Aviation safety investigations & reports

Procedures-related event - VH-VYC, VH-TIX, Townsville Airport QLD, 27 August 2007

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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At about 1717 Eastern Standard Time on 27 August 2007, a student pilot and an instructor in a Cessna Aircraft Company C172 (172), registered VH-TIX, were operating in the circuit area as the crew of a Boeing Company B737-838 (737), registered VH- VYC, was conducting a runway 01 instrument landing system (ILS) approach at Townsville Airport, Qld. The pilot of the 172 was cleared for takeoff and to make a right circuit on runway 07 from a position about 700 m along the runway. The 737 was about 1.2 NM from the runway 01 threshold and descending through 400 ft at that time.

The 737 landed on runway 01 and, as it crossed the extended centreline of runway 07, the pilot observed the 172 to pass in close proximity. Radar data and pilot estimates indicated that the 172 passed about 150 m behind the 737 at an altitude of about 100 ft. There was no separation assurance.

As a result of this incident, the local procedures at Townsville were amended to require the application of the Manual of Air Traffic Services (MATS) 4.8.9 Take-off Behind Landing or Departing Aircraft on Intersecting Runways separation standard between aircraft departing runway 07 and aircraft landing or departing runway 01/19 at Townsville. In addition, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) implemented an audit project to examine the compliance of Australian Defence Force (ADF) air traffic services, instructions and procedures with civil requirements.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 1.52MB]
General details
Date: 27 August 2007   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1715 EST   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Townsville Airport    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Loss of separation  
Release date: 01 June 2009   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 172  
Aircraft registration VH-TIX  
Serial number 17263483  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Townsville  
Departure time nk  
Destination Townsville  

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 737  
Aircraft registration VH-VYC  
Serial number 33991  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point nk  
Departure time nk  
Destination Townsville, Qld  
Last update 03 April 2020