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On 21 June 2012, a breakdown of separation occurred between a Qantas Airways Boeing Company B737-438, registered VH-TJS (TJS) and a Sharp Aviation Fairchild SA227, registered VH-MYI (MYI) near Melbourne Airport, Victoria. After being radar vectored from the north-east and given an assigned heading of 230˚, TJS was cleared to conduct an instrument approach to runway 27 at Melbourne Airport. However, instead of intercepting the runway 27 localizer, TJS maintained the assigned heading and passed through the localizer by about 1 NM. As a result the separation between TJS and MYI reduced to less than the required standard of 3 NM.

Although the reason for the clearance deviation could not be positively identified, it was likely that a higher than usual workload resulted in the flight crew not arming the appropriate approach mode or observing the aircraft’s closure relative to the runway 27 localizer. The occurrence highlights the need for flight crews to closely monitor the aircraft flight path and be ready to take prompt action in the event of any deviation from the cleared route.

Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin - Issue 13


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[ Download PDF: 169KB]
General details
Date: 21 June 2012 Investigation status: Completed 
Location   (show map):28 km E Melbourne Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Loss of separation 
Release date: 27 November 2012 Occurrence class: Airspace 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: The Boeing Company 
Aircraft model: 737 
Aircraft registration: VH-TJS 
Serial number: 24444 
Operator: Qantas Airways 
Type of operation: Air Transport High Capacity 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Sydney, NSW
Destination:Melbourne, VIC
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Fairchild Industries Inc 
Aircraft model: SA227 
Aircraft registration: VH-MYI 
Serial number: DC-869B 
Type of operation: Air Transport Low Capacity 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Orange, NSW
Destination:Essendon, VIC
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Last update 18 April 2018