Final Report


On 2 April 2017, at about 1730 Eastern Standard Time (EST), a Virgin Australia ATR - Gie Avions De Transport Regional ATR72-212A aircraft, registered VH-FVL, departed Moranbah for Brisbane, Queensland on a scheduled passenger service. There were two flight crew, two cabin crew and 38 passengers on board the aircraft. The captain was the pilot flying and the first officer was the pilot monitoring. 

On approach to Brisbane Airport the crew were cleared for a visual approach to runway 19.

While the aircraft was turning onto the final approach leg, the captain directed the first officer to select flap 30, set the airspeed indicator bug to the approach speed,  and start the before landing checklist, which the first officer did after completing a radio call with air traffic control.

As the aircraft descended on the final approach leg, the captain had to keep adjusting the aircraft attitude and engine torque setting to control the speed. Passing about 1,000 ft, the captain recognised that the speed was too high, but thought this could be corrected by 500 ft and continued the approach. The first officer also noticed the unusually high speed and called out ‘speed’ to alert the captain. Passing 173 ft, the enhanced ground proximity warning system activated with the alert, TOO LOW FLAP. The captain immediately conducted a missed approach.

Recorded data found at 1729 ft, the flaps lever was moved from 15 to 0 degrees and after the TOO LOW FLAP warning, at 173 ft, a go-around was initiated.

This investigation highlights the importance of the stabilised approach procedure and that trouble achieving one parameter may indicate there is another problem.

Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 62

Read report