Final Report


On 25 August 2016, a Robinson R44 helicopter, registered VH-EYD (EYD), approached Bankstown Airport, New South Wales on a training flight. On board were a student pilot and a flight instructor.

At about 1607 Eastern Standard Time, the instructor of EYD contacted the Bankstown aerodrome controller (ADC), advising that they were at inbound reporting point 2RN at 1,000 ft. The ADC instructed EYD to track via, and report at, ‘Choppers South’ reporting point at 500 ft. The helicopter then tracked via Choppers South at 500 ft, but the instructor omitted to advise ADC when they were overhead that point.

At about 1610, the solo student pilot of a Cessna 152 aircraft, registered VH-MRC (MRC), who was conducting circuit training at Bankstown Airport, contacted the ADC and stated that MRC was on the downwind circuit leg, and requested clearance to depart the control zone on the upwind circuit leg. The ADC instructed the pilot of MRC to ‘go around from base, maintain 1,000 ft and depart on upwind’.

The pilot of MRC then continued their approach, descending on the base leg and final approach to about 300 ft above the runway before commencing a go-around. At about 1613, passing about 500 ft on climb, the pilot of MRC advised the ADC that they were going around and departing at 1,000 ft upwind.

The ADC sighted MRC about mid-way along the runway and sighted EYD about 200 m away at about the same altitude. The ADC immediately issued safety alerts to both pilots. EYD turned right and passed behind MRC, and both aircraft subsequently landed without further incident.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority booklet, Class D airspace, advises pilots that when operating in Class D airspace, they must sight and maintain separation from other aircraft. Pilots and ATC have a dual responsibility to maintain situational awareness of other traffic.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 54

Read report