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On 10 September 2015, at about 0930 Eastern Standard Time (EST), an instructor and student pilot of a Cessna 172M aircraft, registered VH-EJM (EJM), was conducting circuits at Townsville Airport, Queensland.

The student was flying the aircraft and on mid-final for a touch-and-go landing on runway 07, when the instructor noticed a truck on the perimeter road, near the threshold to runway 07. The truck had not held at the stop sign. The stop sign required all vehicles to stop, look for aircraft, and not proceed unless there was no aircraft landing.

Shortly after the instructor sighted the truck, the Townsville Tower air traffic controller advised the pilots of EJM that there was a truck on the perimeter road. The instructor acknowledged the controller and they proceeded with the landing.

The aircraft conducted a touch-and-go and continued with several more circuits without incident.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has identified runway safety as one of its priorities and has been working with countries and aviation organisations globally to reduce runway safety accidents. ICAO has developed a runway safety website, which offers a range of information and products to assist the aviation community to improve runway safety.

In addition, ICAO has published a Manual on the Prevention of Runway Incursions Doc 9870 AN/463, available from the ICAO website. The manual includes information on the prevention of runway incursions. The manual discusses that deficiencies in design, training, technology, procedures, regulations and human performance can result in a system break down and safety being compromised. A pilot as part of the last line of defence cannot assume that anyone will do the right thing, like the driver of the truck stopping at the stop sign, and they need to be prepared to re-evaluate the planned flight.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin Issue 46

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General details
Date: 10 September 2015 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0930 EST  
Location   (show map):Townsville Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Runway incursion 
Release date: 28 January 2016 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Serious Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 172M 
Aircraft registration: VH-EJM 
Serial number: 17262423 
Type of operation: Flying Training 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Townsville, Qld
Destination:Townsville, Qld
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Last update 14 November 2018