Aviation safety investigations & reports

Procedures related event, Townsville Airport, QLD, 4 May 2007, N7088S, Raytheon Aircraft Company 390

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On the night of 3 May 2007, a Raytheon Aircraft Company 390, registered N7088S, was enroute to Townsville Airport, Qld on the final leg of a private instrument flight rules (IFR) flight from Avalon, Vic via Sydney, NSW and Brisbane, Qld. The aircraft carried four passengers and a pilot. At about 0049 EST on 4 May, the pilot landed the aircraft on runway 01 while it was closed due to works in progress. There was no damage to the aircraft or injuries to personnel.

On 29 April 2007, a notice to airmen (NOTAM) had been issued which required that pilots requiring the use of runway 01 provide 30 minutes prior notice to the works safety officer (WSO) on duty at the airport. The pilot of N7088S later reported that although he had reviewed the list of NOTAMs for the airport prior to the flight, he did not recall noting the runway closure and did not notify the WSO of his planned arrival. The WSO had been notified of the planned arrival of another aircraft and had selected the runway lighting ON in anticipation of its arrival. At the time of the occurrence, the instrument landing system approach aid for runway 01 was available and the airport's pilot activated lighting and airfield frequency response unit were unavailable.

For a period of several minutes while on approach and final, the pilot was not contactable by radio on either the Brisbane Centre frequency or the Townsville common traffic advisory frequency. During this time the duty supervisor at Brisbane Centre notified the WSO of the approaching aircraft. Workers on the runway noticed the approaching aircraft and vacated the runway before the aircraft landed.

The investigation identified several safety factors that contributed to the occurrence, including pre-flight planning, radio selection and operation, ground works management, and air traffic control. The airport operator, the pilot, and Airservices Australia initiated a number of safety actions in response to some of the issues identified.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 220KB]
General details
Date: 04 May 2007   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0049 EST   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Townsville Airport    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Depart/app/land wrong runway  
Release date: 17 June 2008   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Raytheon Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 390  
Aircraft registration N7088S  
Serial number RB-188  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Brisbane, Qld  
Destination Townsville, Qld  
Last update 03 April 2020