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Plane crew prevented SA airport collision

AAP logoAAP 22/11/2016 Marnie Banger

A quick-thinking Jetstar crew prevented a potentially serious incident at Adelaide Airport when a plane wrongly crossed a runway because its pilot misheard instructions.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau says the pilot of an Alliance aircraft misheard an air traffic controller's direction not to cross a runway set to be used by a Jetstar Airbus A320 with more than 150 people on board on August 17.

The Jetstar plane was coming in to land but the crew spotted the danger and performed a "go-around", so it could land elsewhere.

"The A320 crew are to be commended for their actions in preventing a potentially more serious incident occurring," the ATSB said in its incident report.

Instead of hearing an air traffic controller's instructions to "hold short runway 23 and I've got you for bay 50 golf", the pilot of the Alliance plane, carrying about 50 people, heard only the words after "hold short".

An air traffic controller had similarly misheard a message back from the pilot saying "cross runway 23" as "short runway 23" and thought the word "hold" had just been clipped from the start of the transmission.

As it was crossing the runway, the Alliance crew did not see the Jetstar plane coming.

The ATSB said the incident should remind pilots to look carefully for aircraft or other hazards before entering an active runway.

The bureau has also stressed the importance of controllers and flight crews using the right terminology and challenging instructions they did not hear fully.

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