Aviation safety investigations & reports

Eiri Avion Pik 20-E, VH-MQN, Lilydale VIC, 2 April 1987

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The particular aircraft is a glider fitted with a retractable engine. Shortly after takeoff for a soaring flight, the pilot noticed that the airspeed indicator (ASI) appeared to be operating erratically. The flight was continued with the pilot estimating the airspeed, but no thermals were found and the pilot decided to return to the departure point using engine power. The aircraft stalled during the landing flare and the left wing struck the ground. The aircraft slewed to the left and touched down while travelling sideways. The fuselage was fractured during the ensuing ground slide. The approach was flown with landing flap and a substantial degree of air-brake deployed. With the engine also extended the glider was in an extremely high drag situation. Although the flight manual is specific about the degradation in performance of the glider with the engine extended, the pilot reported that his endorsement training failed to adequately address this aspect. Investigation also revealed that some dirt and insects were present in the pitot/static plumbing connected to the ASI. These may have caused the reported erratic readings during the initial stages of the flight.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 02 April 1987   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1320    
Location: Lilydale    
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 14 August 1987   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Eiriavion Oy  
Aircraft model PIK-20  
Aircraft registration VH-MQN  
Serial number 20298  
Type of operation Gliding  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Lilydale VIC  
Departure time 1255  
Destination Lilydale VIC  
Last update 13 May 2014