Final Report


On 17 August 2016, at about 0926 Central Standard Time (CST), an Alliance Airlines Fokker F27 MK 50 aircraft (Fokker 50), registered VH-FKV (FKV), and operating with callsign ‘Unity 3201’, landed on runway 12 at Adelaide Airport, South Australia (SA) after a flight from Olympic Dam, SA. The flight crew consisted of a captain seated in the left seat and a check captain seated in the right seat acting as the first officer. At the end of runway 12, FKV exited onto taxiway D2.

At 0927:46, the aerodrome controller (ADC) cleared a Jetstar Airbus A320 aircraft, registered VH-VGI (VGI), to land on runway 23.

At 0927:49, the surface movement controller (SMC) said ‘Unity 3201 hold short of runway 23, I’ve got you going to 50 golf’. The check captain of FKV reported that the start of the transmission from the SMC was over-transmitted and what they heard was ‘runway 23 and I’ve got you for bay 50 golf’. As the instruction included the parking bay, the check captain thought the SMC had instructed them to ‘cross runway 23…’ and read back ‘cross runway 23 to 50 golf, Unity 3201’. The SMC thought the pilot read back ‘short runway 23...’ and assumed that the word ‘hold’ had been ‘clipped’.

The captain (in the left seat) of FKV taxied the aircraft onto runway 23 to cross.

At 0928:21, the SMC called ‘hold short’ and immediately realising that was not the correct instruction, said ‘Unity expedite expedite Unity’. The SMC then observed the A320 in the go-around. 

The captain of FKV continued to taxi the aircraft across the runway and did not sight the A320 at any time. The A320 (VGI) returned to land without further incident.

This incident highlights the importance of pilots looking carefully for aircraft or other hazards before entering an active runway. It also highlights the importance of controllers and pilots using the correct phraseology and challenging instructions that they have not heard or understood fully.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 54

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