Aviation safety investigations & reports

Runway incursion involving Airbus A320, VH-VGI, and Fokker F27, VH-FKV, Adelaide Airport, SA, on 17 August 2016

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Final Report

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On 17 August 2016, at about 0926 Central Standard Time (CST), an Alliance Airlines Fokker F27 MK 50 aircraft (Fokker 50), registered VH-FKV (FKV), and operating with callsign ‘Unity 3201’, landed on runway 12 at Adelaide Airport, South Australia (SA) after a flight from Olympic Dam, SA. The flight crew consisted of a captain seated in the left seat and a check captain seated in the right seat acting as the first officer. At the end of runway 12, FKV exited onto taxiway D2.

At 0927:46, the aerodrome controller (ADC) cleared a Jetstar Airbus A320 aircraft, registered VH-VGI (VGI), to land on runway 23.

At 0927:49, the surface movement controller (SMC) said ‘Unity 3201 hold short of runway 23, I’ve got you going to 50 golf’. The check captain of FKV reported that the start of the transmission from the SMC was over-transmitted and what they heard was ‘runway 23 and I’ve got you for bay 50 golf’. As the instruction included the parking bay, the check captain thought the SMC had instructed them to ‘cross runway 23…’ and read back ‘cross runway 23 to 50 golf, Unity 3201’. The SMC thought the pilot read back ‘short runway 23...’ and assumed that the word ‘hold’ had been ‘clipped’.

The captain (in the left seat) of FKV taxied the aircraft onto runway 23 to cross.

At 0928:21, the SMC called ‘hold short’ and immediately realising that was not the correct instruction, said ‘Unity expedite expedite Unity’. The SMC then observed the A320 in the go-around. 

The captain of FKV continued to taxi the aircraft across the runway and did not sight the A320 at any time. The A320 (VGI) returned to land without further incident.

This incident highlights the importance of pilots looking carefully for aircraft or other hazards before entering an active runway. It also highlights the importance of controllers and pilots using the correct phraseology and challenging instructions that they have not heard or understood fully.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 54

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General details
Date: 17 August 2016   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 09:28 CST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Adelaide Airport    
State: South Australia   Occurrence type: Runway incursion  
Release date: 22 November 2016   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus  
Aircraft model A320-232  
Aircraft registration VH-VGI  
Serial number 4466  
Operator Jetstar Airways  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Melbourne, Vic.  
Destination Adelaide, SA  

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer Fokker B.V.  
Aircraft model F27 MK 50  
Aircraft registration VH-FKV  
Serial number 20303  
Operator Alliance Airlines  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Turboprop  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Olympic Dam, SA  
Destination Adelaide, SA  
Last update 14 November 2018