Aviation safety investigations & reports

Grumman AA-5A Cheetah, VH-SYX, Tangalooma QLD, 6 July 1986

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The first take-off attempt towards the South was abandoned because the pilot was uncertain whether the aircraft would become airborne in the distance available. He noted that the windsock indicated calm conditions, and after completing another engine run, elected to take-off towards the North. However, the windsock was sheltered from the prevailing wind and did not indicate the five to seven knot tailwind existing for the initial part of the takeoff. Full power was applied before the brakes were released, however acceleration appeared to be uneven, reducing as the wheels passed through soft areas on the strip. The aircraft struck a fence shortly after lift-off, and touched down in a nose-high attitude. It then bounced several times, struck a mound of sand and debris, and overturned. The investigation established that with the tailwind and soft wet surface conditions existing at the time there was insufficient runway length available. The pilot recognised the slow acceleration of the aircraft, but delayed his decision to abort the takeoff attempt.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 06 July 1986   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: N/A    
Location: Tangalooma    
State: Queensland    
Release date: 30 April 1987   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer American Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model AA-5  
Aircraft registration VH-SYX  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Tangalooma QLD  
Departure time N/A  
Destination Tangalooma QLD