Read recent examples of airspace occurrences below.
Occurrence number: 22/1311
Date: 04 March 2022
Time: 02:45 UTC
A Hokitika aerodrome runway inspection officer heard a King Air making radio calls within the MBZ and that it was on final for runway 03. The officer then happened to look at final approach for runway 30 and saw a light aircraft on final for that runway too. He had not heard any radio calls from that aircraft, so he used his radio to alert the King Air crew of the conflict and they immediately executed a go-around.
The officer approached the light aircraft pilot after the aircraft shut-down and inquired about the absence of radio calls. It was at this time that the pilot realised he had used his 'out-of-date' AIP and therefore the wrong frequency. He had used the old frequency (119.1) rather than 119.8 which is the correct frequency (in Feb 2022). This was despite having current maps and using a 'popular' navigation app on his phone.
The CAA investigation found that the pilot has since updated his hardcopy AIP and is having ADS-B fitted in the aircraft later this year. He will also pay more attention to his flight planning in future.
A similar incident has happened since this one and it appears that some pilots, when using navigation apps on mobile phones, may be zooming in to see more map detail but by doing so, inadvertently moving other information off the screen.
The CAA is currently focussing on incidents where a lack of flight planning or insufficient flight planning has led to occurrences.
Occurrence number: 21/5136
Date: 12 September 2021
Time: 03:45 UTC
A light aircraft lined up and took off while a glider was landing. Neither crew member of the light aircraft saw the glider or heard any radio calls from it, while the glider crew did not hear the light aircraft advise it was lining up. The front seat glider pilot reported he saw the light aircraft when it climbed up ahead of him as he was about to land.
The investigation found that an inadequate lookout by the light aircraft crew before entering the runway was a primary factor in this occurrence. The absence of any radio calls also reinforced their belief there was no circuit traffic. The investigation also noted that the light aircraft’s 'line up call' was of a much lower transmission strength than its previous radio call, which may have contributed to it not being heard by the glider crew.
Another identified factor was that the glider’s 'front seat' radio transmit button had an intermittent fault, and therefore its radio calls were not heard.
The light aircraft operator now further encourages the need for pilots to thoroughly scan final approach for any traffic, especially those that may be flying a different approach path or NORDO aircraft, before taxiing on to a runway.
The gliders front seat radio transmit button has since been replaced.