Aviation safety investigations & reports

Wake turbulence event, Sydney Airport, NSW, 3 November 2008

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 3 November 2008, a SAAB Aircraft Company 340B-229 (SAAB), registered VH-ORX, was conducting a regular public transport flight from Orange, NSW to Sydney. The crew reported that, at about 0724 Eastern Daylight-saving Time, when tracking to join a 7 NM (13 km) final for runway 34 Right (34R), a passenger sustained minor injuries following a possible wake turbulence event that resulted in a momentary loss of control of the aircraft.

Examination of the available radar, meteorological and aircraft operational data identified that the momentary upset probably resulted from wake turbulence, which was generated by an Airbus Industrie A380-800 (A380) that was conducting a parallel approach to runway 34 Left (34L). There was a 35 kt left crosswind affecting both aircraft's approaches.

Airservices Australia (Airservices) reported to the SAAB operator that, as a result of this incident, they had introduced a number of interim minor changes to Sydney parallel runway operational procedures during high crosswind conditions. Those minor changes would have effect while Airservices carried out a review of A380 operations. In addition, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has opened a regulatory change project to review and update wake turbulence separation information in the Manual of Standards Part 172.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 147KB]
General details
Date: 03 November 2008   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0724 ESuT   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Sydney Aerodrome 160deg M 13KM    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 09 December 2009   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer S.A.A.B. Aircraft Co  
Aircraft model 340  
Aircraft registration VH-ORX  
Serial number 340B-293  
Type of operation Air Transport Low Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Orange, NSW  
Destination Sydney, NSW  
  Crew Passenger Ground Total
Minor: 0 1 0 1
Total: 0 1 0 1
Last update 03 April 2020