A safety report has revealed how an Australian Jetstar flight came within seconds of disaster after a "series of distractions" led to the pilots making a potentially catastrophic mistake.
As flight VH-VQ approached the Ballina airport in May last year an alarm sounded in the cockpit, alerting the pilots to an impending tragedy - they had not deployed the landing gear.
The shocking incident was revealed in a recent Australian Transport Safety Bureau which detailed the day's events and the mistakes made by the flight crew.
The Airbus A320 was approaching the airport when the pilots noticed they were out of position, prompting them to abort the landing and perform a "go-around".
It was on their second approach that they discovered the issue with the landing gear, forcing them to pull up at only 213 metres above the ground.
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According to the report, "a series of distractions" were to blame for the two failed landings.
"During the downwind leg following the first go-around, the flight crew did not select the landing gear down as they had commenced the configuration sequence for landing at the Flaps 3 setting," the report reads.
"Furthermore the flight crew incorrectly actioned the landing checklist, which prevented the incorrect configuration for landing being identified and corrected."
There were no injuries recorded and the plane landed safely on a third attempt.
The report noted that "unexpected events during approach and landing phases can substantially increase what is often a high workload period."
Jetstar gave the pilots and crew "additional training" following the incident, including simulated flying training.