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A de Havilland Canada DHC-8, VH-TQT, was inbound to Mildura from Melbourne and overflew a glider that was crossing from left to right. At the time, TQT was descending through 7,300 ft and the crew had made inbound and top of descent broadcasts. The aircraft, which were outside controlled airspace, passed within an estimated 30 to 60 m. VH-TQT was on the area frequency 122.1 MHz and the glider, VH-GDJ, was on the glider frequency 122.7 MHz.

AIP Australia ENR 5.5, paragraph 1.1.3, states: "Except for operations in controlled airspace, gliding operations may be conducted no-radio, or may be on frequencies 122.5MHZ, 122.7MHZ or 122.9MHZ, which have been allocated for use by gliders. Unless otherwise authorised, gliding operations in controlled airspace must be conducted using the appropriate air traffic control frequency. Radio equipped gliders at non-controlled aero-dromes will use the MBZ frequency or CTAF. Whenever possible, when operating above 5,000 ft AMSL outside a MBZ or CTAF area, glider pilots are expected to listen out on the area VHF and announce if in potential conflict."

Consequently, in the circumstances of this occurrence, the glider pilot was "expected to listen out on the area VHF" but was not required to do so.

The pilots of both aircraft advised that, from the time of sighting of the other aircraft, they had no time to take avoiding action.

 

LOCAL ACTION

The Chief Flying Instructor of the Sunraysia Gliding Club has liaised with the Manager Flight Safety of Southern Australia Airlines on the development of procedures to prevent a recurrence of this incident.

As a result of this and other occurrences the Bureau of Air Safety Investigation is currently investigating a safety deficiency. The deficiency relates to the appropriateness of gliders and other sports aviation aircraft not being on an area frequency when flying above 5,000 ft. Any safety output issued as a result of this analysis will be published in the Bureau's Quarterly Safety Deficiency Report.

 
General details
Date: 04 February 1999 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1603 hours ESuT Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location   (show map):28 km SE Mildura, Aero. Occurrence type:Near collision 
State: Victoria Occurrence class: Airspace 
Release date: 24 September 1999 Occurrence category: Incident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: None 
 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: de Havilland Canada 
Aircraft model: DHC-8 
Aircraft registration: VH-TQT 
Serial number: 349 
Type of operation: Air Transport Low Capacity 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Melbourne, VIC
Destination:Mildura, VIC
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Grob - Burkhart Flugzeugbau 
Aircraft model: G102 
Aircraft registration: VH-GDJ 
Serial number: 1298 
Type of operation: Gliding 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Yamba, VIC
Destination:Balranald, NSW
 
 
 
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Last update 13 May 2014