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Airproxes

These are short and incomplete summaries only.  Full reports are available on www.airproxboard.org.uk

Report Number
Date
A/C A
A/C B
Location
 
2016165
8 August 2016
A400
C182
10nm East Brize
THE A400 PILOT reports that, at the   request of ATC, he agreed to fly a vectored PAR for controller training. At   2300ft on the QNH during a left-hand level turn onto the final approach track   for RW25, the controller called traffic to the north, 100ft below. Within 10   seconds they received a TCAS TA and then an RA, giving a ‘fly-down’ command.   The RA was followed and the turn continued against the opposing traffic, which   they were now visual with, a low-wing yellow light aircraft.

THE C182 PILOT reports that he was   conducting a Standard Missed Approach (SMA) from the OX beacon, and receiving   a Traffic Service as is standard for this type of procedure (Ed: The Board reports   that the C182 was actually I receipt of a Basic Service). At approximately   1nm from the beacon, he saw a large aircraft taking-off from Brize. It left   the Brize zone and passed in front of the C182 on a track that would have   passed well in front at 090°. However, just outside the Brize zone it turned   directly towards them, with a much higher speed and rate of climb. The C182   pilot turned away to the left and the other aircraft passed safely behind. Once already established in the turn, Oxford ATC gave an instruction of ‘turn   left immediately’. The pilot noted that had he been IMC, this would have been   very close, and opined that he needed better Traffic Information and for   Brize to be aware of the Oxford Instrument procedure.
THE BOARD debated for some time whether   the A400 pilot or the controller were responsible for the A400’s late turn   onto the base leg which then took the aircraft outside the CTR. In the end   they could not resolve the debate and concluded that the incident was best   described simply as a conflict in Class G caused by a late turn onto base leg by the A400.  



2016170
10 August 2016
Tucano
Gyrocopter
SW Penrith
THE TUCANO PILOT reports that she was the Captain in the rear cockpit on a student sortie. Whilst conducting a normal lookout scan, she saw what appeared to be a small object in the 11 o'clock co-altitude, which she called to the student who acknowledged that he was visual also. The object passed down the left side of the aircraft (before avoiding action could be taken). She believed the object to be a small drone, the student identified it as, potentially, a gyrocopter (although he was unsure if it was manned). At no time did the object appear on TCAS. Immediately following the incident, she put out a call on UHF Low-Level Common to alert other users. Once 5 miles clear of the object, she instructed the student to climb so she could contact Swanwick Mil to report the incident.
THE GYROCOPTER PILOT reports that he was returning from Ullswater to his base when he saw a Tucano on a reciprocal heading; he initiated a turn to the right to avoid but there was never any risk of collision. He commented that in the past he did contact Linton with the suggestion that he call them when he was operating in the local area; however, after several subsequent calls to them, he didn’t feel his calls were being passed to the correct authority and so he eventually gave up. He further commented that, quite often, military aircraft fly very close to his strip, and sometimes right over the top at low level, “Great to see, but it would be nice if there was some warning”. Traffic from his strip uses the SafetyCom frequency.

THE BOARD began their deliberations by acknowledging the differing perceptions of the object by the Tucano crew, agreeing that this was a pertinent learning point for everyone in that fleetingly seeing an object at the last moment can alter your perception of its size and distance. This had enabled the Gyrocopter to be traced as opposed to the incident being debated as a drone sighting report. The Board then turned to the actions of the Gyrocopter pilot. They were complimentary of his previous diligence in endeavouring to liaise with Military units and alert them as to his activities, but somewhat saddened that this had not borne fruit in the past. Some members speculated that this was probably because the military low-level users were located all around the country and that the information was probably not getting through. The Board agreed that this was another incident where a VHF Low-Level Common Frequency would have been useful for improving both pilots’ situational awareness through timely and pertinent passage of information from other pilots.
2016173
16 August 2016
C182
PA28
SW Newport,
Isle of Wight
THE C182 PILOT reports that he was flying VFR over the Isle of Wight at around 2000ft. Having just left the Bournemouth Radar frequency, and while attempting to change to Solent Radar, he suddenly noticed the opposite direction traffic in about the 1 o'clock position and slightly high. He immediately took avoiding action with a right turn and descent. This action was partially delayed because the autopilot was on and the override was compensated for by the trim running. The autopilot was switched off, and the turn and descent continued. There was not sufficient time to identify the other aircraft. On reflection two learning points were observed. When returning to a busy flying area such as the Isle of Wight, extra care should be taken to scan for and avoid other traffic. Secondly, beware of distractions from changing frequencies and be double sure of the autopilot cancel button on the aircraft yolk.

