Aviation safety investigations & reports

Accredited representative to the TAIC investigation into a flight below minimum altitude involving an Airbus A320, VH-VGY, near Christchurch, New Zealand on 6 August 2017

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


On the 6 August 2017, an Airbus A320, registered VH-VGY, operated by Jetstar Airways, was flying between Wellington and Christchurch in New Zealand.

Air traffic control had cleared the flight for a published arrival procedure followed by an instrument approach. During the arrival procedure prior to commencing the instrument approach, the aircraft descended 1,000 feet below the published altitude on the arrival procedure. Air traffic control noticed the descent below the arrival procedure altitude but did not alert the flight crew at the time. The flight crew had not been aware that their aircraft had descended below the arrival procedure altitude. Initial indications are that no terrain warning was generated by the air traffic control radar system or on the aircraft, nor did the aircraft descend below the segment minimum safe altitude published on the arrival procedure.

The investigation AO-2017-007, conducted by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission in New Zealand, is continuing.

General details
Date: 06 August 2017   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 0700 UTC   Investigation level: Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near Christchurch, NZ    
State: International   Occurrence type: Flight below minimum altitude  
  Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus  
Aircraft model A320-232  
Aircraft registration VH-VGY  
Operator Jetstar Airways  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Wellington, NZ  
Destination Christchurch, NZ  
Last update 14 November 2018