Aviation occurrence briefs

Runway excursion involving a Cessna 501 Citation, Moorabbin Airport, Vic., on 3 January 2020

Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Occurrence Briefs are concise reports that detail the facts surrounding a transport safety occurrence, as received in the initial notification and any follow-up enquiries. They provide an opportunity to share safety messages in the absence of an investigation.

What happened

On 3 January 2020, a Cessna 501 Citation was conducting a private flight with a single pilot and seven passengers from Merimbula, New South Wales to Moorabbin, Victoria. During the instrument approach to runway 35 at Moorabbin in low visibility conditions due to smoke, the pilot became visual with the runway environment at approximately 500 ft. The pilot reported that the aircraft was slightly high and fast compared to the normal landing profile but decided to continue with the landing.

The aircraft touched down past the normal landing point and at a higher than normal speed. Despite the application of maximum braking, the aircraft overran the end of the runway by approximately 20 metres. There were no injuries to the pilot or passengers. The aircraft sustained minor damage.

Pilot comments

In hindsight, my decision should have been to conduct a missed approach and proceed to my planned alternate where the weather was better.

Figure 1: Skid marks on the runway end leading to where the aircraft came to a stop.

Figure 1: Skid marks on the runway end leading to where the aircraft came to a stop. Source: Supplied

Source: Supplied

Figure 2: Skid marks on the runway end into the grass.

Figure 2: Skid marks on the runway end into the grass. Source: Supplied

Source: Supplied

Safety action

As a result of this occurrence, the pilot has advised the ATSB that they are taking the following safety actions:

  • conducting a comprehensive debrief and review of the occurrence with their instructor
  • undertaking further briefing and remedial training, concentrating on decision-making.

Safety message

This incident highlights the need for pilots to have a personal approach minimums checklist including clearly defined unstable approach criteria. If the approach does not meet these criteria or if there is any doubt, pilots should conduct a go-around.

The ATSB SafetyWatch

The ATSB SafetyWatch highlights the broad safety concerns that come out of our investigation findings and from the occurrence data reported to us by industry. One of the safety concerns is inflight decision making.

About this report

Decisions regarding whether to conduct an investigation, and the scope of an investigation, are based on many factors, including the level of safety benefit likely to be obtained from an investigation. For this occurrence, no investigation has been conducted and the ATSB did not verify the accuracy of the information. A brief description has been written using information supplied in the notification and any follow-up information in order to produce a short summary report, and allow for greater industry awareness of potential safety issues and possible safety actions.

General details
Date: 03 January 2020   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1155 EDT    
Location   (show map): Moorabbin Airport    
State: Victoria    
Release Date: 17 February 2020   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 501 Citation  
Type of operation Business  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Minor  
Departure point Merimbula, New South Wales  
Destination Moorabbin, Victoria  
Last update 17 February 2020