On 16 September 2006 at 0038 Western Standard Time, an Airbus Industrie A330 landed on runway 21 at Perth Airport in weather conditions that were below the applicable landing minima. The aircraft, registered VH-QPJ, was being operated in accordance with the instrument flight rules (IFR) on a scheduled passenger flight from Singapore to Perth, WA.
Before departure from Singapore, the aerodrome forecast (TAF) for Perth Airport predicted a 30% probability of fog after 0200. The aircraft was due at Perth at 0020 so in accordance with the operator's fuel policy; fuel was not specifically carried for a diversion from the destination to an alternate aerodrome. While the aircraft was in cruise, the TAF was revised to forecast fog from 2400, but the trend type forecasts (TTF) which superseded the TAF trended fog from 0030.
At about 2350, when the flight crew commenced descent, the aircraft passed the point where it had the fuel to divert to Learmonth, WA. About 10 minutes later, the TTF was amended to forecast fog to occur before the aircraft's arrival time. The fog occurred at about 0015. The crew attempted two Instrument Landing System (ILS) approaches before they used auto land to land on runway 21 in weather conditions that were below the prescribed landing minima for the ILS
The ILS at Perth (and other Australian airports) was approved to the Category I standard that did not allow landings where the visibility was less than 800 m. The Perth runway 21 ILS glide path critical area was not fully protected from multipath effects during low visibility operations.
Perth and Learmonth were the only aerodromes in Western Australia that could be classified as suitable for the A330, and Learmonth was 599 NM (1,110 km) from Perth.
As a result of this occurrence, the operator implemented an interim flight planning fuel policy specifically for Perth.
|Date:||15 September 2006||Investigation status:||Completed|
|State:||Western Australia||Occurrence type:||Weather - Other|
|Release date:||20 August 2007||Occurrence class:||Environment|
|Report status:||Final||Occurrence category:||Incident|
|Highest injury level:||None|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Airbus Industrie|
|Type of operation||Air Transport High Capacity|
|Damage to aircraft||Nil|
|Departure point||Changi, Singapore|
|Role||Class of licence||Hours on type||Hours total|