Aviation safety investigations & reports

Runway incursion involving Bombardier DHC-8-402, VH-QOP, Gladstone Airport, Qld on 17 April 2014

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 17 April 2014 at about 1705 Eastern Standard Time, the crew of a Bombardier DHC-8, registered VH-QOP, were taxiing at Gladstone Airport, Queensland, for a scheduled passenger service to Sydney, New South Wales. There were heavy showers in the vicinity of the airport at the time.

The crew reported taxiing for runway 10, which was soon followed by a report from the crew of an ATR-72 that they were 5 NM from Gladstone, on final approach to runway 10. Noting the position of the ATR-72, the crew of VH-QOP elected to taxi in a westerly direction along taxiway A (parallel to the runway), planning to enter the runway via taxiway A1 after the ATR-72 had landed. The crew were not particularly familiar with Gladstone Airport, and even less familiar with taxiway A and A1. The crew commented that, subject to traffic conditions, it was more common to enter the runway using other taxiways leading directly from the terminal area.

As they taxied, the crew contemplated switching to runway 28 for departure because weather surrounding the airport appeared to be less intense to the west. The crew discussed departure options and reviewed aircraft performance information as they taxied. At the same time, they remained mindful of the ATR-72 on final approach to runway 10.

The crew of VH-QOP made a right turn from taxiway A onto taxiway A1 as the ATR-72 was on late final approach. As they entered taxiway A1, the crew inadvertently continued over the holding point line before coming to a stop. The main wheels of the aircraft were just beyond the holding point line as the ATR-72 landed. Although the crew of VH-QOP stopped well short of the runway surface and were aware of the ATR-72 on final approach, the incident still falls within the definition of a runway incursion given the ‘incorrect presence’ of the aircraft within the runway flight strip as another aircraft was landing.

This incident highlights the importance of careful attention to airfield markings during ground manoeuvring, especially when crew workload is elevated, and when a crew is unfamiliar with the airport layout. This message applies equally to all airside vehicle operators.


Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin - Issue 35

Download final report
[Download  PDF: 305KB]
General details
Date: 17 April 2014   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 17:05 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Gladstone Airport    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Runway incursion  
Release date: 15 October 2014   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Inc  
Aircraft model DHC-8-402  
Aircraft registration VH-QOP  
Serial number 4238  
Operator Sunstate Airlines  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Turboprop  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Gladstone, Qld  
Destination Sydney, NSW  
Last update 14 November 2018