Aviation occurrence briefs

Runway incursion involving a Cessna 404 and a Cessna 210M at Port Keats Airfield, NT, on 28 February 2018

Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Occurrence Briefs are concise reports that detail the facts surrounding a transport safety occurrence, as received in the initial notification and any follow-up enquiries. They provide an opportunity to share safety messages in the absence of an investigation.

What happened

On 28 February 2018, at 0917 Central Standard Time (CST), a Cessna 210M commenced its take-off run on runway 34 at Port Keats, Northern Territory (NT) for departure to Bathurst Island, NT. At this time, a Cessna 404 was also at Port Keats, taxiing to depart for Darwin, NT, from the same runway.

The 404 entered runway 34 while the 210 was in the take-off run resulting in the pilot of the 210 rejecting their take-off, stopping approximately 50 m from the 404. The 404 taxied clear of the runway and the 210 repositioned and departed without further incident.

The pilot of the 404 reported that while the 210 was taxiing for runway 34, they were awaiting traffic information from air traffic control (ATC). The pilot of the 404 made a taxi call on the Port Keats common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) which the pilot of the 210 reported hearing prior to broadcasting that they were rolling for take-off. It was during this rolling broadcast that ATC contacted the pilot of the 404. This radio call required repeating of information twice due to transmission difficulties. As a result, the pilot of the 404 did not hear the pilot of the 210 making the rolling call.

Prior to entering runway 34, the pilot of the 404 reported scanning the circuit area, presuming the 210 had already departed. They reported that they had not focused on the runway environment during the scan.

Safety message

ATSB SafetyWatch

According to ATSB publication A pilot's guide to staying safe in the vicinity of non-controlled aerodromes (AR-2008-044(1)) and the associated research report Safety in the vicinity of non-towered aerodromes (AR-2008-044(2)), runway incursions are amongst the most common occurrences at non-towered aerodromes.

Both publications highlight common errors leading to conflicts in operations at or near non-towered aerodromes and strategies are discussed to assist pilots to ensure that safe operations are always maintained.

About this report

Decisions regarding whether to conduct an investigation, and the scope of an investigation, are based on many factors, including the level of safety benefit likely to be obtained from an investigation. For this occurrence, no investigation has been conducted and the ATSB did not verify the accuracy of the information. A brief description has been written using information supplied in the notification and any follow-up information in order to produce a short summary report, and allow for greater industry awareness of potential safety issues and possible safety actions.


General details
Date: 28 February 2018   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0917 CST    
Location   (show map): Port Keats Airfield    
State: Northern Territory    
Release Date: 20 April 2018   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 404  
Type of operation Charter  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Last update 04 June 2018