Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper Aircraft Corp PA-31-350, VH-MZV, Darwin NT

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


The report presented below was prepared principally from information supplied to the Bureau.


On 10 May 2005 at 0927 central standard time, the pilot of a Piper Aircraft Corporation PA-31-350 aircraft, registered VH-MZV, being operated on a charter flight from Snake Point, NT, landed short of the displaced threshold on runway 11 at Darwin International Airport.

Flight crews were notified of the displaced threshold in a notice to airmen (NOTAM) and on the Darwin automatic terminal information service (ATIS). The threshold was displaced 723 metres and indicated by bar V-markers and lights. The unusable section of runway was marked with three white crosses and red and white cones. The displaced threshold and markings were in accordance with Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Manual of Operating Standards Part 139- Aerodromes- Section 8.3.9.

The pilot reported that his turn onto final approach was lower than usual, as he was requested by air traffic control to conduct a close left base. The pilot did not see the white crosses and reported that the morning sun may have prevented him from seeing the displaced threshold markers.

The pilots landing clearance included advice that the threshold was displaced. The pilot was aware of an aircraft at the holding point and another conducting an instrument approach. The pilot decided to land using a short field landing procedure to facilitate the departure and arrival of the other aircraft, but this was not requested by the aerodrome controller (ADC). The pilots focus upon vacating the runway as soon as possible distracted him from landing beyond the displaced threshold.

After landing, he reported seeing the red and white cones ahead of the aircraft and was notified by the ADC that he had landed short of the displaced threshold.

General details
Date: 10 May 2005   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0927 hours CST    
Location   (show map): Darwin, Aero.    
State: Northern Territory   Occurrence type: Navigation - Other  
Release date: 24 June 2005   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-31  
Aircraft registration VH-MZV  
Serial number 31-8152092  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Snake Bay, NT  
Destination Darwin, NT  
Last update 16 February 2016