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On 7 October 2013, the pilot of a Fairchild SA227 aircraft, registered VH‑UZP (UZP), was preparing for a freight charter flight from Ballina/Byron Gateway Airport (Ballina) to Coffs Harbour, New South Wales.

At the same time, the flight instructor and pilot of a Bell 47G helicopter, registered VH‑UTF (UTF), were conducting circuit training at Ballina. After landing, the pilot broadcast on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) that UTF was entering runway 06 to conduct left hand circuits. Shortly after, UTF departed and recommenced circuit training.

The pilot of UTF broadcast turning onto a left base for runway 06. Soon after, UTF landed about two-thirds of the way along the runway and came to a stop, facing east.  The instructor briefed the pilot prior to commencing a further circuit. 

The pilot of UZP broadcast a taxi call and commenced taxiing to runway 06. After hearing no further broadcasts from the pilot of UTF, the pilot of UZP broadcast on the CTAF that he was entering and backtracking runway 06. The pilot again received no response. He taxied UZP onto the runway and lined up on runway 06. The pilot broadcast a lining up and rolling call and commenced the take-off run. Just prior to rotation, he sighted UTF stopped on the runway, towards the departure end. He elected to continue the take-off and increased the climb angle to provide separation with UTF.

The instructor of UTF then attempted to contact UZP, with nil response received. He then realised that the radio volume had been turned down. UTF then vacated the runway.

Broadcasting and monitoring the CTAF and maintaining a good lookout are useful strategies to improve safety at non-towered aerodromes.

 

Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin - Issue 25

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General details
Date: 09 October 2013 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1730 ESuT Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location   (show map):Ballina/Byron Gateway Airport Occurrence type:Runway incursion 
State: New South Wales Occurrence class: Operational 
Release date: 20 January 2014 Occurrence category: Serious Incident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: None 
 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: 47 
Aircraft registration: VH-UTF 
Serial number: 25026 
Type of operation: Flying Training 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Ballina, NSW
Destination:Ballina, NSW
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Fairchild Industries Inc 
Aircraft model: SA227 
Aircraft registration: VH-UZP 
Serial number: AC-498 
Type of operation: Charter 
Sector: Turboprop 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Ballina, NSW
Destination:Coffs Harbour, NSW
 
 
 
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Last update 06 June 2014