Aviation safety investigations & reports

Separation issue involving a de Havilland Canada DHC-8-102, VH-TNG and Mcdonnell Douglas Corp. F/A-18A, 2km NW Williamtown, Non Directional Beacon, NSW on 13 July 1998

Investigation number:
199802719
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Summary

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A DeHavilland Canada DHC-8 (Dash 8) had been cleared to takeoff on runway 30, with a request to make an early right turn to track to Point Lookout. The aircraft was rolling when the crew heard traffic information being issued by the aerodrome controller to an inbound formation of three McDonnell Douglas F-18A (Hornet) fighter aircraft. The Dash 8 crew also heard the controller advise the formation pilots that an early "pitch" (a 180 degree turn onto downwind) was available. The Dash 8 crew subsequently commenced a right turn at about 350 ft. At an altitude of about 700 ft they saw a Hornet to their right, passing from left to right about 300 ft higher than them. The Dash 8 crew arrested their rate of climb as the Hornet passed over them and was lost from view. It was subsequently determined that the Hornet pilots had sighted the Dash 8 prior to entering the circuit at 1,500 ft. The first two aircraft were able to "pitch" early, passing behind the Dash 8. The third Hornet commenced to "pitch" just astern of the Dash 8 but overtook that aircraft during the turn. The Hornet pilot assessed that the Dash 8 was at approximately 700 ft, with a moderate rate of climb, and that adequate vertical separation would be maintained. The aerodrome controller did not use separation assurance techniques to establish separation between the departing Dash 8 and the arriving fighters. As a result, separation became reliant on the judgement of the Hornet pilots, rather than by the use of air traffic control traffic conflict strategies.
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 14KB]
 
 
 
General details
Date: 13 July 1998   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 11:27 EST    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Separation issue  
Release date: 30 April 1999   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final    

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer de Havilland Canada  
Aircraft model DHC-8-102  
Aircraft registration VH-TNG  
Sector Turboprop  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Williamtown NSW  
Destination Coolangatta Qld  

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer McDonnell Douglas Corp.  
Aircraft model F/A-18A  
Aircraft registration UNKNOWN  
Sector Other  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Williamtown NSW  
Destination Williamtown NSW