|C3/2005L Incident at Helsinki-Vantaa airport on 14 July 2006||Text version|
An incident occurred at Helsinki-Vantaa airport on 14 July 2006, when a Redigo RG-1 aircraft , operated by Finnish Air Force, initiated take-off in violation to the take-off clearance against an approaching Saab 2000, operated by Golden Air Flyg Ab, to runway 15. The Accident Investigation Board of Finland (AIBF), decided to conduct an investigation into the incident. In the decision C3/2005L, an investigation commission was nominated with AIBF Air Accident Investigator Hannu Melaranta as a chairman and Captain Pekka Kuoppala from the Training Air Wing of the Finnish Air Force as a member.
The pilot had flown from Kauhava to Helsinki-Vantaa airport and had arrived about half an hour earlier. The flight preparation was made in Kauhava before initiating the flight, which was a personnel transport flight. Before the departure from Helsinki-Vantaa, the pilot received a standard VFR-clearance. The clearance was to leave the terminal area via the reporting point “Kolis”. The assigned departure runway was initially 22R. Shortly after the Air Traffic Control (ATC) suggested that the pilot would use runway 15, intersection YF for departure. The pilot accepted this. The take-off clearance was given from runway 15 with an instruction to commence left turn after the departure. However, the take-off was commenced from runway 33. At the same time, an airliner was approaching from the opposite direction. The ATC instructed the Redigo pilot to commence a right turn and after that issued a landing clearance for approaching traffic to runway 15.
The exact distance between the two aircraft was not possible to determine. The pilot-in-command of the approaching aircraft told, that their altitude at the time the Redigo started its turn was approximately 700-800 feet and their distance from the runway threshold approximately 2,3 NM. The sequence of events was established by the ATC recordings and witness interviews. The pilot’s flight training was reviewed as well as the arrangements and instructions related to the supporting flights in the Air Force. Also the vigilance of the pilot was evaluated according to his statement. The investigation revealed that the pilot’s flight training had progressed normally but his recent experience on the aircraft type concerned was relatively small. In the Training Squadron, it was seen necessary to fly an extra training flight to Helsinki-Vantaa airport, since the operation there was more demanding than in the other airfields. This training was not included in the flight training syllabus.
The cause of the incident was an erroneous conception of the runway in use for departure. This might have been contributed by the assumption that the flight should have been turned right towards the VFR reporting point. The initial ATC-clearance from runway 22R might have contributed to the pilot’s conception. Contributing factors to the incident were that the pilot’s recent experience on the type concerned was small and he was not that familiar with the operation at Helsinki-Vantaa airport. Due to these reasons, the cockpit preparations might have called for his attention to that extent, that he did not pay enough attention to the revised ATC-clearance. Also, it is possible that the pilot’s vigilance was lowered.
The investigation commission issued one safety recommendation. In the Supporting Flight operations, The Finnish Air Force should pay more attention to recognise those characteristics in the operation environment that set more requirements to the pilots’ recent experience. These requirements should be considered in the flight training to give the pilots the resources to accomplish their flight missions. If needed, this should also be confirmed during the training flights.
The final draft of the report was sent for comments to the Finnish Air Force. The Finnish Civil Aviation Authority and Finavia were also given the chance to comment on the report.