Aviation safety investigations & reports

Loss of separation involving Airbus A330, VH-EBJ and Boeing 737, VH-VZO, near Sydney Airport, New South Wales, on 5 August 2019

Investigation number:
AO-2019-041
Status: Active
Investigation in progress

Summary

The ATSB is investigating a loss of separation involving an Airbus A330 (registered VH-EBJ) and a Boeing 737 (registered VH-VZO), near Sydney Airport, New South Wales, on 5 August 2019.

VH-EBJ was lined up ready for departure on runway 34R and VH-VZO was on final approach to runway 34R. After the previous landing aircraft had cleared the runway, the air traffic controller cleared VH-EBJ for immediate take-off. Shortly after, the flight crew of VH-VZO were issued a late instruction to go around as the runway separation standard could not be assured.

The controller instructed the flight crew of VH-VZO to turn on to an easterly heading and climb to provide separation with VH-EBJ as that aircraft became airborne. However, the turn instruction provided to the flight crew of VH-VZO conflicted with the departure track of VH-EBJ, which was on a standard instrument departure. 

The flight crew of VH-EBJ subsequently received a traffic collision avoidance system traffic alert.

The evidence collection phase of the investigation will include interviewing the air traffic controllers and flight crew, and reviewing recorded surveillance and flight data.

A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation. Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate safety action can be taken.

General details
Date: 05 August 2019   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 1832 EST   Investigation level: Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near Sydney Airport   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Loss of separation  
  Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 2nd Quarter 2020    

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus  
Aircraft model A330-202  
Aircraft registration VH-EBJ  
Serial number 0940  
Operator Qantas Airways  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Sydney, NSW  
Destination Melbourne, Victoria  

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 737-838  
Aircraft registration VH-VZO  
Serial number 34191  
Operator Qantas Airways  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Brisbane, Queensland  
Destination Sydney, NSW  
Last update 09 August 2019