Aviation occurrence briefs

Landing on the incorrect runway involving Cirrus SR20, Archerfield, Qld, on 23 June 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 the morning of 23 June 2018, a Cirrus SR20 returned to Archerfield, Queensland from a private flight with one pilot and one passenger on board.

During the final approach to runway 28R, the pilot observed an aircraft ahead commencing its take-off as well as an aircraft holding at the taxiway intersection. Passing 300 ft on final approach, the preceding aircraft became airborne and the pilot then realised that he may be approaching the incorrect runway. The pilot elected to continue the approach as the runway was clear and he believed a go-around may cause more issues. On the landing roll, ATC advised the pilot to contact the Tower. The ground controller confirmed that the aircraft had landed on the incorrect runway.

Post-incident, the pilot advised that due to the increased workload of ATC transmissions, having a passenger on board and losing some situational awareness, he became tunnel-visioned leading to the error. The pilot plans to fly with his instructor to further practice joining the circuit.

Safety message

This incident highlights the need for pilots to anticipate, plan and execute early and correctly performed go-arounds if a safe landing is in doubt.

The ATSB newsroom report, News: Know when to go-around, is available from the ATSB website. More information on when and how to execute a go-around can be found at the FAA’s Chapter 8: Approaches and Landings.

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.


General details
Date: 23 June 2018   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0904 AEST    
Location   (show map): Archerfield    
State: Queensland    
Release Date: 30 October 2018   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cirrus Design Corporation  
Aircraft model SR20  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Archerfield, Qld  
Last update 12 December 2018