Aviation safety investigations & reports

Aircraft proximity event between a Cessna 172, VH-RQZ and an Agusta AW139, VH-ESZ at Archerfield Airport, Queensland, 26 August 2013

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 26 August 2013, a flight instructor and student pilot were conducting night circuits in a Cessna 172 aircraft, registered VH‑RQZ (RQZ), at Archerfield Airport, Queensland. There were also two other aircraft conducting circuits. The student pilot of RQZ broadcast a call on the CTAF downwind leg of the circuit for runway 10. The pilot of an Agusta AW139 helicopter, registered VH-ESZ (ESZ), then broadcast an inbound call advising they were 5 NM to the north at 1,400 ft above mean sea level.

The pilot of ESZ reported sighting two other aircraft in the circuit and noted that they were unlikely to come into conflict with ESZ.

The student pilot of RQZ then broadcast a call turning base for a touch-and‑go on runway 10 and stated that they were conducting a simulated landing light failure.

About 15 seconds later, the pilot of an instrument flight rules (IFR) aircraft asked the pilot of RQZ to confirm his position, to which the instructor replied that they were turning onto final. Shortly after, the pilot of ESZ broadcast a call advising that he was on a tight left base for runway 10.

When RQZ was on final, the instructor sighted ESZ on a close base in his 10 o’clock position, about 1 NM away and broadcast a call asking the pilot of ESZ whether he had RQZ sighted, but did not hear any response. He then conducted a go-around to ensure separation with ESZ.

When at about 300 ft above ground level, the pilot of ESZ sighted RQZ in his 4 o’clock position, about 100 ft below and 100 m behind ESZ and instructor of RQZ then broadcast that they were going around. The pilot of ESZ tightened the turn onto final and elected to land on the taxiway parallel to runway 10. He had not received a traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) alert on any aircraft other than the IFR aircraft.

 Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin - Issue 24


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[Download  PDF: 246KB]
General details
Date: 26 August 2013   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1845 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Archerfield Airport    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Near collision  
Release date: 10 December 2013   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer Agusta, S.p.A, Construzioni Aeronautiche  
Aircraft model AW139  
Aircraft registration VH-ESZ  
Serial number 31125  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Royal Brisbane Hospital Alpha, Qld  
Destination Archerfield, Qld  

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 172  
Aircraft registration VH-RQZ  
Serial number 17280980  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Archerfield, Qld  
Destination Archerfield, Qld  
Last update 14 November 2018