Aviation safety investigations & reports

Separation issue involving a Pacific Aerospace Corporation CT/4B, VH-YCU, and a Diamond DA 40, VH-UNV, near Quirindi, NSW on 4 June 2015

Investigation number:
AO-2015-060
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Final Report

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Early in the afternoon on 4 June 2015, a Pacific Aerospace CT/4B, registered VH‑YCU (YCU), was tracking towards Quirindi from the north, at 4,500 ft. At the same time, a Diamond DA 40, registered VH‑UNV (UNV), was also tracking towards Quirindi. UNV was approaching Quirindi from the north‑east, and was also at 4,500 ft. Both aircraft were operating under the visual flight rules, and the weather conditions were fine and clear.

The crew of YCU broadcast their position and intentions on the Quirindi Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF), but the crew of UNV were not monitoring that frequency. Both crews were monitoring the area frequency, but there was no requirement for either of them to broadcast on that frequency. As such, neither crew was aware of the other aircraft as they approached Quirindi.

Just north of Quirindi, the traffic collision avoidance device fitted to YCU alerted the crew to an aircraft in their vicinity. The crew of YCU then sighted UNV, slightly ahead and to their left, at the same altitude. The crew assessed that the two aircraft were on a slightly converging flight path. Although there was no immediate risk if a collision, the crew of YCU made a heading adjustment through about 20 degrees to the right to ensure that the flight path of the two aircraft would diverge.

The requirement to monitor a CTAF is subject to a level of interpretation, particularly with respect to the altitude above an airfield at which the requirement applies. Nonetheless, pilots are encouraged to ‘err on the side of caution’ when considering when to make broadcasts and whether specific frequencies should be monitored, particularly noting the fundamental importance of communication in the effective application of the principles of see-and-avoid. Insufficient communication between pilots operating in the same area is the most common cause of safety incidents near non-controlled aerodromes.

 

Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin Issue 44

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[Download  PDF: 172KB]
 
 
Alternate: [Download  DOCX: 537KB]
 

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General details
Date: 04 June 2015   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1420 EST    
Location   (show map): Quirindi Airport   Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation  
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Separation issue  
Release date: 04 November 2015   Occurrence class: Operational  
Report status: Final   Occurrence category: Incident  
  Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer Pacific Aerospace Corporation  
Aircraft model CT/4B  
Aircraft registration VH-YCU  
Serial number 079  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Tamworth, NSW  
Destination Tamworth, NSW  

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer Diamond Aircraft Industries  
Aircraft model DA 40  
Aircraft registration VH-UNV  
Serial number 40.1077  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Bankstown, NSW  
Destination Bankstown, NSW  
Last update 14 November 2018