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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.

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General details
Date: 20 September 2011 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1418 EST  
Location   (show map):2 km West of Mount Cootha (HLS) Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Near collision 
Release date: 24 May 2012 Occurrence class: Airspace 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Serious Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
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 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
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Last update 16 November 2015