MNG A306 at Brize on Nov 18th 2011, loss of separation with a helicopter

Last Update: July 12, 2012 / 14:15:56 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Nov 18, 2011

Classification
Report

Aircraft Registration
TC-MNV

Aircraft Type
Airbus A300

ICAO Type Designator
A306

A MNG Airlines Airbus A300-600, registration TC-MNV performing freight flight MB-508 from Brize Norton,EN (UK) to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen (Turkey) with 3 crew, had received their departure clearance from ground control as Malby standard departure route which cleared the flight to climb to FL080. After the crew checked in with tower, tower cleared the flight for takeoff from runway 26: "BLACK SEA FIVE ZERO EIGHT, CLIMB OUT RESTRICTION TWO THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED FEET ON BRIZE QNH ONE ZERO ONE FIVE ACKNOWLEDGE", the tower intending to assure separation to a Chinook helicopter holding at 3500 feet above the aerodrome. Other than intended by the tower controller the crew did not understand that instruction as altitude restriction but as information about runway length reduction due to entering the runway via taxiway E and consequently climbed through 2200 feet while contacting departure. The crew did anticipate a Traffic Advisory issued by TCAS but not a TCAS Resolution Advisory. When the TCAS RA activated the captain (44, ATPL, 7,334 hours total, 135 hours on type), pilot flying, disengaged autopilot and autothrottle and maintained the vertical profile marked green by TCAS. The minimum separation between the two aircraft reduced to 496 feet vertical and 0.11nm horizontally. After being clear of conflict the crew re-engaged autopilot and autothrust and continued for a safe landing at Sabiha Gokcen Airport.

The British AAIB released their bulletin concluding the probable cause of the incident was:

The Airprox occurred due to the misunderstanding by the A300 crew of the meaning of the ATC instruction ‘CLIMB OUT RESTRICTION TWO THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED FEET’, which they took to mean the runway length reduction when making an intersection departure from holding point Echo. They therefore did not change their selected target altitude from 8,000 ft to the required 2,200 ft. Contributory factors were that this phrase was not standard RT phraseology and the A300 crew omitted to provide their departure information on initial contact with the approach controller.

The AAIB analysed that the tower controller did not use standard radiotelephony phraseology when he issued the climb out restriction. Although both Turkish crew with good working knowledge of English were familiar with the phrase "climb out restriction" they did not register this clearance as an altitude restriction.

About 32 seconds after the A300 crew had reported on the frequency of the departure controller the aircraft had already climbed through 2,200 feet and was coming into conflict with the helicopter, the departure controller queried the passing altitude and saw the radar returns of the Chinook and the A300 merge on his display.

As an immediate safety action Brize Norton stopped to use the phrase "Climb out Restriction".

The AAIB recommended to the Ministry of Defence to ensure standard radiotelephony phraseology is being used and to review the policy of selecting Mode-C on military aircraft transponders although Mode-S would be available to ensure best available TCAS performance.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Nov 18, 2011

Classification
Report

Aircraft Registration
TC-MNV

Aircraft Type
Airbus A300

ICAO Type Designator
A306

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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