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On 12 October 2010, a Piper Aircraft Corporation PA-31-350 aircraft, registered VH-TAS (TAS), departed Griffith, New South Wales on scheduled freight service to Narrandera.

When about 37 km from Narrandera, the pilot broadcast an inbound call on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). Shortly after, the pilot heard a broadcast from the pilot of a Cessna Aircraft Company 441 aircraft, registered VH-XBC (XBC), advising that he was taxiing for runway 32. The pilot of TAS attempted to contact the pilot of XBC a number of times, but received no reply.

When established on final for runway 14, the pilot observed the landing lights of XBC taking off on the reciprocal runway, runway 32.  The pilot of TAS initiated a right turn. The pilot of XBC observed TAS turning and elected to continue straight ahead. The aircraft passed at about 500 ft above ground level (AGL), with an estimated horizontal distance between 1-2 km.

Subsequent communications between the two pilots identified that the pilot of XBC did not hear any broadcasts made by the pilot of TAS until after the incident occurred.

A recent research report published by the ATSB identified that the most prevalent type of accident or incident occurring at non-towered aerodromes involved conflicts between aircraft, or between aircraft and ground vehicles. Despite this, operations at these aerodromes are generally safe. However, pilots should ensure that they maintain awareness of their surroundings and of other aircraft, fly in compliance with procedures, and be observant, courteous and cooperative at all times.

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General details
Date: 12 October 2010 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1712 ESuT  
Location   (show map):Narrandera Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Separation issue 
Release date: 28 January 2011 Occurrence class: Airspace 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-31 
Aircraft registration: VH-TAS 
Serial number: 31-7652012 
Type of operation: Air Transport Low Capacity 
Departure point:Griffith, NSW
Destination:Narrandera, NSW
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Unknown 
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Last update 18 April 2018