Sunstate DH8D at Perth on Oct 26th 2012, near collision with weather balloon

Last Update: February 28, 2013 / 14:55:08 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Oct 26, 2012


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A Sunstate Airlines de Havilland Dash 8-400 on behalf of Qantas, registration VH-LQG performing flight QF-2432 from Perth,WA to Geraldton,WA (Australia) with 54 passengers and 4 crew, was in the initial climb through about 700 feet out of Perth's runway 03 when the captain, pilot monitoring, spotted a weather balloon slightly ahead in his 1 o'clock position and advised the first officer, who flew a left turn in order to avoid the weather balloon. The weather balloon was observed passing the right hand wing tip in about 10-15 meters distance. The aircraft continued to Geraldton for a safe landing.

Australia's Transportation Safety Board (ATSB) released their final report without conclusion following a short cut investigation.

The ATSB stated, that the weather balloon carried suffient hydrogen to enable it climb at about 1000 fpm up to 60,000 feet, a radar reflective target and a radio sonde.

According to an agreement between Airservices Australia and the weather offices the release of weather balloon within 3nm around an airport requires coordination with the airport tower, the release personnel also were required to scan the airport visually for possibly conflicting traffic.

The weather office had called the tower and received a release of the weather balloon. The release team scanned the airport visually but saw no aircraft departing or arriving and released the balloon.

Shortly after tower cleared the Dash 8 for takeoff. The weather officer noticed the Dash departing and got concerned that the weather balloon might drift in front of the aircraft due to the prevailing wind direction.
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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Oct 26, 2012


Flight number

Aircraft Registration

ICAO Type Designator

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