Aviation safety investigations & reports

Severe turbulence - Boeing 767-338, VH-OGR, Perth Airport, 20 May 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 20 May 2011, a Qantas Airways Boeing 767-338 aircraft, registered VH OGR, was being operated on a scheduled passenger service from Melbourne, Victoria to Perth, Western Australia.

During the approach to runway 03 at Perth, the aircraft encountered turbulence over a 9 second period, with severe turbulence recorded for 3-4 seconds during that time; a go-around was conducted.

Two passengers, who were reportedly not wearing their seat belts at the time, sustained head injuries from coming into contact with a window reveal and an overhead locker. After landing, both passengers received medical attention, with one being transported to hospital.

As a result of this occurrence, the aircraft operator has advised the ATSB that they intend to present this incident at the Airservices Australia industry participation working group for discussion; to improve the dissemination of information relating to windshear events.

Generally, 99 per cent of people receive no injuries during a turbulence encounter; however, if passengers and cabin crew are not wearing their seatbelts, they can be thrown around without warning. Almost all in-flight turbulence injuries could be avoided by wearing a seatbelt and paying attention to any safety announcements made by the flight crew and cabin crew during the flight.

Download Final Report - Bulletin
[Download  PDF: 5.43MB]
General details
Date: 20 May 2011   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0915 WST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near Perth Airport    
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Turbulence/windshear/microburst  
Release date: 12 December 2011   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 767  
Aircraft registration VH-OGR  
Serial number 28724  
Operator Qantas  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Melbourne, Vic.  
Destination Perth, WA  
Last update 14 November 2018