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Occurrences

A selection of recent occurrences is shown strictly for the purpose of maintaining or improving aviation safety and should not be used to attribute blame or liability.



Propeller strike. 

Aircraft was being taxied to refuelling apron for second refuelling of the day. Crossing from the grass onto the hard surface, the nose of the aircraft nodded down momentarily and the propeller tips struck the concrete, causing deformation. The nose wheel had passed through a shallow depression in the earth which was not marked and was not visible through the grass from the cockpit.   

Engine fire on ground


The sortie was filed IFR for IMC rating training. The aeroplane was fully-fuelled, and it was to be first flight of the day. The aeroplane started first time with normal use of the primer and immediately white smoke was observed from the front of the engine. Continued operation of the engine in accordance with SOPs for a fire on start failed to draw the fire through, so I called 'fire; abandon' and the student executed the checklist items as memory actions and we left the aeroplane via our respective doors. Flames were coming from the air intake filter so I discharged the extinguisher once, which failed to stop the fire, so I emptied the extinguisher contents into the intake. The flames stopped, but the white smoke didn't. Another instructor was on the apron with a student so I asked him to call for assistance and the fire service arrived inside 2 minutes. I thought it appropriate to get a fire professional's opinion as the smoke had the appearance of vaporized fuel; and the fire might still have been burning inside the cowling.  

Pilot attempted to land at the wrong airfield.
 

I was the zone VHF controller at the time of the incident and was providing an ATS to approximately 8 BS and 1 TS AS. A light aircraft, was routing and under a BS. The light FW AS was approved for a MATZ crossing not below 2100 feet QFE inbound from the east. When the AS was approximately North at 4 miles, heading SW the AS reported visual with the airfield and happy to freecall. I requested from the App controller to release the AS and due to no other IF traffic to effect this was approved. I informed the AS to squawk 7000 and freecall destination airfield. After the AS had left my frequency and the transponder had changed to 7000 the AS then turned South and looked like it was making an approach. I call the TWR controller to inform him and he reported no traffic on the airfield to effect. The AS then started to descend. I had informed the supervisor who immediately went up to tower. The App controller spoke to destination airfield and requested that they contact the aircraft and inform the pilot of the situation. When the AS was over head at approx. 1000 feet it turned and tracked W for about 2 miles at the same time 2 based AS were inbound. The VHF AS then turned N for approx 2 miles before turning NE to position for an inbound turn to destination.

Fuel cap found on runway. 

Aircraft fuel cap found on the runway during routine runway inspection. The fuel cap had been dropped whilst departing. The fuel cap still had a key and airline company lanyard attached. The aircraft had previously been fuelled on the North Apron. No PIREPS had been received to report the FOD or missing cap. The item was recovered and the operator informed via the handling agent. The runway inspection had been carried out within the 3 hours maximum period with the previous inspection undertaken at 1051 and the inspection that resulted in the FOD find at 1325. Operator is investigating and aircraft in AOG, report awaited.
 

PAN declared due possible smoke in cockpit. 

Following take off, A/C on climb--out and turning crosswind left, reported that there appeared to be smoke in the cockpit and would be returning to land. The pilot was given the surface wind and choice of runways. A full emergency was called at 1736 in position at 1738. While turning downwind the pilot reported that he had just seen that he had flown over a fire and that it was possible that the strong smell in the cockpit had emanated from that but still wanted to land taxi back and check. Aircraft landed back safely and taxied back to stand where aircraft was met by AFS. Following a full investigation by the AFS it was determined that there was no sign of fire or an issue with the aircraft and the strong smell had indeed come from the fire just off the airfield boundary. Incident stood down at 1756. Aircraft refuelled before departing again.  

Aircraft Engine Fire on ground, due to over-priming of engine. 

At 11:03, Tower ATCA received telephone call stating engine fire at hangar 3. Further details not passed. ATCA informed tower ATCO and telephoned airport fire service. The aircraft was not in contact with the tower controller. At the time, an aircraft was on taxiway alpha en-route to hangar 3, ATC Informed aircraft and re-cleared it to taxi to eastern apron. ATCO informed airport duty manager and radar. Fire 2 reported responding. Reported external services not required, aircraft  had an engine fire but the fire was now out. AFS reports cause of incident due to over-priming of engine. 
 

Unauthorised landing at out of use airfield.
 

I was the duty Orderly Officer and received a call regarding a civilian AS which had landed at an out of use airfield. I spoke to the pilot, and he stated that he was en-route and encountered heavy fog. He stated that these conditions were beyond his capabilities and he requested advice from ATC, stating that they were not very helpful. They told him of the three airfields in the vicinity of and directed him to contact local LARS with the assigned frequency, however the LARS service is unavailable due to the Christmas grant. Initially, the pilot routed towards one airfield but he felt that the fog was still extensive and began looking for another RWY, selecting the out of use airfield as a landing point. I asked him why did he not divert to his diversion airfield and he said that he had not set one up. He requested that his aircraft remained for up to 2 days until they could fly it out. He did have a friend, who was a more experienced pilot, driving down to collect him. I informed him that the weather conditions were now good and that he, or his friend, should make best effort to come up with an alternative plan. I suggested that, if the weather was suitable, they would be best set to fly to another airfield, which had additional facilities to offer fuel and secure his aircraft. He stated that he did not require fuel and would try their best to come up with an alternative plan. I also informed him that the airfield he had landed at is not an airfield in use. The runway conditions are very poor, would not have any emergency cover and that he will be departing at his own risk. Also stated that we could not take responsibility for securing his aircraft if it is left there over night and he acknowledged these. I contacted the SATCO and informed him of the occurrence and will keep him in the loop as to the outcome.

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