On 28 March 2014, at about 1628 Eastern Standard Time, the pilot of a Cessna 172, registered VH-WGL (WGL), broadcast on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) that he was 10 NM to the north-east, inbound to Toowoomba, and intended to conduct a straight-in approach to runway 29. At about 1631, the pilot of WGL broadcast on a 5 NM final and about 1 minute later, he broadcast on a 3 NM final for a full stop landing on runway 29. At about 1633, he broadcast on short final for runway 29. The aerodrome frequency response unit (AFRU) provided a beep-back for each of those calls, but no other response was heard on the CTAF.

About 20 seconds later, the first officer of a de Havilland DHC-8, registered VH-QQD (QQD), broadcast on the CTAF that QQD was taxying to runway 29, for a flight to Brisbane. He then contacted Brisbane Centre air traffic control and made a taxi call on that frequency as the aircraft approached the holding point. As WGL flared to land, the pilot heard both taxi calls from QQD on the CTAF and Brisbane frequency and observed QQD taxi towards the runway. Approaching the holding point, the captain of QQD reported that he looked to the left and confirmed all clear, and the first officer looked to the right, did not sight any aircraft and confirmed clear to the right. The captain taxied QQD onto the runway and the first officer reported sighting the Cessna on the runway as QQD crossed the holding point.

At about 1634, WGL touched down about 5 m beyond the runway threshold, and the pilot observed QQD continue to taxi and turn onto the runway and he braked heavily. The crew of QQD had not heard any of the broadcasts from WGL.

This incident highlights the importance of maintaining a listening watch and communication in alerting pilots to other aircraft.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 32