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On 15 April 2016, at about 1400 Western Standard Time, the student pilot of a Piper PA-28-181 aircraft, registered VH-BYE (BYE), departed from Jandakot Airport on a solo navigation training flight to Bunbury Airport, Western Australia. At about 1500, when about 10 NM north of Bunbury Airport, the pilot broadcast on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) that they were inbound for a straight-in approach to runway 07.

At the time, a Cessna 152 aircraft, registered VH-CRP (CRP), was conducting circuit training at Bunbury Airport. On board CRP were an instructor and a student pilot. The active runway at Bunbury was 07, and the crew were broadcasting on the CTAF when on the downwind, base and final legs of the circuit.

After completing a touch-and-go landing, CRP was upwind of runway 07, at about 300 ft above ground level, when the student sighted BYE on a reciprocal track – on short final for runway 25, and alerted the instructor. The instructor took control of the aircraft and took avoiding action, turning right, and BYE passed about 50 to 100 ft below and to their left.

When on final approach, at about 400 ft above ground level, the pilot of BYE realised they were approaching runway 25 instead of 07 and saw CRP pass to their left. The pilot of BYE conducted a slight right turn and commenced a climb to 1,500 ft.

After the incident, both aircraft landed on runway 07.

This incident highlights the importance of thorough pre-flight planning and preparation. The Flight planning kit – always thinking ahead, available from CASA’s online store, can assist pilots in preparing for flight.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 51

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General details
Date: 15 April 2016 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 15:00 WST  
Location   (show map):Bunbury Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia Occurrence type: Near collision 
Release date: 08 September 2016 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Serious Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 152 
Aircraft registration: VH-CRP 
Serial number: 15283363 
Type of operation: Flying Training 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Bunbury, WA
Destination:Bunbury, WA
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-28-181 
Aircraft registration: VH-BYE 
Serial number: 28-7790582 
Type of operation: Flying Training 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Destination:Bunbury WA
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Last update 18 April 2017