A Virgin flight was forced to land in foggy Mildura using only its instruments and with a fuel load below the fixed reserve after a weather forecast was wrong.
The Virgin flight and a Qantas plane were on their way to Adelaide in June 2013 when fog forced them to divert to Mildura.
When they arrived in the Victorian town the weather was significantly different to the forecast, so they had to land using instruments only.
The Virgin plane had made a “missed approach” during which the pilots were able to confirm that they were aligned with the runway as they looked directly down.
The Virgin pilots then briefed cabin crew to prepare for an emergency landing, and passengers were told to “brace”.
The Qantas plane’s fuel was not below the fixed reserve, unlike the Virgin flight.
The weather report for Adelaide was also wrong, with the fog there originally tipped to clear when both planes started their trips.
An Australian Transport Safety Bureau report, released on Tuesday, said pilots should be reminded of their responsibility to collect all relevant information to support in-flight decision-making.
“This includes weather and operational information for the destination, which should be considered prior to a decision point or point of no return,” a statement said.e Virgin flight or the 152 people on the Qantas flight were injured.
– with Fairfax Media.