Aviation safety investigations & reports

Landing on a closed airstrip involving a Piper PA-28R, VH-HKZ, Geelong (Grovedale), Victoria Vic., 17 November 2012

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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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

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 135KB]
Alternate: [Download  DOC: 4.13MB]
General details
Date: 17 November 2012   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1215 ESuT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Geelong (Grovedale)    
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Depart/app/land wrong runway  
Release date: 27 February 2013   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

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  
Last update 14 November 2018