Aviation safety investigations & reports

Near collision between Schempp-Hirth Janus glider, VH-GWQ, and Rolladen-Schneider LS3-A glider, VH-CQP, Porepunkah (ALA), Victoria, on 28 March 2016

Investigation number:
AO-2016-032
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Final Report

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On 28 March 2016, at about 1306 Eastern Daylight-saving Time, a Schemp-Hirth Janus glider, registered VH-GWQ (GWQ) launched from Porepunkah Airfield, Victoria, for a pleasure flight. On board were two pilots; the pilot seated in the rear seat was the pilot in command for the flight. The glider tracked to a ridge about 3 km north-west of Mount Beauty Airport and climbed in tight orbits (‘thermalling’) in a clockwise direction.

At about 1335, the pilot of a Rolladen-Schneider LS3-A glider, registered VH-CQP (CQP), launched from Mount Beauty Airport, Victoria, for a pleasure flight. At about 1355, the glider was 3 to 4 km north-west of the airfield and descending through about 4,000 ft, when the pilot heard an alarm sounding, but did not identify it as issuing from the FLARM collision avoidance system fitted to the glider.

At that time, GWQ was thermalling and in a right bank at about 40–45°. The front seat pilot sighted a glider approaching from the opposite direction at about the same altitude. They assessed that the approaching glider was not going to manoeuvre to join the thermal or to avoid a collision, so took control of the glider and pushed the stick forwards to descend rapidly. The other glider (CQP) passed overhead.

The pilot of CQP sighted a glider pass below, and estimated there was less than 100 ft vertical separation.

Insufficient communication between pilots operating in the same area is the most common cause of safety incidents near non-controlled aerodromes. It is essential that when equipment is installed in an aircraft, pilots have an understanding of its operation and are familiar with its characteristics.

 

Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 51

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[Download  PDF: 262KB]
 
 
Alternate: [Download  DOCX: 245KB]
 

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General details
Date: 28 March 2016   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 13:55 ESuT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Porepunkah (ALA)    
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Near collision  
Release date: 08 September 2016   Occurrence class: Operational  
Report status: Final   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
  Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer Schempp-Hirth Flugzeugbau GmbH  
Aircraft model JANUS  
Aircraft registration VH-GWQ  
Serial number 24  
Type of operation Gliding  
Sector Sport and recreational  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Porepunkah, Vic.  
Destination Porepunkah, Vic.  

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer Rolladen-Schneider Flugzeugbau GmbH  
Aircraft model LS3-A  
Aircraft registration VH-CQP  
Serial number 3467  
Type of operation Gliding  
Sector Sport and recreational  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Mount Beauty, Vic.  
Destination Unknown  
Last update 14 November 2018