Air ambulance in near miss

AN air ambulance and a glider narrowly avoided colliding near Griffith earlier this year it has been revealed.

It was one of two separate Riverina air incidents investigated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and released in a final report this week.

On January 6, a Hawker B200 aircraft was inbound to Griffith from Sydney on the medical mission.

Shortly after broadcasting his position, the pilot reported that the aircraft's traffic alert and collision avoidance system indicated 'traffic 800 ft below'.

The pilot made visual contact with a climbing glider and initiated avoiding action.

The Hawker passed over the glider about 22 kilometres east-north-east of Griffith.

In the other incident, a Piper PA-39 aircraft skidded to a halt in a paddock about 50 kilometres north-west of West Wyalong after it was forced to make an emergency landing due to partial power loss to both engines.

The private flight left Tamworth for Bacchus Marsh, Victoria on December 9 last year and was being ferried for a pre-purchase engineering inspection.

As the pilot was unfamiliar with the aircraft and it hadn't been flown for seven months, he elected to fly via Dubbo and land at Griffith to reassess the flight.

As he prepared for descent the pilot noticed a decrease in engine speed and despite attempts to increase it, the aircraft continued to descend.

The aircraft sustained serious damage in an emergency landing but the pilot, who was the sole occupant, was uninjured.


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