On 24 March 2010, at about 1235 Eastern Standard Time, a Cessna Aircraft Company 208B (Caravan), registered VH-WZJ, was descending through cloud inbound to Horn Island aerodrome, Queensland (Qld), when the pilot received an aural traffic warning on the Caravan's traffic advisory system. The system indicated that an aircraft was 200 ft below and 3 NM (5.6 km) ahead of the Caravan. Communications were established with the pilot of a Pilatus Britten-Norman BN2A-26 (Islander), registered VH-WRR, who was transiting the area, and was confirmed as the conflicting aircraft.
In response, the pilot of the Caravan reported commencing a climb, and at this point observed the Islander pass to the right of the aircraft. The pilot of the Islander also reported sighting the Caravan pass above and to the right of his aircraft. It was estimated that the distance between the two aircraft was about 50 m. As a result of this incident, the following safety actions are being considered:
- The operator of the Islander is considering changing its procedures so that all flights conducted within the Torres Strait, in marginal weather conditions, are carried out under instrument flight rules (IFR).
- The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is reviewing the two discrete frequencies currently assigned to the Horn Island and Northern Peninsula aerodrome Common Traffic Advisory Frequencies (Radio) ((CTAF(R)).