There was an incident at Canberra Airport (CBR) in Australia last week when a Virgin Australia ATR 72 jet queued up for takeoff on the wrong runway. The plane was stopped by air traffic control whereupon it was directed to the proper runway. The flight proceeded without further incident.

Here is the incident report from The Aviation Herald:

“A Virgin Australia Avions de Transport Regional ATR-72-212A, registration VH-VPJ performing flight VA-669 from Canberra,AC to Sydney,NS (Australia), was taxiing for departure from runway 35 and had been cleared to taxi to holding point Golf for departure from runway 35. Subsequently ATC cleared the aircraft for takeoff from runway 35, the aircraft however lined up runway 30 and was instructed to stop.
”The ATSB reported tower subsequently provided taxi instructions to holding point November for departure from 35, the aircraft departed without further incident. A short investigation was opened into the occurrence rated an incident.”

Simple Flying reports that VA669 is a regular flight that takes off from Canberra—the country’s capital city—at 19:05 and lands in Sydney—the country’s most populous city—one hour later at 20:05, traveling a distance of 124 nautical miles.

The incident is being investigated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). A preliminary statement from ATSB reads:

“The flight crew requested and were issued with a taxi clearance to holding point Golf for a take-off on runway 35. Air traffic control then cleared the aircraft for take-off. The flight crew taxied the aircraft to intersection Golf and then turned on to runway 30 instead of runway 35. The flight crew later advised that, as they turned on to runway 30 they realised something was wrong, and soon after air traffic control advised them to stop. Air traffic control then provided the flight crew with instructions to taxi to holding point November for a departure from runway 35.

“As part of the investigation, the ATSB will interview the flight crew, review data from the aircraft’s flight data recorder and air traffic control recordings, and gather additional information as required.

A report will be released at the end of the investigation. Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify those affected and seek safety action to address the issue.”

The ATR 72 is a twin-engine turboprop short-haul jet first manufactured in 1988 by Franco-Italian company ATR. The ATR 72 airliners flown by Virgin Australia carry up to 68 passengers.