Aviation safety investigations & reports

Operational non-compliances - Airbus A330, 9M-XXB, Gold Coast Airport, Queensland, 4 and 29 May 2010

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 4 and 29 May 2010, an Airbus A330-343E aircraft, registered 9M-XXB, was being operated by AirAsia X on scheduled passenger services from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to the Gold Coast, Queensland. On both occasions, there was low cloud and reduced visibility on arrival at the Gold Coast.  

During non-precision instrument approaches conducted at Gold Coast Airport on both days, the flight crews descended the aircraft below the segment minimum safe altitudes. As a result, the aircraft descended to an altitude where there was no longer separation assurance from terrain and aircraft operating outside controlled airspace.

While those operational non-compliances occurred prior to the final approach fix for the instrument approaches and not below 1,200 ft above aerodrome height, they were indicators of a minor safety issue regarding the operator's training of its flight crews.

In response to this incident, the aircraft operator made a number of changes to flight crew procedures when conducting instrument approaches. The operator also modified the recurrent simulator training program to include more complex non‑precision instrument approaches.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 644KB]
Alternate: [Download  DOC: 1.2MB]

Safety Issue

Go to AO-2010-027-SI-01 -

Flight crew proficiency

The aircraft operator’s flight crews were probably not adequately equipped to manage the vertical profile of non-precision approaches in other than autopilot managed mode.
Safety issue details
Issue number: AO-2010-027-SI-01
Status: Adequately addressed
General details
Date: 04 May 2010   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: about 0730 EST   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location: Gold Coast Airport    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Flight below minimum altitude  
Release date: 10 February 2012   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus Industrie  
Aircraft model A330  
Aircraft registration 9M-XXB  
Serial number 974  
Operator AirAsia X  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  
Destination Gold Coast, Qld  
Last update 03 April 2020