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Occurrence investigations commenced from 1 July 2003 are initially categorized as level 4 unless agreed by the ATSB Executive to be above this level at the outset. As detailed in Section 21 (2) of the TSI Act 2003, the Executive Director is empowered to discontinue an investigation at any time. Section 21 (3) of the TSI Act 2003 requires the Executive Director to publish a statement setting out the reasons for discontinuing an investigation (commenced from 1 July 2003) within 28 days of discontinuing the investigation.

An investigation was commenced into a level 4 occurrence involving a Piper PA-24 aircraft, registered VH-EKB, that was cleared to conduct an instrument approach to Essendon Airport on 26 October 2007. At the time, air traffic controllers were concerned that the aircraft was below the glide path for the instrument approach. The preliminary investigation found that the aircraft became clear of cloud and the pilot was flying visually, but had not notified air traffic control (ATC) of this. The pilot was only recently rated to fly in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) and had originally planned for a visual arrival into Essendon Airport, however the weather conditions had deteriorated. During the investigation, the pilot was advised to ensure that he kept air traffic control aware of the progress of the flight and any subsequent changes. As the circumstances were considered not likely to have significant implications for transport safety compared with other priorities, the Executive Director has discontinued the investigation.

Status: Downgraded the occurrence to level 5

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