Aviation safety investigations & reports

Schleicher KA 6, VH-GTW, Tumbarumba NSW, 6 December 1986

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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Following a winch launch, the pilot spent 12 to 15 minutes gliding before returning for a landing. On the downwind leg he noted that the aircraft appeared to be lower than the height indicated on the altimeter. At about the base leg position the aircraft was very low, and witnesses expected the glider to land in one of several suitable paddocks. However, the pilot continued towards the strip and the glider touched down during the turn onto final approach. The tail section was broken off when it contacted long grass. The pilot had accumulated most of his gliding experience at the particular strip and was familiar with the area. The flight in question was to be the first made by the aircraft since returning from another aerodrome. During his pre-launch checks the pilot had forgotten to re-set the altimeter to read zero feet. As a result, the altimeter was over-reading by some 500 feet. The pilot had concentrated on the indicated height and had not visually assessed the approach profile. He was unable to explain why he had persisted with the approach when he became aware that the aircraft was abnormally low and there were suitable outlanding areas available.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 06 December 1986   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1530    
Location: Tumbarumba    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 16 January 1987   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Alexander Schleicher Segelflugzeugbau  
Aircraft model KA6  
Aircraft registration VH-GTW  
Type of operation Gliding  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Tumbarumba NSW  
Departure time 1515 approx  
Destination Tumbarumba NSW