Sunday, April 6, 2014

Near collison between an Australian aircraft and an "unknown" object on 19 March 2014

Hi all,

Regular readers of this blog will be aware that from time to time, I report on near collisions between aircraft and apparent UAP.

In the United Kingdom, the UK Airprox Board regularly reports on its investigations into near collisions between aircraft and UAP. Its website (click here) contains excellent reports on their investigation into such incidents. Sometimes the Board comes up with either a specific finding, or at times reveals that it is unable to be certain exactly what nearly collided with an aircraft.

Australia:

Here in Australia, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) "...is Australia's national transport safety investigator...The ATSB is Australia's prime agency for the independent investigation of civil aviation, rail and maritime accidents, incidents and safety deficiencies." (click here for the ATSB website).

Recent near collision:

On the ATSB website is a listing of  "Aviation Safety Investigations & Reports." This listing provides details of incidents such as "runway excursions; "engine failures" and near collisions between aircraft (click here for the current listing.)

Eagle eyed Melbourne researcher Paul Dean recently noticed that one of the March 2014 near collision reports involved an "unknown object."

ATSB report number AO-2014-052 reads as follows:

"The ATSB has commenced an investigation into a near collision with an unknown object involving a De Havilland DHC-8, VH-XFX near Perth Airport, Western Australia on 19 March 2014. While passing 4,000ft on descent the crew observed an unknown object tracking directly towards the aircraft. The crew manoeuvred the aircraft to maintain separation. As part of the investigation the ATSB will interview the aircraft crew. A report will be released within several months."

The report goes on to provide general details:

Date: 19 Mar 2014
Time: 0913 WST
Location: Perth Airport, NNE 23km
Investigation status: Active
Investigation type: Occurrence investigation
Occurrence class: Operational
Occurrence category: Serious Incident
Report status: Pending
Expected completion: June 2014.
 
Aircraft details:
Manufacturer: de Havilland Canada
Model: DHC-8-314
Registration: VH-XFX
Serial number: 313
Type of operation: Charter
Sector: Turboprop
Damage to aircraft: Nil
Departure point: Kambalda, WA
Destination: Perth, WA.
 
Internet search:
 
A web search reveals that aircraft VH-XFX is owned by Skippers Aviation of Subiaco, West Australia. Skippers Aviation ( click here) is West Australia's leading aircraft charter service.
 
ATSB report:
 
The release date of the final report of the ATSB on this incident is estimated to be June this year. Its findings will be eagerly awaited. I understand the ATSB system does not allow the crew or company who reported this incident to talk about it, other than to ATSB investigators, until the ATSB investigation has been completed. Thus it is not possible for me or any other investigator to learn more details of the incident until the ATSB report comes out in three months time.
 

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