Aviation safety investigations & reports

Breakdown of separation - VH-VXU and A6-EMT, 60 km south-east of Mildura, Victoria, 3 September 2009

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 3 September 2009 at about 1859 Eastern Standard Time, a Boeing 737-838 aircraft was en route from Sydney, New South Wales to Adelaide, South Australia and a Boeing 777-31H aircraft was en route from Melbourne, Victoria to Singapore. The aircraft were on crossing tracks and both were cruising at flight level 300. The air traffic control separation standard was infringed and there was a breakdown of separation.

The air traffic controller responsible for separation of the aircraft had recently completed the air navigation service provider's approved training, but had not recognised the potential conflict between the two aircraft.

As a result of this incident, Airservices Australia has amended the compromised separation recovery component of an air traffic controller's training, and introduced a compromised separation recovery element into its final controller field training.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 245KB]

Safety Issue

Go to AO-2009-056-SI-01 -

Training and assessment system

The training and assessment system was ineffective, in this case, because it placed an individual with deficiencies in scanning and conflict resolution in a control position.

Safety issue details
Issue number: AO-2009-056-SI-01
Who it affects: All Airservices Australia Check and Standardisation Specialist controllers
Status: Adequately addressed
General details
Date: 03 September 2009   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1900 EST   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 60 km south-east of Mildura    
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Loss of separation  
Release date: 24 November 2010   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 737  
Aircraft registration VH-VXU  
Serial number 33761  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Sydney, NSW  
Destination Adelaide, SA  

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 777  
Aircraft registration A6-EMT  
Serial number 32699  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Melbourne, Vic.  
Destination Singapore  
Last update 03 April 2020