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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 191895
Last updated: 17 February 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B738 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-8FE (WL)
Owner/operator:Virgin Australia
Registration: VH-VUI
C/n / msn: 34441/2015
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Category:Serious incident
Location:Darwin International Airport, NT (YPDN) -   Australia
Phase: Landing
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Melbourne Airport (MEL/YMML)
Destination airport:Darwin International Airport, NT (YPDN)
Investigating agency: ATSB
On 6 December 2016, with thunderstorm activity in the area, Virgin Australia flight VA1465, a Boeing 737-800 aircraft on a scheduled passenger flight from Melbourne, was on approach to runway 29 at Darwin Airport, Australia. The flight crew established and maintained clear visual reference to the runway and surrounds until they encountered heavy rain shortly before reaching the runway threshold. Under the influence of a light but increasing crosswind, the aircraft drifted right without the flight crew being able to discern the extent of the drift.
The aircraft landed 21 m to the right of the runway centreline and, shortly after touchdown, the right landing gear departed the sealed surface of the runway, destroying six runway lights before the aircraft returned to the runway. The aircraft incurred minor damage from ground debris and there were no injuries.

Contributing factors (ATSB):
- After passing the decision height for the approach, the aircraft drifted under the influence of a slight crosswind and landed 21 m to the right of the runway centreline.
- Due to heavy rain, darkness and limited visual cues, the flight crew did not detect the aircraft’s deviation from the runway centreline prior to landing.
- The absence of centreline lighting and the 60 m width of runway 11/29 at Darwin result in very limited visual cues for maintaining runway alignment during night landings in reduced visibility. [Safety issue]

Weather reported about the incident time (23:03 LT / 13:33Z):
YPDN 061342Z 32011KT 5000 -TSRA FEW010 SCT020 BKN035 FEW020CB 25/24 Q1010 RETS
YPDN 061330Z 29015KT 2000 +TSRA FEW011 BKN020 BKN035 FEW020CB 26/24 Q1010
YPDN 061327Z 29016KT 2000 +TSRA FEW011 BKN020 BKN035 FEW020CB 26/25 Q1010
YPDN 061317Z 23009KT 7000 TSRA FEW018 SCT023 BKN045 FEW023CB 27/25 Q1010
YPDN 061300Z 25007KT 190V310 9999 -TSRA FEW018 SCT023 BKN060 FEW023CB 28/25 Q1009


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 5 months
Download report: Final report


Photo of VH-VUI courtesy

Adelaide - International (YPAD / ADL)
10 February 2020; (c) Gavin Hughes

Flight profile based on ADS-B data

Revision history:

07-Dec-2016 07:42 Pineapple Added
07-Dec-2016 07:55 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Narrative, Photo, ]
07-Dec-2016 07:57 harro Updated [Source, Narrative]
15-May-2019 09:21 harro Updated [Narrative, Photo, Accident report, ]
15-May-2019 10:31 harro Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport]

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