Aviation safety investigations & reports

Aircraft separation issue involving a Skyfox CA25N, 24-3265 and a Piper PA-28, VH-WJO, near Roma Airport, Qld on 3 July 2014

Investigation number:
AO-2014-118
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Summary

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At about noon on 3 July 2014, an instructor and student were conducting training in the circuit at Roma Airport, Queensland, in a Skyfox Aviation CA25N aircraft, registered 24-3265. At the same time, a PA-28R, registered VH-WJO, was inbound to Roma Airport for a landing. The conditions were fine and clear.

As the PA-28R approached the airport, the CA25N instructor and the pilot of the PA-28R exchanged information regarding their respective positions and intentions on the Roma Airport Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF). During this exchange of information, the pilot of the PA-28R inadvertently miscommunicated his position, which left the CA25N instructor with an inaccurate perception of the position of the PA-28R and a misunderstanding with respect to the intentions of the PA-28R pilot. Similarly, based upon his interpretation of the information exchanged on the CTAF, the PA-28R pilot believed that he would be clear of the CA25N as he joined the circuit.

Despite their efforts, the CA25N crew and the PA-28R pilot were unable to sight the other aircraft until the downwind leg of the circuit when the CA25N instructor saw the PA-28R pass from left to right, about 100 metres ahead and about 200 ft above the CA25N. The CA25N instructor was then able to inform the pilot of the PA-28R of the relative position of the CA25N, allowing the pilot of the PA-28R to then sight the CA25N over his left shoulder. Both aircraft then continued for an uneventful landing, the CA25N landing ahead of the PA-28R which flew a wider circuit.

Although the CA25N instructor and PA-28R pilot were communicating on the CTAF and attempting to establish visual contact, separation seems to have been compromised on this occasion due to the limited effectiveness of the CTAF communications and the limitations of each pilot’s lookout. Lookout effectiveness was probably compromised by a combination of CTAF miscommunication, the geometry of the event and sun glare.

This incident highlights the importance of an effective lookout, and accurate and timely communication. These are fundamental pillars supporting the principles of alerted see-and-avoid.

 

Aviaiton Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 37

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 176KB]
 
 
Alternate: [Download  DOCX: 265KB]
 
General details
Date: 03 July 2014   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1153 EST    
Location   (show map): Roma Airport   Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation  
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Separation issue  
Release date: 23 December 2014   Occurrence class: Airspace  
Report status: Final   Occurrence category: Incident  
  Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer Skyfox Aviation Ltd  
Aircraft model CA25N  
Aircraft registration 24-3265  
Serial number Ca25n086  
Type of operation Sports Aviation  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Roma, Qld  
Destination Roma, Qld  

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-28R-200  
Aircraft registration VH-WJO  
Serial number 28R-7635441  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Destination Roma, Qld  
Last update 14 November 2018