Australian transport authorities investigate on Thai Airways for flying too low

13:20, July 27, 2011      

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Australian authorities on Wednesday said it has launched an investigation after a Thai Airways jet flew too low over central Melbourne of Australia.

According to Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) data, the Boeing 777-3D7, carrying passengers from Bangkok of Thailand, descended below the minimum permitted altitude, about 11km south of Melbourne Airport, just at 8:19 pm (AEST) on July 24.

It is understood the aircraft flew at about 1,000 feet over the suburb of Sunshine North, when the permitted height was just under 2,000 feet. The 777-3D7 went on to land safely at Melbourne Airport a short time later.

The ATSB called it a serious incident.

"During the approach, the aircraft descended below minimum altitude. The investigation is continuing," the ATSB said in a part-summary of its investigation released on Wednesday.

The investigation is on-going.

The incident follows a decision by Australia Civil Aviation Safety Authority to ground all Tiger Airways flights on July 1 after two of its jets breached safe altitude limits.

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