Aviation safety investigations & reports

Runway incursion and communication issues involving Bombardier Dash 8, VH-LQJ, Gladstone, Queensland, on 17 March 2020

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating a runway incursion incident involving a Bombardier DHC-8, VH-LQJ, at Gladstone Aerodrome, Queensland on 17 March 2020.

After commencing taxi and before entering the runway, the flight crew reported making a taxiing call on the local airways frequency. Before entering runway 28 to backtrack for departure, the flight crew reported checking for traffic. Believing there to be no traffic, the flight crew transmitted the intention to enter the runway and backtrack, and then entered the runway. Shortly after entering the runway, the flight crew observed an aircraft climbing overhead at about 300-400 ft in the go-around. The flight crew identified that the incorrect local airways frequency had been set, and changed to the correct frequency. The two aircraft then arranged further separation, and LQJ departed Gladstone for Brisbane.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB has contacted the operators involved, and will obtain available relevant ATC data.

Should any safety critical information be discovered at any time during the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify operators and regulators so appropriate and timely safety action can be taken.

A final report will be published at the conclusion of the investigation.

General details
Date: 17 March 2020   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 0645 AEST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Gladstone Airport   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Runway incursion  
  Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 4th Quarter 2020    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Inc  
Aircraft model DHC-8-402  
Aircraft registration VH-LQJ  
Serial number 4414  
Operator Sunstate Airlines (Qld)  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Turboprop  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Gladstone, Queensland  
Destination Brisbane, Queensland  
Last update 23 March 2020