Final Report


On the night of 28 February 2016, at about 0230 Eastern Standard Time (EST), a Hawker Beechcraft Corporation B200 aircraft, registered VH-FDG (FDG), was on descent to Blackall Airport, Queensland. The pilot, a doctor and a nurse were on board the aeromedical flight.

Earlier at about 0220, an ambulance driver was dispatched to Blackall Airport by the ambulance coordination centre to meet FDG and facilitate the transportation of a patient. The ambulance driver was the only occupant of the vehicle.

The pilot conducted a RNAV instrument approach to runway 24 at Blackall Airport. On descent, the pilot tried to contact the ambulance driver on the UHF channel but was unsuccessful. The ambulance driver arrived at the airport at about 0231 and noticed that the runway 24 lights were on and looked to see if the aircraft could be seen or heard.

At about 4.5 NM from Blackall, the pilot noticed the stationary ambulance flashing lights close to the terminal building.

As the ambulance driver did not see or hear the aircraft, and was of the understanding that a runway inspection for animals was required to be completed before the aircraft arrived, they drove quickly down the taxiway towards the runway.

As FDG passed over the threshold of runway 24, and the pilot noticed the flashing lights of the ambulance on the taxiway passing through the holding point, and traveling at speed toward the anticipated touch down point of the aircraft. The pilot initiated a missed approach and climbed out at about 20 ft above the runway.

At about the same time, the ambulance driver saw the aircraft and stopped the ambulance near the runway white gable markers for runway 24. After about 10 minutes, the driver was able to establish contact with the pilot.

After the ambulance driver conducted the runway strip inspection, as requested by the pilot, the pilot descended the aircraft, and landed 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.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 50

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