Aviation safety investigations & reports

Loss of separation involving a The Boeing Company 747SP-38, VH-EAA and Fairchild Industries Inc SA227-AC, VH-NEK, 17km E Sydney, Aerodrome, NSW on 9 October 1995

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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VH-EAA was processed into the Sydney Terminal Area by the Approach south radar control sector, and was tracking via the 094 VOR radial, on descent to 6,000 ft in visual conditions. At 9 DME, the flight crew, in response to a TCAS RA alert, climbed the aircraft approximately 300 ft. They did not advise ATC of the alert. VH-NEK had departed runway 16L, on initial climb to 5,000 ft, and was being processed to depart the Sydney Terminal Area by the Departures south radar control sector. The aircraft was vectored onto a north-easterly track from a left turn after takeoff. Recorded radar information indicated that VH-EAA had continued descent to a pressure altitude of 5,700 ft and VH-NEK had climbed to a pressure altitude of 4,900 ft. When their flight paths crossed, VH-EAA was 800 ft above, and 1.86 NM to the right of VH-NEK. The traffic management plan, techniques and procedures, for processing both aircraft were adequate to maintain prescribed separation standards and tolerances in accordance with the runway 16 airspace agreement. However, neither controller had recognised the incident, probably due to the short duration of the encounter, and the lack of advice from either flight crew. Findings 1. The traffic management procedures adopted by the controllers for processing the aircraft were adequate. 2. VH-EAA descended below the assigned altitude. 3. In response to the TCAS RA alert, the flight crew returned the aircraft to the assigned altitude. Significant factors 1. The required separation standard was infringed when the flight crew permitted VH-EAA to descend below their assigned altitude.
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 15KB]
General details
Date: 09 October 1995   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 8:10 EST    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Loss of separation  
Release date: 20 December 1995   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final    

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer Fairchild Industries Inc  
Aircraft model SA227-AC  
Aircraft registration VH-NEK  
Sector Turboprop  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Sydney NSW  
Destination Tamworth NSW  

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 747SP-38  
Aircraft registration VH-EAA  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Auckland New Zealand  
Destination Sydney NSW