Event Details

Title:Airspace incident between ATR 72-212 ZK-MCC and Boeing 737-219 ZK-NAT, Queenstown control zone, 26 July 1999
Micro summary:This Boeing 767 was flying a circling approach when an arriving ATR 72 entered the zone, infringing separation requirements.
Event Time:1999-07-26 at 1250 NZST
File Name:1999-07-26-NZ.pdf
Publishing Agency:Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC)
Publishing Country:New Zealand
Report number:99-005
Site of event:Queenstown control zone
First AirplaneSecond Airplane
Departure:Auckland International Airport, Auckland, New ZealandChristchurch International Airport, Christchurch, New Zealand
Destination:Queenstown Airport, Queenstown, New ZealandQueenstown Airport, Queenstown, New Zealand
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 737-219ATR 72-212
Flight Phase:ApproachParked
Operator(s):Air New ZealandMount Cook Airline
Type of flight:RevenueRevenue
Serious Injuries:00
Other Injuries:00
Executive Summary:On Monday 26 July 1999 at about 1250 hours, an Air New Zealand Boeing 737 was flying a circling instrument approach in the Queenstown Control Zone when a Mount Cook ATR 72 entered the zone without a clearance, infringing the separation requirements for the 2 aircraft.

The ATR 72 had descended early and was joining Queenstown under visual flight rules via Kawarau Gorge at low-level in poor weather. Before entering the gorge, the ATR 72 had been advised by air traffic control of a possible requirement to hold at a reporting point on the edge of the control zone. Committed to continue flying through the gorge in deteriorating weather, the ATR 72 was unable to hold at the reporting point when later instructed to. The crew of the ATR 72 had continued through the gorge in the belief that they did not need to obtain an entry clearance into the control zone.

Having entered the control zone the ATR 72 compromised the circling approach of the Boeing 737 that was operating in accordance with normal instrument flight rules procedures. The controller was initially unsure of the location and intended flight path of the Boeing 737, and when both aircraft were established in the zone he was left with little option than to position the ATR 72 in front of the Boeing 737. The captain of the Boeing 737 was then committed to continuing towards the aerodrome in reducing visibility because the ATR 72 had obstructed its primary escape route to the south of the aerodrome.

Safety issues identified were:

the ATR 72 entering a control zone without an entry clearance

safety procedures for flying through Kawarau Gorge

a general poor industry understanding of the requirements for flight under special visual flight rules

position reporting by aircraft after becoming visual on the instrument approach

flight under visual flight rules by medium and large air transport aircraft

poor industry understanding of the management of general aviation areas within the Queenstown
Control Zone.

Recommendations were made to the operators of both aircraft, the director of Civil Aviation and the chief executive of Airways Corporation to address the safety issues.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission is an independent Crown entity established to determine the circumstances and causes of accidents and incidents with a view to avoiding similar occurrences in the future. Accordingly it is inappropriate that reports should be used to assign fault or blame or determine liability, since neither the investigation nor the reporting process has been undertaken for that purpose.

The Commission may make recommendations to improve transport safety. The cost of implementing any recommendation must always be balanced against its benefits. Such analysis is a matter for the regulator and the industry.

These reports may be reprinted in whole or in part without charge, providing acknowledgement is made to the Transport Accident Investigation Commission.

Learning Keywords:Operations - Airspace - Air Proximity
Operations - Airspace - Air Traffic Control
Operations - Airspace - Non-Precision Approach


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