Aviation safety investigations & reports

Runway excursion involving Boeing 737, VH-VUI at Darwin Airport, Northern Territory, on 6 December 2016

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress
Phase: Final report: External review Read more information on this investigation phase


Updated: 22 December 2017

The investigation into a runway excursion involving a Boeing 737, VH-VUI at Darwin Airport, in the Northern Territory, on 6 December 2016, is continuing. During landing on runway 29, the aircraft encountered gusty wind conditions and veered off the runway, resulting in minor damage to the aircraft and damaging six runway edge lights.

ATSB investigators have:

  • examined the runway and aircraft,
  • interviewed flight and ground crews and air traffic controllers,
  • collected and analysed information from the flight data recorders, aircraft operator, airport operator, Bureau of Meteorology, and air traffic control, and
  • researched related occurrences.

On completion of the draft report and internal review, the report will be sent to directly involved parties for comment before the report is finalised and published. Should a safety issue be identified during the course of an investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify those affected and seek safety action to address the issue.



 Published: 7 December 2016

During landing on runway 29, the aircraft encountered gusty wind conditions and veered off the runway, resulting in minor damage.

The ATSB has sent two investigators from the Brisbane office to Darwin, arriving the afternoon of 7 December 2016. They are from engineering and air traffic control disciplines and will conduct examination of the runway, surrounding area and aircraft as necessary. It is anticipated they will return to Brisbane on Friday 9 December. Further investigation work will centre around gathering operationally relevant information, including weather, landing data, air traffic control data and aircraft information.

The investigation is continuing.

General details
Date: 06 December 2016   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 23:03 CDT   Investigation level: Complex - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Darwin Airport   Investigation phase: Final report: External review  
State: Northern Territory   Occurrence type: Runway excursion  
  Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 2nd Quarter 2019    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 737-8FE  
Aircraft registration VH-VUI  
Serial number 34441  
Operator Virgin Australia Airlines  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Minor  
Departure point Melbourne, Vic.  
Destination Darwin, NT  
Last update 15 January 2019