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On 1 September 2012, the flight instructor and student pilot of a Schweizer 269C-1 helicopter, registered VH-FTR (FTR), were conducting a training flight from Parafield, South Australia and return, via the ‘Dam Wall’ visual flight rules (VFR) approach point. When approaching the Dam Wall, the instructor was advised by air traffic control of an aircraft above and to the left at 2,500 ft inbound and two other aircraft 3 NM behind. The instructor became concerned with the aircraft behind as he could not sight them and instructed the student to descend to 1,400 ft. The helicopter’s traffic warning system was also showing an aircraft 1 NM behind, at the same altitude. Shortly after, the instructor and student observed a Cessna 172 aircraft, registered VH-VMM (VMM) pass overhead, with less than 50 ft vertical separation.

VFR approach points, which are prominent landmarks, assist pilots with visual navigation and provide an orderly path for aircraft entering the circuit. When operating in and around high traffic density areas such as VFR approach points, it is crucial that pilots maintain a heightened level of situation awareness.

 

Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin – Issue 16

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General details
Date: 01 September 2012 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1642 CST Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location   (show map):9 km NE of Parafield Airport Occurrence type:Near collision 
State: South Australia Occurrence class: Airspace 
Release date: 21 March 2013 Occurrence category: Serious Incident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: None 
 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 172 
Aircraft registration: VH-VMM 
Serial number: 172S9940 
Type of operation: Flying Training 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Parafield, SA
Destination:Parafield, SA
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Schweizer Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: 269 
Aircraft registration: VH-FTR 
Serial number: 324 
Type of operation: Flying Training 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Parafield, SA
Destination:Parafield, SA
 
 
 
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Last update 25 March 2014