Aviation safety investigations & reports

Take-off from a closed runway involving Fairchild Industries SA226, VH-LDQ, at Gunnedah Airport, New South Wales, on 20 August 2020

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress
Phase: Final report: Internal review Read more information on this investigation phase


The ATSB is investigating an attempted take-off from a closed runway involving Fairchild Industries SA226, VH-LDQ, at Gunnedah Airport, New South Wales, on 20 August 2020.

At about 1225 Eastern Standard Time, the pilot commenced the take-off run on runway 29. The pilot stated observing something on the runway surface in the distance, but thought the areas were patches on the pavement. As the aircraft accelerated, it became apparent that there were two holes excavated from the runway pavement (Figure 1). The pilot attempted to avoid the holes but was unable to clear them with the left main undercarriage.

Figure 1: Pavement work on runway 29

Pavement work on runway 29. Source: Airport operator

Source: Airport operator

The aircraft sustained damage to the left main undercarriage assembly that resulted in it collapsing and the left propeller striking the ground. The aircraft left the runway and came to rest outside the flight strip.

The local council had submitted NOTAM information the previous day to close the airport for runway pavement works between 0700 and 1500 on 20 August 2020. The excavations had been made during the morning of 20 August. A white cross to signify the runway was closed, was in the signal area near the windsock from the closure time stated in the NOTAM – visible for landing aircraft. The pilot noted that there were no visual cues to indicate works in progress.

The evidence collection phase of the investigation will include interviewing aerodrome staff and reviewing pilot statements.

A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation. Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate safety action can be taken.

General details
Date: 20 August 2020   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 12:25 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Gunnedah Airport   Investigation phase: Final report: Internal review  
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Depart/app/land wrong runway  
  Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 3rd Quarter 2021    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Fairchild Industries Inc  
Aircraft model SA226-T  
Aircraft registration VH-LDQ  
Serial number T326  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Turboprop  
Damage to aircraft Minor  
Departure point Gunnedah, New South Wales  
Destination Gold Coast, Queensland  
Last update 28 July 2021