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ATSB investigating separation incident at Albury Airport

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 3, 2019

The ATSB is investigating a near collision involving Virgin Australia ATR 72-600 VH-FVR and a Piper PA-28 light aircraft. (Wikimedia Commons/Bidgee)
A file image of Virgin Australia ATR 72-600 VH-FVR. (Wikimedia Commons/Bidgee)

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) says it is investigating a separation issue involving a Virgin Australia ATR 72-600 turboprop and Piper PA-28 light aircraft at Albury Airport.

The incident occurred on October 19 2019 when the Virgin Australia 72-600 VH-FVR was operating a regular public transport (RPT) flight from Sydney to Albury.

While passing through 1,300 ft and on a straight in approach to runway 25 at Albury Airport in visual meteorological conditions, the ATSB said the Virgin Australia turboprop received a traffic collision avoidance system alert on the PA-28.

The single-engine PA-28 VH-XDI, which was operated by the Australian Airline Pilot Academy, was turning final for Runway 25, the ATSB said in a short statement on its website.

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

“As part of the investigation, the ATSB will interview directly involved parties and obtain other relevant information, including recorded data.”

The ATSB described the event as a near collision and a serious incident. There were no injuries.


Further, it said the investigation was expected to be completed by the second quarter of calendar 2020.

However, should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB said it would immediately notify relevant stakeholders in order that appropriate and timely safety action could be taken.

The Australian Airline Pilot Academy is a subsidiary of Regional Express (Rex), which recently bought another pilot training school based in Ballarat, ST Aerospace Academy.


Virgin Australia had eight ATR 72 turboprops in its fleet.

Comment (1)

  • Peter Stevenson


    I’m no expert in aviation but did click up around 14 hours (dual) flight training when I was 21 in 1981. Most of my flight training was in a PA-28 back then at Cessnock (Hunter Region NSW). Back then airports like Cessnock were in uncontrolled airspace which
    everything relied on looking and radio transmissions from other aircraft in the local flight circuit. I suspect Albury Airport would be similar as being in uncontrolled airspace which it was when I grew up there from 1964 – 1976.

    Albury Airport was always busy with a variety of aircraft flying in and out every day when I grew up there in my younger years. TAA, East-West Airlines, Ansett Australia, various military aircraft from the Vietnam era …plus all the local business aircraft using the Albury airport. I suspect all these years later it would be more busier with aircraft which might be worth looking at having a flight control tower if one has not yet been implemented.

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