Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 aircraft landing and taxiing.
Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 aircraft landing and taxiing. Jay Cronan

Boeing 737 aquaplanes across Gold Coast runway on landing

A VIRGIN Australia flight aquaplaned towards the edge of the runway on touchdown at Gold Coast Airport last Monday night, before the pilots regained control.

The Boeing 737 had encountered severe wind conditions and turbulence on final approach to the airport, but the landing went ahead regardless.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has begun investigations into the "weather related event", which occurred at 10.35pm DST on a flight from Canberra.

"During the landing, the aircraft encountered windshear and moderate turbulence," the ATSB said.

"Upon touchdown, the aircraft aquaplaned towards the left side of the runway before the crew regained control."

A Virgin Australia spokesperson confirmed that the incident had occurred and that investigations were underway.

"It is being investigated and we will let that investigation take its course," the spokesperson said.

The Virgin spokesperson said they were not aware of any passengers affected by the landing.

An Air Services Australia (ASA) spokesperson said that wind would have made landing difficult.

"The wind was the problem, it was that strong," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that ASA did not have the final decision on whether pilots should attempt landings.

"We provide them directions…but it's up to the pilot to decide whether to land," the spokesperson said.

"If the pilot decides to land it's up to them and the airline."

Severe weather as a result of ex-cyclone Oswald meant that earlier on Monday most flights had been cancelled

The lack of an instrument landing system at the airport may have contributed to the flight cancellations.

ATSB said the plane was not damaged during the landing.

The investigation into the incident is expected to be completed by April.



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