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Final Report

Summary

On 15 April 2016, the pilot of a Cessna 172 aircraft, registered VH-VSO (VSO), was conducting a solo navigation training flight from Ballarat to Warrnambool, Portland, Hamilton and return to Ballarat, Victoria.

On the same day, two pilots, both instructors, were conducting a local training flight in a Cessna 177RG aircraft, registered VH-OOJ (OOJ), from Ballarat Airport. At about 1648 Eastern Standard Time, while tracking south-east about 12 NM from Ballarat Airport, at about 3,800 ft, the pilot in command, who was the pilot-not-flying and in the left seat, sighted VSO out of the right window about 100 to 200 ft below. The pilot in command then took control of the aircraft from the other pilot and commenced a steep climb. VSO then passed beneath OOJ. Shortly after, the pilots of OOJ heard the pilot of VSO broadcast on the common traffic advisory frequency, 10 NM west of Ballarat and inbound to the airport.

The pilot of VSO reported that they could not recall their altitude when about 12 NM west of Ballarat, but would normally be between 3,500 and 4,500 ft on descent. The pilot reported scanning the sky to look out for other aircraft, and maintaining a listening watch on the area and Ballarat common traffic advisory frequencies. The pilot did not hear any broadcasts from the pilots of OOJ and did not observe any aircraft in close proximity during the flight.

This incident highlights the importance of using both un-alerted and alerted see-and-avoid principles and maintaining a vigilant lookout at all times.

 

Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 51

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