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Final Report

Summary

At about 2310 Eastern Standard Time, a Hawker Beechcraft Corporation B300C, registered VH-NAO (NAO), taxied at Sydney Airport, New South Wales for a flight to Coffs Harbour, to retrieve a patient. On board were the pilot and three medical staff.

The pilot made a taxi call and air traffic control (ATC) cleared NAO to taxi from the domestic 5 apron.

At about the same time, activities commenced in association with planned aerodrome works near the intersection of taxiways golf, charlie and domestic 2. The cleared route was to take the aircraft around the worksite and to approach runway 16R at the point from which the aircraft could depart.

A safety officer moved to the northern end of the worksite on charlie, parked the vehicle on the centreline of charlie and commenced placing red lights across the taxiway. By then, NAO was on bravo 4.

The pilot contacted ATC to confirm the instruction to turn left into bravo, then back onto golf. The controller advised the pilot that they were just crossing charlie. The pilot believed that they had already passed charlie, turned left, believing that they were entering bravo. In fact, the aircraft was entering charlie, where the safety officer was in the process of placing red lights. The left wing tip of the aircraft passed about 2 to 3 m from the safety officer who moved further out the way as the aircraft passed.

The pilot made a 180 degree turn on charlie and headed north, back towards bravo 4, taxied to runway 16R and took off without further incident.

This occurrence highlights the potential hazards involved when mixing aircraft operations with aerodrome works. Timely and effective communication is essential to a shared understanding in a dynamic operational environment, particularly when the environment is complicated by unusual circumstances.

Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 58

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