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Updated: 17 August 2016

In the period since the previous update, the ATSB has obtained more detailed information than initially envisaged, requiring a further extension in the anticipated completion date. The information included detailed analysis of the flight data by the aircraft manufacturer, which will be assessed by the ATSB. Any safety issues identified as part of this process will be communicated with the relevant parties for them to consider and action, and included in the final report.


Updated: 3 May 2016

The progress of this investigation has been delayed due to investigator workload and competing priorities. The investigation report is anticipated to be released to directly involved parties (DIP) for comment in August 2016. Feedback from those parties over the 28-day DIP period on the factual accuracy of the draft report will be considered for inclusion in the final report, which is anticipated to be released to the public in October 2016.


The ATSB is investigating an automated flight system issue involving a Virgin Australia Regional Airlines Airbus A320 aircraft, VH-FNP, near Perth, Western Australia, on 12 September 2015.

About 20 minutes after the flight departed from Perth Airport, air traffic control detected the aircraft deviating from the assigned level. The flight crew reported that an automated flight system issue had occurred, and elected to return to Perth.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will interview the flight crew, review flight data and air traffic control surveillance data, and gather additional information.

A report will be released within several months.

General details
Date: 12 September 2015 Investigation status: Active 
Time: 07:45 WST Investigation phase: Examination and Analysis 
Location   (show map):124 km north Perth (GURAK) Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia Occurrence type: Avionics/flight instruments 
Report status: Pending Occurrence category: Incident 
Expected completion: 3rd Quarter 2018 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Airbus 
Aircraft model: A320-231 
Aircraft registration: VH-FNP 
Serial number: 429 
Type of operation: Air Transport High Capacity 
Sector: Jet 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Perth, WA
Destination:Boolgeeda Airport, WA
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Last update 05 April 2018