CT156 Harvard ll - CT114 Tutor - Epilogue

Report / April 15, 2014 / Project number: CT156118 - CT114131 - E Category

Location: 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Date: 15 April 2014
Status: Investigation Complete

15 Wing has had a concerning amount of Near Mid-Air Collision (NMAC) occurrences since 2004.  The NMAC occurrence which initiated this investigation took place in the 15 Wing, Moose Jaw, SK (CYMJ) Military Terminal Control Area (MTCA) and involved two locally-based Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) high-performance aircraft.

A CT114 Tutor piloted by a Maintenance Test Pilot (MTP) had departed from CYMJ Runway 11L on a southeasterly heading to conduct a Maintenance Test Flight (MTF).  After rolling out from a right turn to a westerly heading at approximately 10,000 feet and 15 miles southeast of CYMJ, the MTP heard the sound of a high speed propeller pass from left to right and, immediately after, observed a CT156 Harvard II diverging away, above and to the right.

The Harvard II, crewed by a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and Student Pilot (SP), was returning to base (RTB) on a northwesterly heading after having completed the required sequences in the training area.  The SP observed the Tutor converging from the right and took evasive action by climbing and rolling right to increase separation between the two aircraft as the Tutor crossed under its nose from right to left. 

Due to the proximity of the aircraft interaction and compounded by a myriad of NMAC occurrences over the course of many years, the Director of Flight Safety (DFS) raised the Flight Safety Investigation (FSI) from a class III to a class II investigation in order to conduct an in‑depth analysis of 15 Wing’s NMAC issues.

The investigation delved into the overall issue of NMACs, and did not only investigate this specific NMAC occurrence.  The focus was on multiple contributing factors; most notably, human factors that relate to lookout; airspace management; Air Traffic Control (ATC) capabilities; radio frequency management; and, maintenance test flight procedures. 

The investigative team determined that all reasonable procedural measures within 15 Wing’s control to minimize the mid-air collision risk had been implemented.  The effectiveness of lookout was found to be unreliable as a mitigation strategy, thereby supporting the need for a technical solution.  The primary recommendation echoed the 30 existing Preventive Measures (PMs) from past NMAC reports to implement a Traffic Advisory System (TAS) – determined to be the best means to minimize future NMAC occurrences and reduce the risk of a mid‑air collision.

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