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Summary

Summary

On 27 August 2008 at 1238 Eastern Standard Time, a solo student pilot in a Cessna Aircraft Company A150M aircraft, registered VH-UPY (UPY), and a student pilot and instructor in a Piper Aircraft Corp PA-28-161 aircraft, registered VH-CGT (CGT), were flying about 3 km north-west of Moorabbin Aerodrome, Victoria.

The pilot of UPY conducted a touch-and-go on runway 31 left (31L) at Moorabbin as CGT was entering the control zone from the north-west at 1,000 ft above mean sea level (AMSL) to join the circuit on left downwind for runway 31L. As CGT approached the circuit pattern, the student pilot saw UPY, very close and climbing from his left on a collision course, and took avoiding action. However, the two aircraft collided, resulting in UPY colliding with terrain and fatal injuries to the solo student pilot.

In the time leading up to the collision, the air traffic controller workload had been high and relevant traffic information was not issued to the pilots in sufficient time to assist self‑separation. The investigation identified that the design of the then Moorabbin Aerodrome General Aviation Aerodrome Procedures (GAAP) airspace did not provide lateral or vertical separation between traffic flows, and that this increased the risk of a midair collision. In addition, Airservices Australia (Airservices) had not acted on a number of internal recommendations to manage a gradual increase in operations at Moorabbin.

As a result of this investigation, Airservices have undertaken a review of their internal processes for reviewing safety performance. In addition, as a result of a number of midair collisions in the vicinity of GAAP aerodromes, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) undertook several reviews of GAAP leading to improved training procedures and, as an interim measure, restrictions on the number of aircraft in the circuit. On 3 June 2010, CASA implemented Class D airspace procedures at all GAAP aerodromes throughout Australia.

 
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