The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) yesterday issued a reminder about the importance of checking NOTAMs after the pilot of a Citation Mustang jet landed on a closed runway at Temora.
Mustang VH-MSU was on a private flight from Sunshine Coast to Essendon in October last year when it landed on closed runway 18 at Temora Airport to refuel. The pilot had been planning to land on 05, but swapped to 18 without checking the NOTAMs.
The pilot, who had made a straight-in approach to 18 saw the runway markers a long way ahead on touchdown, but judged the aircraft would pull up before they were reached, so elected not to go around. They exited the runway without further incident.
"When checking the NOTAMs for Temora, the pilot dismissed notices that were deemed irrelevant to the planned flight, which was intended to land on runway 05 due to forecast weather conditions,” ATSB Director Transport Safety Dr Stuart Godley said.
“This included dismissing a NOTAM detailing that runway 18 at Temora was closed due to works in progress.
“An essential component of pre-flight planning is to check all NOTAMs relevant to the planned flight, and potential changes to the plan. This includes all NOTAMs regarding all aviation facilities that a pilot plans to use."
The ATSB investigation also found that the although white crosses were placed on the runway, they were in locations that weren't visible to pilots making a straight-in approach. The size and number of unserviceability cones placed on the runway did also not conform to CASR Part 139 Manual of Standards.
"Aerodrome operators must ensure all markings displayed for works are in accordance with the current MOS for aerodromes to ensure clear communication of changes that may affect the safety of aircraft operations," Godley said.
The full investigation report is on the ATSB website.