Aviation safety investigations & reports

Saab Aircraft AB SF-340B, VH-KDQ

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


The crew of a Saab 340 were arriving at Sydney from the north-west and had been cleared by air traffic control to make a visual approach to runway 16R. The controlled airspace steps in that sector required the crew to maintain an altitude of 2,500ft until 12 NM, when further descent would be available. As they were passing through 2,400ft, they observed an airship immediately in front and below. The aircraft's traffic alert and collision-avoidance system (TCAS) issued a Resolution Advisory alert and the crew reduced the rate of descent until they had passed the airship.

The airship had been tracking outside controlled airspace at a planned altitude of 1,500ft and was being navigated along the boundary of that airspace which, at that point, was a 12 NM arc based on Sydney airport. The crew was required to remain north-west of that boundary.

Analysis of the recorded data indicated that the airship had marginally infringed controlled airspace and was 11.9 NM from Sydney. The Saab 340 had descended marginally through the 2,500ft limit and was approximately 2,300ft when it passed the airship.

The TCAS actuated based on the reducing altitude differential and provided the crew with timely information on the airship below it.

General details
Date: 16 July 2000   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1623 hours EST    
Location   (show map): 13 km NNW Sydney, Aero.    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 24 October 2001   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer S.A.A.B. Aircraft Co  
Aircraft model 340  
Aircraft registration VH-KDQ  
Serial number 340B-325  
Type of operation Air Transport Low Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Canberra, ACT  
Destination Sydney, NSW  
Last update 13 May 2014