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Brakes 'slammed', take-off aborted as plane comes in to land in Canberra


Ross Peake, Hamish Boland-Rudder

Virgin says one of its aircraft was travelling at only taxi speed when it had to abort its take-off at Canberra Airport on Monday.

The 68-seater turboprop aircraft had several hundred metres in which to pull up after air traffic control cancelled its take-off clearance, a spokesman said.

The pilot of flight VA631 took longer than usual to apply full power and by the time the aircraft was about to accelerate down the main runway, a light aircraft was coming in to land on the cross strip.

The larger aircraft stopped, backtracked on the main runway, then took off and arrived in Sydney on schedule, the spokesman said.

''It had been travelling at 10 to 20km/h, taxiing speed, when it had to stop,'' he said.

In a statement, Air Services Australia said the incident was not a near miss.

''Air traffic control cancelled the take-off clearance for a Virgin plane that was slow to roll on the main runway at Canberra as an

approaching plane was due to land on the cross runway.

''The cancellation is a routine procedure in response to the slow movement of the aircraft.

''The Virgin aircraft was reissued a clearance a few minutes later when it was safe for the aircraft to depart,'' Air Services Australia said.

Airport managing director Stephen Byron said he did not usually comment on routine matters but he was making a public comment because of the treatment of the incident on radio.

''There was a Virgin aircraft that was given clearance to depart on the main runway and, for some reason, the pilot took a little bit of time to commence rolling forward,'' he told Fairfax Media.

''Air traffic control cancelled the clearance and the plane had to pull up promptly because there was another plane landing on the cross runway.''

Earlier on Monday, a Twitter user described the experience as “scary” and said the aircraft’s brakes were “slammed on”.

12 comments so far

  • I wasn't like on the plane or anything, but I bet it did a sik broady, smoke billowing off the tyres and driftin like those cars in Tokio drift. Passengers on the starboard side like lookin straight forward, then the captain reefed on the handbrake and and flicked the tail round 180 degrees, hit the gas and drifted it right onto the taxi way. Nuts eh.

    Date and time
    September 23, 2013, 10:45AM
    • COOL ekib, COOL.

      Date and time
      September 23, 2013, 11:49AM
    • Maybe his name was Tony who Aborted the takeoff of the plane and the economy.

      Good Logic
      Date and time
      September 23, 2013, 12:26PM
    • And then got pulled over by PC Plod who gave the pilot a fine and impounded the plane and made everyone walk home.

      Bad boys bad boys
      Date and time
      September 23, 2013, 1:31PM
  • Ekib, I don't know what you are taking, but don't try to drive in that state.
    Aussie Air Traffic Controllers who work in Hong Kong have the perfect Radio Call for aircraft that take too long to start their Take-Off roll. "Either Take-Off or Get Off" in a broad Aussie accent.

    Date and time
    September 23, 2013, 12:12PM
    • I was on the plane and it was quite startling. We had just begun accelerating and then fairly abruptly came to a stop. Everyone watched this small plane fly in front of us and land. I don't know what classifies a 'near miss' but had the pilot not aborted, I would hate to think of what could have happened. It was a fairly uneasy feeling for the passengers on board.

      Date and time
      September 23, 2013, 12:23PM
      • The pilot didn't "abort", the clearance was cancelled so he stopped short of the cross runway as he was required to do.

        Date and time
        September 23, 2013, 1:05PM
    • If it were a Qantas aircraft it would be front page news....

      Date and time
      September 23, 2013, 12:30PM
      • If it was a Qantas plane the pilots would have kept going and demanded the other plane give way to them and go around.

        Date and time
        September 23, 2013, 1:13PM
    • 'Slam on the brakes' really! Did he run a red light too? Was he speeding? Did he almost roll over? Did he skid off the road? ...seriously...pilots apply toe brakes, deploy spoilers and apply reverse thrust! ...there is no such thing as road traffic speak of 'slamming on brakes'

      Skid marks
      Date and time
      September 23, 2013, 1:06PM

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