THE PA28 PILOT reports that he had just crossed the Solent from the East, and had been advised by Farnborough Radar to free call en-route so he changed to Bournemouth Radar with the intent of a Basic Service. He made his initial call just North of Bembridge, but the VHF readability at the time was poor and he heard nothing back. He didn't try again until overhead St Catherine's Point, by which time the frequency was quite busy, as a result, he was told to stand by. After eventually being instructed to pass his message ATC informed him that his transmission had been "stepped on" and asked him to repeat most of his message. His attention was diverted temporarily into the cockpit to re-check altitude, pressure setting and position, after which he looked out and saw the other aircraft on a collision course. He immediately initiated a turn to the right, and the conflicting aircraft passed underneath on his left-hand side. At the time of the incident he was flying a West/North Westerly heading directly into the sun which reduced his forward visibility, compounded by hazy conditions in the area at the time. He believes that had he been able to contact Bournemouth on his initial call (and/or his transmission hadn't been interrupted), this situation would not have occurred because his workload would have been reduced, meaning he would have spotted (and avoided) the other
aircraft earlier.

THE BOARD were heartened that the C182 pilot had identified some of the key learning points, namely, the importance of a robust lookout and the fact that in-cockpit distractions can have a negative effect upon the ability to maintain a good lookout. They agreed that both pilots had been distracted by in-cockpit tasks which had degraded their lookout to the point that this incident was caused by a late sighting by both pilots.
2016175
17 August 2016
Bulldog
Harvard
1nm West Bracknell
THE BULLDOG PILOT reports that he contacted Farnborough Radar to request a Basic Service. He was given a new squawk, cleared on planned track to Farnborough and then advised “caution opposite traffic”. At that moment he observed a blue Harvard aircraft pass just below him and about 400-500m to starboard. The aircraft was in a 30° right bank towards him and appeared to be in an avoidance manoeuvre. He did not have time to take avoiding action as he visually acquired the aircraft too late. He commented that it was in hazy conditions with a bluish background; consequently, the blue aircraft was hard to see. The conflict occurred during him making a radio transmission.

THE HARVARD PILOT reports that he recorded what he thought happened but he was not confident of the details. He was flying around the western edge of the London CTR and would have been talking to Farnborough West in receipt of a Basic Service and squawking the assigned code. He normally flies through the White Waltham ATZ, and so, at about Bracknell, he would call Farnborough for a temporary change of frequency to White Waltham. He was not sure exactly when he transferred to Farnborough North but usually soon after White Waltham. He recalled that he was aware of the Bulldog from the radio. He could not remember if he heard the
Bulldog pilot transmit or if he had been advised of traffic by ATC.  He recalled looking out for the aircraft and soon seeing it at about 1-2nm on an approximately reciprocal course to him, but going to pass some distance on his right so he turned slightly left to increase separation, but no avoiding action was required. There appeared to be no apparent reaction from the Bulldog pilot.

THE BOARD noted that although the Harvard pilot reported that he had seen the Bulldog at a range of 1-2nm, his recollection of the event was somewhat vague because he had not been aware that an Airprox had been reported until sometime after the event. Although it was apparent that he had seen the Bulldog, given the reported hazy conditions by the Bulldog pilot, thought it might have been closer than reported. The Bulldog pilot had effectively not seen the Harvard until it had passed him. Consequently, it was agreed that the Airprox had occurred because of a late sighting by the Harvard pilot and an effective non-sighting by the Bulldog pilot.
2016179
31 July 2016
A400
'Light Aircraft'
7nm W Brize Norton

THE A400 PILOT reports that he was on recovery to Brize and receiving a Traffic Service from Brize Director. He was in ‘clean’ air [UKAB note: interpreted to mean not in cloud], although technically IMC due to clearance from the cloud. Whilst conducting an intermediate descent, Traffic Information was given on traffic, right at a range of 6nm, no height information, two further lots of Traffic Information were given, but the crew could not spot the contact. Eventually it was seen by the non-handling pilot, directly on the nose at the same altitude and at a range of ½nm. It was a single-engine, low-wing aircraft, white upper, with a red and white stripe lower, no lights were observed. There was no TCAS indication of the subject aircraft at any stage. The aircraft crossed their flight path at 90° from right to left, and the A400 passed behind him by ¾ nm. They informed Brize ATC at the time.
THE LIGHT-AIRCRAFT PILOT COULD NOT BE TRACED.
THE BOARD agreed that whilst he could clearly see around him to a degree, given his likely relatively high speed,3 they wondered whether the A400 pilot would have been better placed to have asked for a Deconfliction Service rather than a Traffic Service so that ATC could assist in avoiding other traffic that might be obscured to him. That being said, the Board noted that ATC had passed Traffic Information to him regarding the other traffic on 4 occasions (albeit with height unknown) and, given his collision avoidance responsibilities, members wondered why he had continued towards it without taking any action to break the collision geometry. The board quickly agreed that due to his inaction on receipt of multiple Traffic Information, the A400 pilot had flown into conflict with the unknown light-aircraft.
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