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At approximately 2200 Eastern Daylight-saving Time on 15 December 2005, the pilot of a Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain aircraft, registered VH-HJS, was approaching Bankstown Airport to land on Runway 11.  Following touchdown, the pilot of the Chieftain noticed another aircraft on the right side of the runway and took avoiding action by manoeuvring to the left, off the runway sealed surface and on to the grass, to prevent a collision.  The pilot of the Chieftain reported that the other aircraft appeared to have only a dim tail light on at the time.

Subsequently, the other aircraft was identified as a Piper PA-28-151 Cherokee aircraft, registered VH-LMY.  The pilot of the Cherokee had completed a number of night circuits at Bankstown and reported that he was taxiing on runway 11 following a full stop landing.

At the time of the incident, Bankstown Airport was operating as a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (R) (CTAF - radio required to be carried and used).

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau reviewed the recorded frequency channels for the Bankstown CTAF (R).  The recordings indicated that the pilot of the Chieftain had broadcast his intentions on the Bankstown CTAF (R) during the approach. In addition, transmissions from other traffic and the Bankstown Aerodrome Frequency Response Unit (ARFU) were recorded.

However, there were no recorded transmissions from the pilot of the Cherokee on the Bankstown CTAF (R).

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 84KB]
 
 
 
 

At approximately 2200 Eastern Daylight-saving Time on 15 December 2005, the pilot of a Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain aircraft, registered VH-HJS, was approaching Bankstown Airport to land on Runway 11.  Following touchdown, the pilot of the Chieftain noticed another aircraft on the right side of the runway and took avoiding action by manoeuvring to the left, off the runway sealed surface and on to the grass, to prevent a collision.  The pilot reported that the other aircraft appeared to have only a dim tail light on at the time.

Subsequently, the other aircraft was identified as a Piper PA-28-151 Cherokee aircraft, registered VH-LMY.  The pilot of the Cherokee had completed a number of night circuits at Bankstown and reported that he was taxiing on runway 11 following a full stop landing.

At the time of the incident, Bankstown Airport was operating as a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (R) (CTAF - radio required to be carried and used).

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau reviewed the recorded frequency channels for the Bankstown CTAF (R).  The recordings indicated that the pilot of the Chieftain had broadcast his intentions on the Bankstown CTAF (R) during the approach. In addition, transmissions from other traffic and the Bankstown Aerodrome Frequency Response Unit (ARFU) were recorded.

The pilot of the Cherokee reported that he had listened to the information from the aerodrome Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) prior to commencing circuits. During the circuit training, he reported that he had made all the normal transmissions on the Bankstown CTAF (R), but did not hear any transmissions from other aircraft or the Bankstown ARFU. However, there were no recorded transmissions from the pilot of the Cherokee on the Bankstown CTAF (R).

The owner of the Cherokee reported that the aircraft radio equipment functioned correctly with no unserviceability reported and that the aircraft was equipped with functional lights, including navigation, anti-collision and strobe lights.  The pilot of Cherokee reported that all lights were on at the time of the incident.

ATSB Comment

The investigation was unable to determine why the transmissions from the pilot of the Cherokee were not recorded on the Bankstown CTAF (R), but it is likely that that an inadvertent mis-selection of the radio was made at some time after the pilot listened to the Bankstown ATIS. The investigation was also unable to rationalise the difference in evidence from the pilots of each the aircraft regarding the aircraft lighting on the Cherokee.

 

As a result of this occurrence, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has advised the Australian Transport Safety Bureau that they intend to take the following actions:

CASA will consider whether that 'beep back' equipment should be mandated for all Common Air Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) and CTAF (R) aerodromes and whether a full tower service when night circuit training is taking place should also be mandated, especially during ab-initio circuit training by solo students.

 
General details
Date: 15 December 2005 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 2130 ESuT  
Location   (show map):Bankstown Aerodrome Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Separation issue 
Release date: 31 August 2006 Occurrence class: Airspace 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-28 
Aircraft registration: VH-LMY 
Serial number: 28-7615407 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Bankstown NSW
Departure time:2100
Destination:Bankstown NSW
Crew details
RoleClass of licenceHours on typeHours total
Pilot-in-CommandCommercial4201735
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-31 
Aircraft registration: VH-HJS 
Serial number: 31-7652091 
Type of operation: Charter 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Taree NSW
Departure time:2053
Destination:Bankstown NSW
Crew details
RoleClass of licenceHours on typeHours total
Pilot-in-CommandATPL
 
 
 
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Last update 16 February 2016