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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.

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General details
Date: 02 December 2011 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0940 EDT  
Location   (show map):Portland Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Separation issue 
Release date: 24 May 2012 Occurrence class: Airspace 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
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 manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 172 
Aircraft registration: VH-VSH 
Serial number: 172S10921 
Type of operation: Flying Training 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
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Last update 01 March 2016