Aviation safety investigations & reports

Breakdown of separation - Aerospatiale TBM700, VH-VSV and deHavilland Canada DHC8-201, VH-TQG, 9 km SW Sydney Airport, NSW, 9 December 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 9 December 2011 a S.O.C.A.T.A. Groupe Aerospatiale TBM 700 aircraft, registered VH-VSV (VSV) departed Bankstown airport, for a private flight to Merimbula, New South Wales. Onboard the aircraft was a pilot and one passenger.

The pilot was cleared to depart Bankstown control zone on a downwind departure from runway 11 left, however mistakenly conducted an upwind departure. The aircraft penetrated Sydney controlled airspace by 2.3 NM and came within 1.2 NM with no vertical separation of another aircraft on approach into Sydney Airport and a breakdown of separation occurred.

The controller at Bankstown tower then instructed the pilot of VSV to conduct a left turn and track back overhead Bankstown airport.

This incident highlights the importance of developing a technique to ensure a clearance is processed, understood and actioned correctly. It is also important to clarify a clearance if any ambiguity exists. Finally, pre-flight planning is essential to ensure safe flight. CASA has published a Visual Pilot Guide for Archerfield, Jandakot, Melbourne, Parafield and Sydney areas to provide detailed assistance for operating in these areas.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 5.65MB]
General details
Date: 09 December 2011   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1447 ESuT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 9 km SW Sydney Airport    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Loss of separation  
Release date: 25 June 2012   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer S.O.C.A.T.A.-Groupe Aerospatiale  
Aircraft model TBM  
Aircraft registration VH-VSV  
Serial number 173  
Type of operation Medical Transport  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Bankstown, NSW  
Destination Merimbula, NSW  

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer de Havilland Canada  
Aircraft model DHC-8  
Aircraft registration VH-TQG  
Serial number 430  
Operator Eastern Aust. Airlines  
Type of operation Air Transport Low Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Port Macquarie, NSW  
Destination Sydney, NSW  
Last update 14 November 2018