Carrying 212 passengers, the AirAsia flight bound for Kuala Lumpur on March 10, 2015, was incorrectly guided to Melbourne after the pilot manually entered the wrong coordinates into the flight’s onboard navigation systems.
It was the first of several errors the flight crew made that day, according to the report (PDF) the Australian Transport Safety Bureau published Wednesday.
Faulty earmuffs prompted the captain and the first officer to swap their preflight duties. The captain usually conducts an external inspection, while the first officer remains in the cockpit to complete preparation procedures.
When manually entering the coordinates of the plane’s position, the pilot incorrectly entered the longitude from a sign outside the cockpit window as 01519.8 east (15 degrees 19.8 minutes east) instead of 15109.8 east (151 degrees 9.8 minutes east), the report said.