On the 20th May 1988 at approximately 1609 hours, a Cessna 172 collided with a Piper Tomahawk in the circuit area at Coolangatta, Queensland. The accident, in which four people died, occurred in conditions of good visibility.
This collision and others which occurred in the late 1980s drew attention to the deficiencies of the see-and-avoid concept.
The Coolangatta accident report stated that: 'As a result ofthis accident,the Bureau of Air Safety Investigation has undertaken to conduct an evaluation and prepare a report on the practicability of the see and be seen (see-and-avoid) principle in controlled and non-controlled airspace.' (BASI report 881/1042).
This report, prepared in response to that undertaking, summarises the research relevant to unalerted see-and-avoid and is intended as a reference document for Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Industry, and BASI personnel as well as a source of recommendations. The report does not analyse the Australian accident experience.