Aviation safety investigations & reports

Aircraft proximity event - Beech aircraft 76, VH-RUA, near Ballina/Byron Gateway Aerodrome NSW, 6 October 2010

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 6 October 2010, at about 1200 Eastern Daylight Time[1], a Beech Aircraft Corp 76 (Duchess), registered VH-RUA, was conducting an area navigation global navigation satellite system (RNAV (GNSS)) approach to runway 24 at Ballina/Byron Gateway aerodrome, New South Wales (NSW). While flying the approach, the Duchess came into close proximity with a Cessna Aircraft Company 182L (C182), registered VH-UCW, which was conducting circuits on runway 24.

The lateral separation between the aircraft was estimated at 50 m; with the Duchess behind, and 50 ft below the C182 with a closing speed estimated at 40 kts. The instructor in the Duchess performed an evasive manoeuvre to avoid a potential collision with the C182.

The pilots from both aircraft reported making the required radio transmissions and monitoring the appropriate common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF), however they were not aware of each others' presence until the incident occurred. After the incident, the pilots in the C182 determined that their radio was neither transmitting nor receiving.

Flights conducted at non-towered aerodromes are not provided with a traffic separation service from air traffic control. Consequently, maintaining separation is the pilot's responsibility.

To maintain separation, it is imperative that pilots utilise alerted and unalerted see-and-avoid principals to enhance situational awareness. The effective use of aerodrome frequency response units (AFRU) and anti collision lighting can contribute to pilot's situational awareness at non-towered aerodromes.

[1] The 24-hour clock is used in this report to describe the local time of day, Eastern Daylight Time, as particular events occurred. Eastern Daylight Time was Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) +11 hours.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 3.37MB]
Alternate: [Download  DOC: 2.86MB]
General details
Date: 06 October 2010   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1200 ESuT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near Ballina/Byron Gateway Aerodrome    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Near collision  
Release date: 28 January 2011   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer Beech Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model 76  
Aircraft registration VH-RUA  
Serial number ME-16  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Damage to aircraft Nil  

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model C182  
Aircraft registration VH-UCW  
Last update 14 November 2018