Aviation safety investigations & reports

Separation occurrence involving Cessna 208, VH-YMV, Ballina Airport, 16 September 2021

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The ATSB is investigating a separation occurrence involving three aircraft near Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, New South Wales, on 16 September 2021.

The aircraft involved were a Cessna 208, registered VH-YMV, a Virgin Australia Boeing 737, registered VH-YIO, and a Jetstar Airbus A320, registered VH-VQK. It was reported that while the 737 was approaching runway 24 to land at Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, the 208 commenced a take-off roll on the reciprocal runway. The crew of the 737 then conducted a missed approach during which they received a traffic collision avoidance system traffic advisory. 

A short time later, the crew of the A320 that was inbound to the airport requested the pilot of the 208 to maintain 2,000 feet above mean sea level to provide separation between their two aircraft. Subsequently, the A320 crew observed the 208 climb to 2,500 feet before descending to 2,000 feet. The aircraft then continued their flights and there were no injuries or damage as a result of this separation occurrence.

The evidence collection phase of the investigation will include interviewing the flight crews involved, and reviewing recorded communications, flight data and relevant documents. A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation.

Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties, so that appropriate safety action can be taken.

General details
Date: 16 September 2021   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 14:40 AEST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
  Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
  Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Pending    
Anticipated completion: 1st Quarter 2022    

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 208  
Aircraft registration VH-YMV  
Serial number 20800114  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Turboprop  
Departure point Ballina/Byron Gateway Airport, New South Wales  
Destination Sunshine Coast Airport, Queensland  

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus  
Aircraft model A320-232  
Aircraft registration VH-VQK  
Serial number 2651  
Operator Jetstar  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Melbourne Airport, Victoria  
Destination Ballina/Byron Gateway Aerodrome, New South Wales  

Aircraft 3 details

Aircraft 3 details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 737  
Aircraft registration VH-YIO  
Serial number 38714  
Operator Virgin Airlines Australia  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Sydney Airport, New South Wales  
Destination Ballina/Byron Gateway Airport, New South Wales  
Last update 13 October 2021