Aviation safety investigations & reports

Pre-flight planning event - Boeing 737-476, VH-TJL, Melbourne Airport, 22 November 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 22 November 2011, during pre-flight performance calculations at Melbourne Airport, the crew of a Qantas Airways Boeing B737-476 aircraft, registered VH-TJL, inadvertently used the full length runway 16 distance to calculate the take-off performance figures despite planning a runway 16/taxiway Echo intersection departure. Neither crew identified the error, which produced inappropriately high take-off reference speeds. During the take-off run the crew realised there was inaccuracy in the figures and elected to continue the takeoff, rotating the aircraft below the calculated rotation speed (VR). The error was attributed to the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) menu structure defaulting to the full runway length.

As a result of this incident, Qantas Airlines advised that they have modified the EFB to require a positive selection of the runway length. The application of correct operating data is a foundational and critical element of flight safety, but errors in the calculation, entry and checking of data are not uncommon. The ATSB has published a research report that addresses the issue.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 3.63MB]
Alternate: [Download  DOC: 9.81MB]
General details
Date: 22 November 2011   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0911 EDT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Melbourne Airport    
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Aircraft Separation  
Release date: 24 May 2012   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 737  
Aircraft registration VH_TJL  
Serial number 24437  
Operator Qantas  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Melbourne, Vic  
Destination Brisbane, Qld  
Last update 14 November 2018