Aviation safety investigations & reports

Aircraft proximity event involving a Cessna 172S, VH-VMM and a Schweizer 269C-1, VH-FTR, 9 km NE of Parafield Airport, South Australia, 1 September 2012

Investigation number:
AO-2012-115
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Summary

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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

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 428KB]
 
 
 
General details
Date: 01 September 2012   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1642 CST    
Location   (show map): 9 km NE of Parafield Airport   Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation  
State: South Australia   Occurrence type: Near collision  
Release date: 21 March 2013   Occurrence class: Airspace  
Report status: Final   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
  Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft 1 details

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 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  
Last update 14 November 2018