Rex flight from Sydney to Merimbula on the NSW Far South Coast makes a missed approach after runway lights not initialised

Rex flight ZL6139 which departed at 6.41pm from Sydney to Merimbula via Moruya had a small detour on Tuesday April 6, after the flight carried out a missed approach at Merimbula Airport.

The plane that took the missed approach was a Saab340. Photo: Chris Griffiths & The Rex Group.

The plane that took the missed approach was a Saab340. Photo: Chris Griffiths & The Rex Group.

Commercial pilot Peter Whiter from Eden was at his partner's house in Fishpen at the time which is located right under the flight path during the Rex flight's first attempt at landing.

"As I commercial pilot I'm used to air traffic and almost every plane triggers me to wonder what they are doing so and who is flying.

"When I heard that plane I thought 'okthat's the evening REX flight,' but hang on it's not landing, it's actually conducting a missed approach.

"I jumped on the computer and started looking at the app which is live and it shows you what the plane is doing live and thought wow, something has happened, they've gone around!

The flight path taken by Rex flight ZL6139, showing the missed approach at Merimbula airport and then the circling of the plane back around via the inland route. Pitcture: Flightradar24.

The flight path taken by Rex flight ZL6139, showing the missed approach at Merimbula airport and then the circling of the plane back around via the inland route. Pitcture: Flightradar24.

"I think judging by the route of the flight, they do the approach, fly out over Merimbula bay and then they are heading back towards Sydney or Moruya and then they turn left and that looks like they're heading towards Canberra and then they make a left turn which takes them over Bega and then come in and make the approach and then safely land.

The flight followed the typical approach and descended as low as around 500 feet before turning and climbing out to almost 5000 feet of altitude to make its second approach.

On how it would have felt to be a passenger on that flight Mr Whiter said passengers would have felt the descent of the nose of the aeroplane to the ground.

"Then all of a sudden the passengers would have been pushed back in their seats slightly and the nose raising and then it climbs and slowly turns out to the bay over Merimbula and then went North.

While Mr Whiter thinks that the inland route was unusual, it could have been due to a rainstorm or lightning out on the ocean that would have meant the plane had to travel inland before heading back down the coast towards Merimbula to try to re-land the plane.

A Rex plane touching down. Photo: Chris Griffiths & The Rex Group.

A Rex plane touching down. Photo: Chris Griffiths & The Rex Group.

"Neither you or me can see what he was seeing and I'm making judgments based on not having the knowledge of what actually happened."

A REX spokesperson later revealed what really happened.

"Our flight's approach to Merimbula was aborted when the crew determined the runway lights hadn't initialised as expected.

"The runway lights were re-initialised and the aircraft subsequently completed a normal approach and landing."

They did not provide specifics on why the inland route was taken.

This story Rex flight from Sydney to Merimbula makes a missed approach after runway lights not initialised first appeared on Bega District News.