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On 23 January 2012, the pilot of a Robinson Helicopter Company R44 Raven II helicopter, registered VH-HYC (HYC), was conducting a routine gas pipeline inspection flight between Parramatta and Castle Hill, New South Wales.

When 1 NM (1.85 km) north of Parramatta, the pilot of HYC observed a Piper Aircraft Corporation PA-28-161, registered VH-TAK (TAK), tracking northbound from Bankstown, pass overhead, about 20 ft above. In response, the pilot of HYC immediately lowered the collective and commenced a descending right turn.

A review of Airservices Australia radar surveillance data indicated that the distance between HYC and TAK reduced to 0.2 NM (370 m) laterally, with both aircraft at the same altitude of 1,400 ft. The aircraft were operating in uncontrolled airspace and were not subject to air traffic control services.

This incident highlights the advantages of utilising two communication systems, if fitted, to enhance traffic awareness. It further emphasises the benefits of notifying the appropriate air traffic control authority if intending to conduct aerial work within a known area of high traffic levels, such as the Bankstown lane of entry.

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General details
Date: 23 January 2012 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1001 EDT  
Location   (show map):1.85 km north Parramatta Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Near collision 
Release date: 25 June 2012 Occurrence class: Airspace 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Serious Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Robinson Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: R44 
Aircraft registration: VH-HYC 
Serial number: 10101 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Rosehill Heliport, NSW
Destination:Rosehill Heliport, NSW
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-28 
Aircraft registration: VH-TAK 
Serial number: 2842276 
Type of operation: Flying Training 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Bankstown, NSW
Destination:Unknown
 
 
 
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Last update 18 April 2018