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ATSB investigates 737 descent below safe altitude incident

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating an incident where a Boeing 737-300 freighter flew below the lowest safe altitude while attempting to land at Launceston on 17 June.

The ATSB says the Express Freighters Australia-operated 737 (registration VH-XMO) was conducting a missed approach procedure when it “diverted off the published heading and flew below the lowest safe altitude”.

The incident occurred at 01:52 local time, and the aircraft was inbound from Melbourne.

It adds that the Bureau will interview the flight crew involved, and gather additional data. The expected completion of the investigation has been set for January 2017.

Express Freighters Australia is a Qantas subsidiary that operates dedicated freighters. Flightglobal’s Fleets Analyzer shows that the particular 737 involved was built in 1987 for Qantas, and was converted to a freighter in 2006.

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