Aviation occurrence briefs

Incorrect altimeter setting involving an Airbus A320-232 at Hobart, Tasmania on 14 April 2018

Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Occurrence Briefs are concise reports that detail the facts surrounding a transport safety occurrence, as received in the initial notification and any follow-up enquiries. They provide an opportunity to share safety messages in the absence of an investigation.

What happened

On 14 April 2018, an Airbus Industrie A320-232 operated as a commercial passenger flight from Melbourne, Victoria to Hobart, Tasmania. The flight crew conducted the area navigation approach (RNAV) for runway 30 at Hobart. Approaching 1,000 ft, the pilot in command (PIC), being the pilot flying (PF) identified that the aircraft glidepath appeared low with reference to the Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI)[1], which was showing four red lights. The PIC disconnected the autopilot, regained the glidepath manually and landed the aircraft without any further issue.

After landing, the first officer, as pilot monitoring (PM) noticed his altimeter QNH setting was incorrect and adjusted it accordingly. This resulted in a NAV ALTI discrepancy ECAM alert. The flight crew realised that both pilots had the same, but incorrect altimeter QNH setting during the RNAV approach resulting in the aircraft being lower than it should have been during the approach.

Safety message

ATSB SafetyWatch

This occurrence reminds pilots that continuously monitoring aircraft and approach parameters and the external environment can assist to ensure they maintain a stable approach profile and make appropriate decisions for a safe landing.

About this report

Decisions regarding whether to conduct an investigation, and the scope of an investigation, are based on many factors, including the level of safety benefit likely to be obtained from an investigation. For this occurrence, no investigation has been conducted and the ATSB did not verify the accuracy of the information. A brief description has been written using information supplied in the notification and any follow-up information in order to produce a short summary report, and allow for greater industry awareness of potential safety issues and possible safety actions.



  1. Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI): a ground based system that uses a system of coloured lights used by pilots to identify the correct glide path to the runway when conducting a visual approach.
General details
Date: 14 April 2018   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 2251 EST    
Location   (show map): Hobart Airport    
State: Tasmania    
Release Date: 06 November 2018   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Melbourne, Victoria  
Destination Hobart, Tasmania  
Last update 12 December 2018