Australian investigators probe airliner ‘near collision’

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December 03, 2019
regional near collision
A Virgin ATR. Photo: Bahnfrend/Wikimedia Commons

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating how a small aircraft from a flying school triggered a collision alert and prompted a regional airliner to abort its landing in what was described as a near collision.

A Virgin Australia ATR-72 turboprop aircraft was landing in the regional NSW town of Albury on October 19 when it came into conflict with a Piper Aircraft PA-28 operated by the Australian Airline Pilot Academy owned by rival carrier Regional Express.

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“Passing 1,300 ft on a straight-in approach to runway 25 at Albury Airport in visual meteorological conditions, the flight crew of the ATR 72 received a traffic collision avoidance system alert on the PA-28, which was turning final for runway 25,’’ the ATSB said in a website alert.

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“The flight crew of the ATR 72 conducted a missed approach to increase separation between the two aircraft.”

The ATSB did not say how close the aircraft came but labeled the incident as serious.

It plans to interview directly involved parties and look at other information such as recorded data.

The bureau is also investigating an engine pod strike involving a Singapore Airlines Cargo Boeing 747-412F freighter at Sydney Airport on November 28.

It said the no. 1 engine pod struck the ground during a missed approach procedure.

Reports will be released at the end of both investigations and the ATSB said it would immediately notify relevant stakeholders should a critical safety issue be identified during the investigations.