Aviation safety investigations & reports

Airspace related event - Fairchild Industries SA227, VH-UUN and Cessna 172S, VH-VSH, Portland Airport, 2 December 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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At 0940 Eastern Daylight-saving Time on 2 December 2011 the crew of a Fairchild Industries SA227 aircraft (Metroliner) registered VH-UUN (UUN) was rolling through to the turning node after landing on runway 26 at Portland aerodrome, Victoria when a Cessna Aircraft Company 172 (C172) registered VH-VSH (VSH) was observed on short final for the reciprocal runway. VSH subsequently conducted a go-around.

The crew of UUN were completing a scheduled flight from Hamilton to Portland, Victoria. VSH was on a solo Visual Flight Rules navigation training flight from Ballarat. Despite both aircraft making all required Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) broadcasts, the pilots of UUN and VSH were not aware of each other prior to the incident. Neither aircraft was fitted with a Traffic Collision Avoidance System, nor was fitment required.

The crew of UUN and VSH reported their radios were serviceable and that the correct frequency was used for all required CTAF broadcasts.

This incident highlights the need for pilots to apply all available methods to maintain separation with other aircraft when operating outside controlled airspace. These methods include:

  • utilisation of both alerted and un-alerted see-and-avoid principles,
  • conducting a radio serviceability check when operating at a non-towered aerodrome equipped with an Aerodrome Frequency Response Unit, and
  • use of on board collision avoidance systems where fitted.

Where ground-based personnel could provide regular operators with advice on the presence of other airspace users, operators should formalise the use of such resources to ensure maximum benefit without detracting flight crew from their prime duties.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 3.63MB]
Alternate: [Download  DOC: 9.81MB]
General details
Date: 02 December 2011   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0940 EDT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Portland Airport    
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Separation issue  
Release date: 24 May 2012   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer Fairchild Industries Inc  
Aircraft model SA227  
Aircraft registration VH-UUN  
Serial number AC-686B  
Type of operation Air Transport Low Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Hamilton, Vic.  
Destination Portland, Vic.  

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 172  
Aircraft registration VH-VSH  
Serial number 172S10921  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Last update 14 November 2018