Aviation safety investigations & reports

Aircraft proximity event - Eurocopter AS350B3, VH-HTV, 2 km West of Mount Cootha (HLS), 20 September 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 20 September 2011, a Eurocopter AS.350B3 helicopter, registered VH-HTV (HTV), was returning to the Mount Coot-tha helicopter landing site (HLS), Queensland, at about 2,000 ft.

When 1 NM to the west of the HLS, descending through about 1,500 ft, the pilot received an alert from the helicopter's traffic and collision alert device (TCAD) indicating an aircraft was about 400 to 500 ft below.

The pilot was unable to sight the conflicting aircraft so the descent was continued. Shortly after, a second alert was received from the TCAD indicating the aircraft was now 200 ft below. The pilot immediately stopped the descent and observed a Cessna Aircraft Company 180 aircraft, registered VH-UPF (UPF), below the helicopter tracking outbound from Archerfield, Queensland at 1,000 ft.

A review of Airservices Australia radar data indicated that the distance between HTV and UPF reduced to about 0.1 NM laterally and 200 ft vertically.

This serious incident highlights the benefits of onboard collision avoidance systems in assisting pilots with traffic awareness; and the need for pilots to regularly review documentation to remain up-to-date with procedures.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 3.63MB]
Alternate: [Download  DOC: 9.81MB]
General details
Date: 20 September 2011   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1418 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 2 km West of Mount Cootha (HLS)    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Near collision  
Release date: 24 May 2012   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer Eurocopter  
Aircraft model AS350  
Aircraft registration VH-HTV  
Serial number 3917  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Mount Coottha, Qld  
Destination Mount Coottha, Qld  

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 180  
Aircraft registration VH-UPF  
Serial number 32224  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Archerfield, QLD  
Destination Eumundi, QLD  
Last update 14 November 2018