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At about 0738 Central Standard Time, a Cessna 172 aircraft, registered VH-EKV (EKV), taxied to depart from runway 12 at Alice Springs Airport, Northern Territory for Ayers Rock. The pilot and two passengers were on board the private flight. The air traffic control Tower was scheduled to open at 0800. The aircraft was located on the general aviation apron and taxied for holding point bravo for runway 12. The pilot of EKV broadcast a taxi call on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF).

At 0741:15, the pilot of a Beech 58 aircraft, registered VH-MLB (MLB), broadcast a taxi call on the CTAF. The aircraft was located on the commuter apron and taxied for holding point echo with the intention of then backtracking on the runway in preparation for a runway 30 departure for Nyirripi. The pilot and two passengers were on board the charter flight.

At 0741:25, the pilot of EKV broadcast that they were lining up on runway 12.

The pilot of MLB reported that they did not hear this broadcast from EKV, nor the earlier broadcast that they were taxiing for runway 12.

The pilot of MLB approached holding point echo and reported looking for other aircraft on either runway (12 or 30). They did not see any other aircraft, so entered the runway and commenced backtracking runway 30.

At about the same time, the pilot of EKV commenced take-off on runway 12. At about take-off speed, the pilot reported observing another aircraft enter the runway and start taxiing on runway 12 (away from them). The pilot assessed that it would be more dangerous to stop, so continued with the take-off.

An air traffic controller arrived in the control tower and observed a Cessna 172 (EKV) taking off and a Beech 58 (MLB) taxiing on the same runway. The controller advised the pilot of EKV to stop immediately.

The pilot of EKV reported not hearing the controller’s advice. The controller reported that EKV was airborne approximately 500 m before the position of MLB and passed overhead MLB at about 150 feet.

The pilot of MLB heard the controller’s advice to another aircraft to stop, but was not aware of the reason.

Both aircraft departed without further incident.

This incident highlights the fundamental importance of effective communication, particularly during operations at a non-controlled aerodrome.

 

Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 53

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General details
Date: 16 June 2016 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 07:43 CST Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location   (show map):Alice Springs Aerodrome Occurrence type:Runway incursion 
State: Northern Territory Occurrence class: Airspace 
Release date: 14 October 2016 Occurrence category: Incident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: None 
 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 172L 
Aircraft registration: VH-EKV 
Serial number: 17260094 
Type of operation: Unknown 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Alice Springs, NT
Destination:Ayers Rock, NT
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Beech Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: 58 
Aircraft registration: VH-MLB 
Serial number: TH-1675 
Type of operation: Charter 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Alice Springs, NT
 
 
 
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Last update 18 April 2017