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Actual involvement of #casa, #BOM and #AirServices in failing to properly update the weather changes in a timely and safe manner in #Mildura

Still no report from either #pelAir or #mildura [#atsb said at the time: “…The final report is anticipated for release to the public by June 2014.”] as to what really happened [Incident – 18th June 2013].

The question is:

“How can two aircraft not be notified of serious changes in the weather and visibility at #adelaide airport and be past their respective PNR’s [Point-No-Return] with no suitable alternative landing points?”

The landing at #mildura was below the minima for IFR [Instrument Flight Rules], under which both the Virgin and Qantas 737 jets operated.

What is the actual involvement of #casa, #BOM and AirServices in failing to properly update the weather changes in a timely and safe manner in order for the pilots from QANTAS and Virgin to make a correct decision.

That is the basic question asked by the #PelAir Senate inquiry, which, in it’s conclusion  reached a series of un-answered final report questions by #atsb and interference by the regulator #casa, together with unsafe practices by REX Aviation’s subsidiary, #PelAir.

In this matter, so far, #atsb has not met it’s own deadlines, but maybe the later reports by the Herald-Sun that “….had just 535kg of fuel when it made emergency landing at Mildura…” [see below for report], and the realisation that there was insufficient fuel to go anywhere else has “slowed the report by #atsb”.

Ben Sandilands said:

” Qantas 737 now included in Mildura fog incident inquiry

It isn’t surprising that the ATSB today officially broadened its inquiry into a very low fuel landing by a Virgin Australia 737 at fog bound Mildura airport on 18 June to include a Qantas 737 that made a similar reduced visibility low fuel landing minutes before that incident.

This is shaping up to one of the most important inquiries yet made by the safety investigator, as it involved two mainline jets carrying significant numbers of passengers coming close to a state of fuel exhaustion.

Make up your own mind:

#Mildura report in July 2013


High drama for #Virgin flight



A local Adelaide pilot said: “…YMIA had Prob fog all night. When I was driving out of AD the airport this morning at around 7am there was fog on Sir Donald Bradman drive moving towards the airport and nothing on the TAF all night except an ATIS stating fog patches in area about midnight, then this gem shows up…”:

TAF AMD YPAD 172100Z 1721/1824 05005KT 9999 FEW025 FM180000 VRB05KT
9999 FEW030 SCT045 FM181000 VRB05KT CAVOK
PROB30 1721/1724 0500 FG RMK

No mention of fog on the previous TAF.

At the time the news radio stated that the aircraft was safely on the ground the latest AUTO SPECI for YMIA showed 700m FG OVC 001

So to summarise:

  • Unforecast fog at ADL
  • Diverted to MIA which had probability fog;
  • Arrived MIA to actual fog;
  • No fuel to go anywhere else

How is this worlds best practice?


Weather related operational event involving B737s VH-YIR and VH-VYK at Mildura Airport, Victoria on 18 June 2013

Updated: 25 November 2015

The draft investigation report is in the final stages of review by the ATSB Commission prior to it’s release to directly involved parties (DIP) for comment in December 2015. Feedback from those parties over the 28-day DIP period on the factual accuracy of the draft report will be considered for inclusion in the final report, which is anticipated to be released to the public in March 2016.

Updated: 22 May 2015

As part of its normal procedures, the ATSB has completed its initial review of the investigation and draft investigation report. Additional analysis is underway as a result of this review to further understand the implications for safety of the occurrence. Additional evidence has also been collected and work is underway to integrate relevant aspects of ATSB research investigation AR-2013-200 into the draft report. This will ensure a full understanding by readers of the reliability of Bureau of Meteorology meteorological products and the provision of this information to flight crew and operators.

The draft investigation report is now anticipated for release to directly involved parties (DIP) for comment in the third quarter of calendar year 2015. Feedback from those parties over the 28-day DIP period on the factual accuracy of the draft report will be considered for inclusion in the final report, which is anticipated to be released to the public early 2016.

Updated: 5 June 2014

As forecast in its interim factual report of 19 December 2013, the ATSB convened a safety forum on 31 March 2014 involving a number of industry participants. The forum identified a number of issues, most of which are pertinent to this occurrence and more widely across the aviation industry. These included:

  • differing levels of expectation in relation to the provision of amended meteorological products
  • inconsistencies in standard aviation reference documentation in relation to the use of meteorological products
  • differing levels of understanding and awareness of the availability of meteorological products, including limitations relating to automated weather broadcast systems
  • the effect of international obligations and restrictions on the provision to flight crews of updated weather information
  • limitations associated with the staged introduction of new technologies
  • the need for a coordinated education program to update and deconstruct many long held beliefs and misconceptions within the aviation industry.

The investigation is continuing, with the majority of the initial evidence collection complete. In addition to its analysis of this initial evidence, the ATSB is continuing to work with sections of the aviation industry to enhance its understanding of the issues that were identified at the safety forum and identify any safety issues. This additional work, and any implications for aviation safety, will be included the ATSB’s final investigation report, which is now expected to be released to the public in November 2014.

Should any significant safety issues emerge during the intervening period, the ATSB will immediately bring those issues to the attention of the relevant authorities or organisations and publish them as required.

Virgin plane had just 535kg of fuel when it made emergency landing at Mildura Airport

Virgin scare jet had just 535kg of fuel

Passengers leave a Virgin flight that landed in Mildura due to fog. Picture: Darren Seiler Source: Herald Sun

THE full extent of the low-fuel emergency involving a Virgin Australia passenger plane at Mildura Airport has been revealed in a report which shows the aircraft had just 535kg of fuel when it landed.

The report also shows that the unforecast fog at Mildura was so thick that the first officer had to look out the side-window of the cockpit because visibility at the front of the plane was “virtually non-existent.”

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau yesterday released its preliminary report into the incident on June 18 which saw a Virgin flight with 91 people on board, and a Qantas flight with 152 people, divert to Mildura after being unable to land at Adelaide because of heavy fog.

The Herald Sun has previously revealed that the Virgin plane was forced to land because it did not have enough fuel to divert, and that it had less than 800kg of fuel on board.

The ATSB’s report revealed that by the time the plane landed safely – after an emergency landing which saw the passengers put into the brace positions – it had only 535kg of fuel in its tanks.

When it had departed Brisbane for Adelaide earlier that morning, it had planned to land at Adelaide with 2500kg of fuel, which equated to planned fuel reserves and an additional 30 minutes of fuel.

The Qantas plane, which left from Sydney, had planned to land with 2800kg of fuel, which was planned fuel reserves and an additional 45 minutes.

The report also confirms that information from the automated weather service at Mildura was not available.

The Virgin Australia crew had not been advised of fog problems at Mildura when they diverted from Adelaide.

“As they descended through about 10,000 feet in visual conditions it became obvious to the crew (of the Virgin flight) that they weather conditions were not as reported and there appeared to be fog at Mildura and low cloud in the area,” the report states.

The report also shows that the Qantas crew had indicated to the Virgin crew that “fuel was an issue” for them as they approached Mildura. The Virgin crew “assessing the intent of the radio transmission from the crew of (the Qantas flight) as meaning they had less fuel (than the Virgin flight), allowed the Qantas flight to land first.

However, it was later determined that the Qantas flight had 2100kg of fuel remaining when it pulled off the runway.

The report shows the Virgin flight was so low on fuel it had no option but to land.

“Due to their fuel state, they were required to land from the next approach regardless of conditions,” it stated.

It also said that the “crew could not determine where they were in relation to the length of the runway and flew the aircraft onto the ground.”

Despite a “firm” landing, the plane arrived safely and there were no injuries.

A final report is due by June.

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