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The pilot reported that, during approach to the 765 metre wet grass strip, the wind appeared to change to a tailwind. The mainwheels struck a concrete sea wall which marks the threshold, both tyres burst and the landing gear legs were damaged. Directional control problems were experienced during the landing and a go-around was carried out, with the aircraft becoming airborne just before the far end of the strip. The pilot was not aware that any damage had occurred until the gear would not retract. A diversion to an alternate aerodrome was conducted and the left main gear leg collapsed on landing. The strip at the original destination was too short for normal operation of the heavily laden aircraft. Because of this, and the wet surface, the pilot had approached at a lower than recommended airspeed, aiming to land close to the threshold. He had been unable to arrest the sink rate which developed in the final stages of the approach.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 18 January 1985 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 850  
Location:Saibai Island QLD; with diversion to Weipa Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland  
Release date: 19 March 1985  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-31 
Aircraft registration: VH-WJK 
Type of operation: Charter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Horn Island QLD
Departure time:0850
Destination:Saibai Island QLD
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