. Investigation of this incident did not reveal any deficiencies in the conduct of this flight. The airline has advised that as a result of this incident, they have changed their fuel policy to require the carriage of additional fuel where possible.
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 14KB]
General details
Date: 28 April 1998   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 2:30 UTC    
State: Other   Occurrence type: Fuel - Other  
Release date: 02 December 1998   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-31-350  
Aircraft registration VH-SVN  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Lord Howe Island NSW  
Destination Norfolk Island