Aviation safety investigations & reports

Operational non-compliance involving a Beechcraft 200, VH-NMW, near Sydney Airport, NSW on 5 June 2014

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 5 June 2014, the pilot of a Beechcraft 200 aircraft, registered VH-NMW, conducted a private flight from Narrabri to Sydney Airport, New South Wales, with two passengers on board.

During the cruise, the pilot entered the arrival and approach into the flight management computer. The pilot was advised by air traffic control (ATC) to expect an instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 16 Left (16 L).  

The pilot was cleared by air traffic control (ATC) to descend to 3,000 ft and while on descent, was given radar vectors to intercept the localiser for runway 16 L. The pilot selected approach (‘APP’) mode on the flight guidance panel (FGP) and confirmed that the aircraft had intercepted the localiser. About 2 minutes later, the aircraft was cleared for the instrument landing system (ILS) approach on 16 L however the pilot did not observe that at this stage, the aircraft was below the glideslope.

The pilot was then temporarily distracted by explaining the multi-function display to the passenger seated in the front right seat. The controller queried whether the aircraft was on the glideslope and the pilot realised that the aircraft was below the glideslope. The aircraft then maintained the current altitude until intercepting the glideslope. Prior to intercepting the glideslope, ATC advised the pilot that the aircraft was at 1,500 ft and below the lowest safe altitude. As the aircraft was established on the localiser and about 8 NM from the runway, the applicable minimum altitude was 1,700 ft AMSL.

This incident highlights the importance of continuously monitoring aircraft and approach parameters and the impact distractions can have on maintaining a stable approach profile.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 33

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 165KB]
Alternate: [Download  DOCX: 301KB]
General details
Date: 05 June 2014   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0938 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near Sydney Airport    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Operational non-compliance  
Release date: 06 August 2014   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft Corporation  
Aircraft model B200GT  
Aircraft registration VH-NMW  
Serial number BY-196  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Turboprop  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Narrabri, NSW  
Destination Sydney, NSW  
Last update 14 November 2018