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SW4 / Vehicle, Dunedin New Zealand, 2010
From SKYbrary Wiki
On 25 May 2010 a Swearingen SA227 Metroliner being operated by Airwork on a scheduled cargo flight from Christchurch to Dunedin narrowly missed colliding with a vehicle during its night landing roll in normal visibility at destination. The aircraft crew were unaware of the presence of the vehicle until advised later and the vehicle driver was unaware of the close proximity of the aircraft prior to its occurrence.
An Investigation was carried out by the TAIC. It was established that an aviation security officer had driven his patrol vehicle on to the runway in heavy rain ahead of the just-landed aircraft. The driver had apparently accessed the runway in order to conduct a routine inspection of the integrity of the airfield perimeter fence because flooding after recent heavy rain was affecting parts of the dirt perimeter road and the grassed areas from which such inspections were normally accomplished. Because he had co-incidentally kept to the shoulder of the runway and stopped soon after entering it, there had been no actual risk of collision. However, it was noted that the driver had been unaware that an aircraft had just landed and the pilots of the aircraft were also unaware of the vehicle and would have been in no position to take effective avoiding action to prevent a collision had the vehicle been driven in front of their aircraft.
It was established that the incident had occurred outside the normal opening hours of the airport and that this meant that air traffic control service was not being provided. It was found that the operational rules in place at the time stated only that “Vehicle movements on the manoeuvring area are restricted to those vehicles under Air Traffic Control” and that they had not addressed the issue of or the concomitant risks arising from vehicle movements when ATC service was not being provided.
It was also found that there were no procedures in place whereby the Airport Operator would advise the security agency of aircraft movements expected outside the hours of ATC service because the company had been unaware of the inspections being made.
It was noted that prior to and during their approach, the aircraft crew had made the standard radio calls for an unattended aerodrome on the correct radio frequency and had been aware of the actual weather conditions after contact with the airport night security agent. They had commenced an instrument approach confident that they would be able to land off it and when they became visual with the runway at about 600 feet aal, the runway lights were in sight and there was no visible obstruction on the runway.