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On 7 August 2011, a Cessna Aircraft 172, registered VH-WYG (WYG), departed Bankstown, New South Wales, for a student solo-navigation exercise. WYG entered Sydney controlled airspace without a clearance, which subsequently resulted in a breakdown of separation with a departing Boeing 747 aircraft, registered N171UA. Air Traffic Services (ATS) alerted the crew of N171UA to the traffic, and issued instructions for N171UA to conduct an avoidance turn away from WYG.

When the pilot of WYG contacted ATS for an airways clearance to conduct the Sydney Harbour scenic route, he was informed that he had been radar-identified as having entered controlled airspace without a clearance. The pilot then remained outside controlled airspace and subsequently elected to terminate the navigation exercise and return to Bankstown via the Lane of Entry.

The pilot reported that inclement weather had influenced his en-route track decision making during the flight.

This incident highlights the importance of both weather avoidance, and awareness of proximity to controlled airspace.

Download Final Report - Bulletin
[ Download PDF: 5.43MB]
General details
Date: 07 August 2011 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1347 EST  
Location   (show map):19km north-west Sydney Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Loss of separation 
Release date: 12 December 2011 Occurrence class: Airspace 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 172 
Aircraft registration: VH-WYG 
Serial number: 17266365 
Type of operation: Flying Training 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Bankstown, NSW
Destination:Bankstown, NSW
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: The Boeing Company 
Aircraft model: 747 
Aircraft registration: N171UA 
Serial number: 24322/733 
Operator: United Airlines 
Type of operation: Air Transport High Capacity 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Sydney, NSW
Destination:Los Angeles, USA
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Last update 14 November 2018