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Just released ATSB report: Safety actionAs a result of its developing understanding of the occurrence, the ATSB has commenced the following safety action:

Safety forum regarding the provision of operational information

The ATSB is planning to convene a safety forum in respect of the provision of operational information to the flight crews in this occurrence, and more generally. This forum is planned to include representatives from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Airservices Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology, the operators of VH-YIR and VH-VYK, and other relevant parties.

Reliability of aviation weather forecasts

As a result of this and other occurrences involving observed but not forecast weather, the ATSB has commenced research investigation AR-2013-200 Reliability of aviation weather forecasts. This investigation will analyse Bureau of Meteorology data across Australian airports, with a focus on those supporting regular public transport operations, and is subject to the availability of long-term data holdings of aviation forecasts and observations.
The investigation is continuing and will:

  • examine the accuracy of aviation meteorological products in Australia
  • examine the procedures used to provide information to flight crews from air traffic services and management of changes to those procedures
  • examine the provision by the operators of information to the respective flight crews
  • examine the relevant recorded data
  • review the distribution, dissemination and sharing of operational information to the aviation industry as stipulated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, and enacted by Airservices Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology.

The final report is anticipated for release to the public by June 2014.

Local News folllows and note on Heavy landing and return to BN for maintenance:

Fog closes in on Mildura Airport – full blown emergency as Boeing jet lands safely

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A Boeing 737-800 Virgin Australia jet aircraft made a heavy but safe landing at its second attempt in foggy conditions at Mildura Airport on Tuesday morning.

The aircraft with 91 passengers on board had attempted to land a few minutes earlier but the pilot was unable to do so and flew over the strip.
The pilot then hit the emergency button, alerting authorities who triggered the mechanism for Police, Fire Brigade and SES crews to rush to the airport.
The pilot had reported that the aircraft, believed to be en route from Brisbane to Melbourne, was short of fuel and with both Adelaide and Melbourne airports closed because of fog, the only option was to make an emergency landing at Mildura.
A few minutes beforehand a 168 seat Qantas 737-800 which was heading towards Adelaide, took the option to land at Mildura and did so safely at its first attempt.
With emergency vehicles in place the Virgin flight came into land and it safely touched down, although the landing was described by airport authorities as being “heavy”.
Mildura Airport Chief Executive Officer Bill Burke said that he had been at the front of the terminal building when the Pilot made his first attempt at landing.
“The fog came in suddenly around 9.30am and hung around for about an hour,” he said. “For a short time it was as foggy as it gets at the airport and the pilot did a magnificent job with the landing.”
Mr Burke said that when the pilot came in for his second landing the conditions were probably a little bit better than at the time of his first unsuccessful attempt.”
Mr Burke said he could not see the Virgin jet in the air during its approach but he could certainly hear it as came in low in an attempt to land.”
“The second time the conditions were a little clearer and we watched him touch down.”
Mr Burke also praised airport and airline staff who had joined together and rallied to the occasion of a full blown emergency situation.
“It was a full professional response form everyone involved and the outcome was excellent.”
Passengers on the Qantas jet remained on board their aircraft and after about 90 minutes when the sunny weather had returned the aircraft resumed its journey.
The 91 passengers aboard the Virgin Aircraft were off loaded at the Mildura terminal where they waited for the regular Melbourne to Mildura service to arrive.
Virgin Australia had replaced the regular E190 aircraft with a bigger 737-800 which resulted in three large jet aircraft having landing at Mildura on the one day.
The replacement aircraft on the Mildura run allowed for the 91 passengers stranded here from the Brisbane flight to resume their journey along with those passengers already booked to fly from Mildura to Melbourne.
The Virgin 737 which had experienced the heavy landing remained at the Mildura airport until late Tuesday afternoon and was then flown back to Brisbane to undergo maintenance.

ABC News ABC News

Virgin plane makes emergency landing at Mildura

Updated Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:59pm AEST

Mildura Airport has commended the crew of a Virgin Australia flight that was forced to make an emergency landing in heavy fog this morning.

The Boeing 737 was carrying 85 passengers and 6 crew on a flight from Brisbane to Adelaide when it was diverted to Mildura because of fog.

Then a second plane, a Qantas flight from Melbourne, was also diverted to the airport.

That caused problems because there was also heavy fog at Mildura.

Mildura Airport chief executive, Bill Burke, says the two planes circled for a while before the Virgin flight declared a formal emergency because it was running low on fuel.

“(It was) quite nasty when they both got here,” he said.

“Unfortunately, (the Virgin) flight was running low on fuel so they had to come in and they declared a formal emergency.

“That was just part of the process but they got in safely. Great work by the crew and excellent flying.”

One passenger says they tried to land but could not because it was too foggy.

“So we quickly went back up again,” he said.

Another man said it was a scary situation.

“When the plane was coming in we were all so close (to landing) then it took off again. So it was pretty nerve-wracking,” he said.

“Then we were told to resume brace position because we were going to go in for a landing and the captain and crew at the back were heads down stay alert.”

The Qantas flight also landed safely.

Topics: accidents, air-and-space, mildura-3500, melbourne-3000, adelaide-5000

First posted Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:46am AEST


Passengers on board a flight forced to make an emergency landing in regional Victoria say they were told to brace for a
bumpy landing.

The Virgin Airlines 737, carrying 91 passengers, was travelling from Brisbane but was unable to land in Adelaide due to heavy
It was diverted to Mildura, but encountered similar issues.
After two aborted attempts to land, the crew made an emergency declaration, and emergency services were sent to the

A further report and the Prime news report.

Yahoo!7 with AAP
Updated June 18, 2013, 1:09 pm

The plane landed safely, much to the relief of those on board who were told to brace on touch down.
One passenger told 7News: “When we made a successful landing, the Virgin air hostesses were saying ‘brace now, brace now’.”
Another shaken passenger said it was a ‘nerve-wracking’ situation.
“We were pretty much called to go into brace position because we were going in for a landing,” he said. “The cabin crew at the back were like ‘heads down, stay low’.”
All 85 passengers and six crew members disembarked safely shortly after 10am.
A Virgin Australia spokesman told AAP the request for priority landing was made because the plane was running low on fuel, and because of the difficult weather conditions.
All passengers would be transferred to Adelaide by Tuesday evening, the spokesman said.
A Mildura Airport spokesman said a Qantas flight was also diverted to Mildura on Tuesday and landed without incident.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau says it is collecting information about the incident, and may conduct a formal