Australia's safety authority has found that a Thai Airways International Boeing 777 descended below a safe altitude when it made its approach to Melbourne Airport last November.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) says in its final report into the incident that the Thai Airways 777, registration HS-TJW, was on a non-directional beacon non-precision approach to runway 16 at Melbourne on 4 November but it descended below a segment minimum safe altitude.

This set off two enhanced ground proximity warning system cautions, it says.

At that time, the crew became visual with the ground and the controller observed the aircraft as being unusually low, it says, adding that the crew levelled the aircraft and made a visual approach to land on runway 16. The aircraft was carrying 277 passengers and 17 crew, it adds.

The ATSB says the carrier has responded by implementing a package for continuous descent final approach.

Thai also told the ATSB it has taken several other steps including better cockpit communications during landings, additional training, and emphasising that crew carry out a go-around in case of an unstabilised approach, it says.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news