Aviation safety investigations & reports

Aircraft proximity event - Pilatus aircraft PC-12, VH-FDK, 50 km NW of Mount Gambier aerodrome, SA, 1 July 2010

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 1 July 2010, an Aeronautica Macchi S.P.A. AL60 aircraft, registered VH-ELI (ELI), departed Devonport, Tasmania (Tas.) for Portee Station, South Australia (SA) with planned refuelling stops at King Island, Tas. and Hamilton, Victoria (Vic.).

While enroute from King Island to Hamilton, the crew observed low cloud along the track and   diverted to Mount Gambier, SA to refuel. After departing Mount Gambier, the crew observed that the left fuel tank gauge was indicating half full. The crew discussed the situation and elected to continue the flight. Also,  the directional gyro had to be aligned twice by the crew due to gyroscopic precession. As a result, the aircraft diverted to the left of the planned track by about 2-4 km. The crew commenced correcting the track when an inbound Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. PC-12/45 aircraft, registered VH‑FDK (FDK), passed to the left in close proximity.

It was estimated that the distance between the two aircraft was between 5 and 15 m horizontally and about 20 ft vertically.

While the operator of FDK determined that their pilot had complied with the required procedures, they advised the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) that they will be conducting an internal education to remind pilots that maintaining a lookout and the use of radio telephony procedures are the primary tools used for traffic separation, supported by the traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS).

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 3.37MB]
Alternate: [Download  DOC: 2.86MB]
General details
Date: 01 July 2010   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1429 CST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 50 km NW of Mount Gambier aerodrome    
State: South Australia   Occurrence type: Near collision  
Release date: 28 January 2011   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft Ltd  
Aircraft model PC-12  
Aircraft registration VH-FDK  
Serial number 466  
Type of operation Medical Transport  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Adelaide, SA  
Destination Mount Gambier, SA  
Last update 14 November 2018