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On 26 November 2016, a Bombardier DHC-8-402 aircraft, registered VH-QOV (QOV), operating scheduled passenger flight QF2320 from Brisbane, commenced descent to Bundaberg Airport, Queensland (Qld). At about the same time, a Eurocopter MBB-BK 117 helicopter, registered VH-EHQ (EHQ), was being prepared to depart Bundaberg.

The flight crew of QOV made the required broadcasts while on approach to Bundaberg and received no responses from other potentially conflicting aircraft. While QOV was on final approach, EHQ departed on a potentially conflicting flight path to QOV. The flight crew of QOV received a traffic advisory on EHQ and was able to visually sight the helicopter. By this time EHQ had commenced a turn to their destination and the projected flight paths of the aircraft were now clear.  

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

Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 58

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General details
Date: 26 November 2016 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 09:22 EST  
Location   (show map):near Bundaberg Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Separation issue 
Release date: 24 March 2017 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bombardier Inc 
Aircraft model: DHC-8-402 
Aircraft registration: VH-QOV 
Serial number: 4277 
Operator: Sunstate Airlines 
Type of operation: Air Transport High Capacity 
Sector: Turboprop 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Brisbane, Qld
Destination:Bundaberg, Qld
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Eurocopter 
Aircraft model: MBB-BK117 C-1 
Aircraft registration: VH-EHQ 
Serial number: 7502 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
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Last update 18 April 2017