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The pilot of VH-LHF was on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight in instrument meteorological conditions and was conducting a NDB/DME instrument approach procedure for the descent and approach into Moorabbin. When the aircraft was about eight kilometres from the airfield and on the inbound leg of the approach, the Melbourne Radar Advisory Service (RAS) controller observed a radar return from an opposite direction aircraft about four kilometres ahead. Both aircraft were in uncontrolled airspace. VH-LHF was descending through 1,200 ft and the altitude readout for the other aircraft indicated it was at 1,000 ft. The RAS controller passed traffic information on the unidentified aircraft to the pilot of VH-LHF, who altered heading to turn away from the other aircraft. The other aircraft was operating under visual flight rules (VFR) procedures and was tracking outbound from Moorabbin, just below the cloud base. There is no instruction to require VFR aircraft to remain clear of the instrument approach track for the Moorabbin NDB approach. However, written instructions for departures (both VFR and IFR) into uncontrolled airspace include a statement to track clear of VFR approach points. IFR approach procedures allow appropriately qualified pilots to safely descend in non-visual conditions and, on occasions, such approaches are used in visual conditions. Since January 1992 there have been six reported occurrences of VFR aircraft conflicting with regular public transport aircraft making IFR approaches. The problem of possible confliction between IFR aircraft on instrument approaches and VFR aircraft exists at many locations where instrument approach procedures are used outside controlled airspace. The situation is compounded by the fact that most VFR pilots are not familiar with instrument approach procedures, do not have access to instrument approach charts and are, therefore, usually unaware of the location of instrument approach flight paths. The existing publications for VFR pilots do not provide information on the locations, directions and altitudes of instrument approach tracks. Overseas, VFR charts show the tracks of IFR approaches. The inbound final instrument approach tracks to Australian aerodromes could be included in a publication to which all VFR pilots have access. SIGNIFICANT FACTORS 1. There was no information provided to VFR pilots as to the position of instrument approach tracks. 2. There was no statement to require VFR pilots to remain clear of instrument approach flight paths. SAFETY ACTION As a result of the investigation, the following interim recommendation was issued to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and Air Services Australia: IR950206 The Bureau of Air Safety Investigation recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority: (i) publish details of final inbound instrument approach paths at aerodromes in a format to assist VFR pilots in avoiding these areas; and, (ii) highlight to VFR pilots the need for caution and vigilance when operating in the vicinity of the final instrument approach legs at aerodromes containing a published instrument approach. The following response was received from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority on 11 September 1996: "I refer to your interim recommendation IR950206 concerning the incident involving PA31-350, VH-LHF, and PA34-200, VH-PCP at Moorabbin on 3 June 1995. The following comments are forwarded for your consideration. To be practically utilised in flight by VFR pilots, details of the final track of instrument approaches need to be depicted on a navigational chart. Current navigation charts are either not able to accommodate the inclusion of this information or, in the case of VTC, there is insufficient coverage. However, as part of the Airservices/Defence joint charting program, work is progressing in evaluating the production of a 1:500,000 visual navigation chart (VNC) which could be a suitable chart for provision of the information." The following response was received from Air Services Australia on 29 August 1996: "With regard to the publication of instrument approaches on charts to assist VFR pilots, as discussed in IR950206, I understand that CASA is in the process of reviewing this recommendation. In addition, publication of instrument approaches on charts is currently under discussion in the Airspace 2000 proposals on pages 36 and 68 of the document titled "Airspace 2000 - A Plan for the Future of Australian Airspace"." Response Status - OPEN
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General details
Date: 03 June 1995 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 10:35 EST Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
 Occurrence type:Near collision 
 Occurrence class: Airspace 
Release date: 05 October 1996 Occurrence category: Incident 
Report status: Final  
 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-31-350 
Aircraft registration: VH-LHF 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Essendon VIC
Destination:Essendon VIC
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-34-200 
Aircraft registration: VH-PCP 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Moorabbin VIC
 
 
 
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Last update 21 October 2014