Aviation safety investigations & reports

Cessna Aircraft Company 182G, VH-DFQ

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


A Cessna 182G was climbing to 10,000 ft for a parachute drop over the Warnervale authorised landing area (ALA) while a Twin Otter was operating a regular public transport flight from Aeropelican to Sydney at 6,000 ft outside controlled airspace (OCTA). The airspace above Warnervale ALA was Class G up to 7,500 ft, including a common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) from ground level to 3,000 ft, and Class C above 7,500 ft.

While climbing OCTA, the Cessna pilot broadcast his intentions on the CTAF and area frequencies, but received no replies. When the pilot called Sydney Departures for clearance into Class C airspace above 7,500 ft, the controller advised him of the Twin Otter in his vicinity. The controller then cleared the Cessna to enter the CTA and cleared it to carry out the parachute drop.

Immediately after releasing the parachutists about 1.5 miles west of the drop zone, the Cessna pilot looked back and saw the Twin Otter just south of the drop zone on a southerly heading. He then called the Twin Otter crew and asked if they had seen the parachutes. The Twin Otter crew replied that they had not seen the parachutes and had no prior warning of the drop. The parachutists later reported that they did not see the Twin Otter. The minimum separation between the Twin Otter and the parachutists was estimated to be 1 NM.

Procedures governing parachuting operations from Class C airspace are detailed in AIP OPS SPEC-8 para 95.2.which states;

95.2.2 Where parachutists will leave classes B, C or D airspace on descent, the pilot of the aircraft must broadcast the intention to drop, at least two (2) minutes prior to exit, on the relevant CTAF, Area VHF or MBZ frequency. Notwithstanding that a drop clearance may have been issued, the drop must not proceed if replies to this broadcast (or visual observation) indicate that there is conflicting traffic beneath the CTA. The drop must not proceed until the conflicting traffic is clear.

The controller advised the Cessna pilot of other aircraft in the vicinity of the drop zone in accordance with the AIP requirements. Although aware of the presence of the Twin Otter below, the Cessna pilot did not ensure that the Twin Otter was clear of the drop zone before releasing the parachutists.

General details
Date: 13 July 2001   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1050 hours EST    
Location   (show map): Warnervale, (ALA)    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 27 September 2001   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 182  
Aircraft registration VH-DFQ  
Serial number 18255654  
Type of operation Sports Aviation  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Warnervale, NSW  
Departure time 1030 hours EST  
Destination Warnervale, NSW  
Crew details
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command Commercial 250.0 470

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer de Havilland Canada  
Aircraft model DHC-6  
Aircraft registration VH-KZN  
Serial number 652  
Type of operation Air Transport Low Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Belmont, NSW  
Departure time 1040 hours EST  
Destination Sydney, NSW  
Crew details
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command ATPL
Last update 13 May 2014