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Final Report

Summary

On 15 July 2015, the pilot of an Extra 300L (Extra) aircraft had been cleared by Bankstown Tower to join the crosswind leg of runway 29R whilst maintaining 1,500 ft.

Shortly after, a Robinson 44 (R44) helicopter had given an inbound call to Bankstown Tower and was asked to report at the Choppers North reporting point. The R44 pilot descended to the required 700 ft and reported at Choppers North where Tower cleared the helicopter to enter the control zone and continue their approach and report on base leg of the helicopter circuit. The R44 pilot called on an early base and was cleared by ATC for a November 1 (N1) approach.

Meanwhile as the Extra tracked to join crosswind for 29R, ATC alerted the pilot about conflicting traffic departing from runway 29C. Once on downwind for 29R the pilot requested and ATC approved a touch and go circuit. The pilot commenced a descent mid downwind making a continuous turn onto base and final approach. The pilot then sideslipped the aircraft toward the landing threshold.

During this sideslip, the pilot of the R44 continued their descent toward N1. While descending through about 350 ft the passengers and pilot on the R44 saw the underside of the Extra pass from right to left in front of them.

Airservices Australia advised that the controller on duty did not assess the traffic to be in confliction, and did not pass traffic, but did not sight the incident.

This incident serves as a reminder to keep a good lookout at all times, including in Class D airspace. Pilots are responsible for maintaining separation in Class D.

CASA have a pre-flight visualisation tool for both fixed and rotary wing pilots. CASA also have a safety education publication and e-learning tutorials on Class D operations. Both are available on the CASA website.

 

Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 45

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