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On 15 April 2016, the instructor and student of a Pacific Aerospace CT/4B aircraft, registered VH-YCO (YCO), conducted a dual training flight under the instrument flight rules. The aircraft departed from Tamworth Airport, and tracked to Narrabri Airport, before commencing the area navigation (RNAV) runway 11 approach to Gunnedah Airport, all in New South Wales.

The instructor reported that they broadcast on the Gunnedah common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF), when 18 NM from the aerodrome. The crew reported hearing a voice-back response from the aerodrome frequency response unit, indicating that no one else had transmitted on the CTAF in the previous 5 minutes, and no response from any other aircraft on the CTAF.

At that time, an instructor and student pilot of a Piper PA-28-181 aircraft, registered VH-WJZ (WJZ), were conducting a local dual training flight from Gunnedah Airport. The instructor reported that they were broadcasting on and monitoring the CTAF.

At about 1450 Eastern Standard Time, YCO was 13 NM north-west of Gunnedah on the RNAV approach for runway 11, and at 4,500 ft above mean sea level (AMSL), when they were alerted by the aircraft’s traffic collision avoidance device of another aircraft. The instructor sighted WJZ at the same level, took control of the aircraft from the student, and conducted a 60° angle of bank turn to the left to avoid WJZ.

The instructor of WJZ sighted YCO when about 13 NM north-west of Gunnedah aerodrome at about 4,000 ft AMSL. The instructor of WJZ conducted a left turn and reported sighting YCO commence a left turn. The aircraft passed at the same level about 150 to 200 m horizontally apart.

Insufficient communication between pilots operating in the same area is the most common cause of safety incidents outside controlled airspace and near non-controlled aerodromes.

 

Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 51

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General details
Date: 15 April 2016 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 16:21 EST Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location   (show map):Gunnedah Airport, NW 24 km Occurrence type:Near collision 
State: New South Wales Occurrence class: Operational 
Release date: 08 September 2016 Occurrence category: Serious Incident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: None 
 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Pacific Aerospace Corporation 
Aircraft model: CT/4B 
Aircraft registration: VH-YCO 
Serial number: 087 
Type of operation: Flying Training 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Tamworth, NSW
Destination:Gunnedah, NSW
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-28-181 
Aircraft registration: VH-WJZ 
Serial number: 28-8090006 
Type of operation: Flying Training 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Gunnedah, NSW
Destination:Gunnedah, NSW
 
 
 
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Last update 18 April 2017