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On 21 November 2012, a Beech 200 Kingair aircraft, registered VH-VAH (VAH) turned onto final approach for runway 26 at Swan Hill aerodrome, Victoria.  At the same time, an Ag-Cat aircraft VH- IFE (IFE) was approaching the circuit at about one hundred feet above ground level, from the north-west.

The pilot of VAH had made all mandatory radio broadcasts on the CTAF frequency and had not received a reply since earlier negotiating separation with a departing aircraft.

When at about four hundred feet above ground level and configured for landing, the pilot of VAH first noticed IFE. He broadcast his position and intentions, but received no reply. IFE continued a curved approach and landed on the grass section, north of the sealed section of runway 26. To maintain a safe separation, VAH landed long and well clear of IFE.

IFE was not fitted with a radio. The pilot always relied on a hand-held one. On this occasion he had inadvertently left the radio at home.

The ATSB’s Safety Watch initiative highlights safety around non-towered aerodromes as one of the major safety concerns that arise from investigation findings.


Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin – Issue 16

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[ Download PDF: 224KB]
General details
Date: 21 November 2012 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0942 ESuT  
Location   (show map):Swan Hill Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Separation issue 
Release date: 21 March 2013 Occurrence class: Airspace 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Hawker Beechcraft Corporation 
Aircraft model: 200 
Aircraft registration: VH-VAH 
Serial number: BL-156 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Mildura, VIC
Destination:Swan Hill, VIC
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Schweizer Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: G-164 
Aircraft registration: VH-IFE 
Serial number: 114B 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
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Last update 18 April 2018