Aviation occurrence briefs

Separation event involving a Cessna 441 and a Beechcraft B200, Dubbo, NSW, on 12 November 2018

Number:
AB-2018-121
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Brief

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 12 November 2018 at approximately 1300 Eastern Daylight-saving Time, the pilot of a Cessna 441 was on a westerly approach to Dubbo Airport, New South Wales. On the same day, a Beechcraft B200 and a Piper PA-31 were also on approach to Dubbo; with the B200 inbound from the south-east and the PA-31 from the south-west. Both the 441 and the B200 were given aircraft traffic by Melbourne Centre[1], advising both crews that the B200 was arriving first for runway 05 followed by the 441 and PA-31.

Just prior to reaching the 5 NM point from the airport, the crew of the B200 reported their position on the Dubbo common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) and requested a position update from the 441. The crew of the 441 advised that they were passing WI. Upon realisation of the potential confliction, the crew of the B200 informed the 441 of their converging track and requested the 441 conduct an orbit to maintain separation. At about the same time the crew of the 441 received a TCAS alert alerting them that the conflicting traffic was 1 NM away. They immediately conducted an orbit to the left until it was clear to resume their approach.

Pilot comments

Pilot of Cessna 441

The pilot advised that throughout their approach, they were in communication with the crew of the PA-31 coordinating their approach via the CTAF. Because of the multiple radio transmissions on the CTAF and with Melbourne Centre, they were unable to communicate with the crew of the B200 earlier.

Safety message

This incident highlights the need for pilots to maintain situational awareness and a vigilant lookout at all times. This is especially important when operating at non-controlled aerodromes where pilots are responsible for monitoring and broadcasting their intensions on the CTAF. Research has found that the most hazardous phases of flight are within 5 NM of an aerodrome and at an altitude below 3,000 ft, as there is a higher traffic density within this area.The ATSB SafetyWatch highlights the broad safety concerns that come out of our investigation findings and from the occurrence data reported to us by industry. One of the priorities is Non-controlled airspace.

Further information about operating safely at non-controlled aerodromes can be found on the ATSB website A pilot's guide to staying safe in the vicinity of non-controlled aerodromes and CASA website Operations at non-controlled aerodromes.

The ATSB SafetyWatch highlights the broad safety concerns that come out of our investigation findings and from the occurrence data reported to us by industry. One of the priorities is Non-controlled airspace.

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.

 

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  1. The Melbourne flight information region (FIR) includes the southern half of Australia and the Southern and Indian oceans. The centre is directly responsible for en route services throughout the FIR.
General details
Date: 12 November 2018   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1300 EDT    
Location   (show map): Dubbo    
State: New South Wales    
Release Date: 21 December 2018   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final    

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 441  
Type of operation Charter  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Destination Dubbo, NSW  

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer Beech Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model B22  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Destination Dubbo, NSW  
Last update 21 December 2018