On 1 October 2013, at about 0530 Central Standard Time, the crew of a Vincent Aviation Beech 1900C aircraft, registered VH-VNV, was preparing for two return flights from Darwin to Jabiru, Northern Territory.

The crew conducted a pre-flight briefing, which involved reviewing the applicable Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs). This included a NOTAM which advised that the runway 29 threshold would be displaced from 0800 due to works in progress. The flight departed Darwin at about 0615 and returned at about 0800, at which time the displaced threshold was in place.

For the second flight, at about 0900, the first officer (FO) requested and obtained a clearance to taxi to taxiway ‘Bravo 2’ (B2). While taxiing to B2, the captain asked the FO to check the take-off performance data in the manual regarding the displaced threshold; however, he was unable to locate the relevant section prior to approaching the holding point.

When at the B2 holding point, the captain observed an aircraft on final approach. Air traffic control then cleared the crew to line up on runway 11 and asked them to confirm that they were aware of the displaced threshold to the east of taxiway ‘Echo’ (E). The FO replied that he understood.

The crew reported that when they were lined up on runway 11, they could see the tops of vehicles conducting the runway works, but due to a rise in the runway, were unable to see the start of the displaced threshold. The crew were cleared for take-off by ATC.

As the take-off run was commenced, both crew members observed that the displaced threshold was closer than expected and the captain immediately rejected the take-off at low speed.

As a result of this occurrence, the aircraft operator has advised the ATSB that a notice was released to company pilots reinforcing the policy regarding planning of the flight by both members of the crew.

A report previously prepared for the ATSB found that there was a significant potential for oversight of critical information in the NOTAM system. This incident highlights the importance of thorough pre-flight planning and the use of all available information in preparing for flight.


Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin - Issue 25