Webtrak image of Tiger at 814 feet and over the runway before climbing away

This story has been superseded by the later post above.

Tiger Airways in under investigation by the ATSB for another illegally low flight, this time near Avalon Airport last night.

It is already under scrutiny for busting the lowest safe minimum altitude during an approach to Melbourne Airport at night on June 7.

This is what the ATSB said this afternoon.

The ATSB is investigating an incident involving a Tiger Airways A320 aircraft that was reported to have descended below the published minimum altitude while conducting an approach to Avalon Airport, Victoria in the late hours of Thursday, 30 June 2011.

As part of its investigation, the ATSB will:

  • interview crew members and air traffic control personnel
  • examine the aircraft’s in-flight recorders and air traffic control recorded data
  • examine the operator’s policy and procedures applicable to the flight.

However the at the time given for the incident by the safety investigator, 11.03 pm, the 180 seat Airbus A320 that was arriving from Sydney is shown on the web track archive as having powered away from Avalon’s runway in a go-around, and is on its way south to a point east of Geelong, after which it reappears on descent from the south, landing just before 11.11 pm.

Tiger Airways was served a show cause notice by CASA, the aviation safety regulator, in March, for having inadequate safety and maintenance related processes in place.

While it complied with the condition of that show cause in responding to CASA within the deadline required to avoid suspension of its air operator certificate, it was recently said by CASA, in evidence to the Senate Inquiry into pilot training and airline safety, to be under examination in relation to the operational changes it has made in response to that show cause.

In this most recent instance, the Tiger flight approached Avalon’s north-south runway from the north, broke off the descent while still around 800 feet above the runway, and climbed away to the south. It had reached 3212 feet at just after 11.03 pm, the time the ATSB says it broke the safe minimum altitude.

Thus the summary of the ATSB investigation doesn’t seem to fit the actual path shown as being flown by the jet.  That aside, it seems Tiger is still in trouble.