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On 17 November 2012, a Piper PA-28R aircraft, registered VH‑HKZ, departed Bairnsdale on a private flight to Geelong (Grovedale), Victoria. After landing at Geelong, the pilot noticed that the office buildings were unoccupied and a fence had been placed across runway 09/27. The pilot and passenger exited the aircraft and were subsequently advised that the airstrip had been closed and was being redeveloped.

This incident highlights the importance of reviewing flight information in its entirety, ensuring that operational documents are current, and the benefits of contacting the airstrip operator to not only obtain landing permission, but to also receive information on the runway and its condition, any hazards and/or obstructions, and if there are any special procedures applicable to the airstrip.

Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin – Issue 15

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General details
Date: 17 November 2012 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1215 ESuT  
Location   (show map):Geelong (Grovedale) Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Depart/app/land wrong runway 
Release date: 27 February 2013 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Serious Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-28 
Aircraft registration: VH-HKZ 
Serial number: 7703010 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Bairnsdale, VIC
Destination:Geelong, VIC
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Last update 18 April 2018