Aviation safety investigations & reports

Landing on closed runway involving Cessna 510, VH-MSU Temora Aerodrome, New South Wales, on 21 October 2021

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed
Phase: Final report: Dissemination Read more information on this investigation phase


Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 551KB]

What happened

A privately operated Cessna 510 Citation Mustang aircraft, registered VH-MSU, was flying from Sunshine Coast airport, Queensland to Essendon Airport, Victoria with a planned stop at Temora Aerodrome to refuel. At about 1857 Eastern Daylight Time, the pilot landed on runway 18 at Temora Aerodrome. On touchdown, the pilot noticed unserviceability markers further along the runway and elected to continue the landing. The pilot slowed to taxi speed and left the runway to refuel prior to reaching the markers. While refuelling, the pilot checked the NOTAMs for Temora Aerodrome and found that runway 18/36 was closed due to runway works.

What the ATSB found

The ATSB found that during pre-flight planning, the pilot dismissed NOTAMs that were deemed irrelevant to the planned operation. This included one stating that runway 18 was closed due to works in progress, which was deemed irrelevant due to the planned landing on runway 05. The pilot did not review NOTAMs when considering changes to the plan during flight. During approach and landing, the pilot did not see evidence of runway works or closure until touchdown and judged that they would be able to stop before the cones.

White crosses had been placed on the runway, but not in locations visible to aircraft conducting a straight-in approach on runway 18. The size and number of unserviceability markings along the runway were insufficient to fulfil the requirements of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 139 Manual of Standards (MOS) for closed runways.

What has been done as a result

Temora Aerodrome now has obtained larger unserviceability markings. The pilot has adjusted their in-flight decision-making process to check all NOTAMs for an aviation facility when plans change.

Safety message

An essential component of pre-flight planning is to check all NOTAMs relevant to the planned flight, and potential changes to the plan. This includes all NOTAMs regarding all aviation facilities that a pilot plans to use.

To ensure clear communication of changes that may affect the safety of aircraft operations, aerodrome operators must ensure that all works are conducted, and markings displayed, in accordance with the current Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 139 Manual of Standards (MOS) for aerodromes.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 551KB]

The investigation


The ATSB has commenced a transport safety investigation into a landing on closed runway involving Cessna 510 Citation Mustang, VH-MSU at Temora Aerodrome, New South Wales, on 21 October 2021.

During a flight from Sunshine Coast Airport, Queensland, to Essendon Airport, Victoria, the pilot of VH-MSU decided to stop at Temora Aerodrome to refuel using runway 18. On touchdown at Temora Aerodrome, at about 1857 local time, the pilot noticed cones across the runway a long distance from the threshold. They elected to continue the landing on the closed runway after judging that there was sufficient runway to stop safely before the cones.

The evidence collection phase of the investigation will include interviewing the pilot and aerodrome staff and reviewing relevant documents.

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 that appropriate safety action can be taken.

General details
Date: 21 October 2021   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1853 AEDT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Temora Aerodrome   Investigation phase: Final report: Dissemination  
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Runway - Other  
Release date: 18 May 2022   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 510  
Aircraft registration VH-MSU  
Serial number 510-0300  
Operator Avia Aviation Pty Ltd  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Turboprop  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Sunshine Coast Airport, Queensland  
Destination Essendon Airport, Victoria  
Last update 18 May 2022