Aviation safety investigations & reports

Cessna 182H, VH-PKJ, Mandurah WA, 11 May 1988

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot had limited experience on Cessna 182 aircraft. He planned to carry out some practice circuits at the local airfield. All of the pilot's recent flying had been completed at a licenced aerodrome with a sealed runway. The local airfield consisted of a grassed area with a narrow gravel band running through the middle, and it was on this gravel area where takeoffs and landings were to take place. On the first approach to land, full flap had been selected for a normal landing. As the pilot raised the nose for landing, he over-rotated and allowed the aircraft to climb slightly. When he realised his mistake, he immediately lowered the nose. However, the nosewheel touched down heavily before the resulting descent was detected and arrested. The aircraft bounced a number of times before stopping on the gravel section of the strip. The pilot's restricted experience had not prepared him adequately for operations onto a "bush strip". The narrow gravel band in the centre of the strip was on undulating ground. There were trees close to the approach end of the strip and the surrounding area consisted of scrub. This presented the pilot with a set of visual cues on approach which were different to those to which he had become accustomed during his previous experience. The pilot had been used to closing the throttle over the end of the runway at the aerodrome where he had undertaken his training, and not well beforehand. As a result, the pilot's visual judgement of his approach profile became uncertain and he believed it would be necessary to fly a steeper approach and close the throttle prior to reaching the strip, a deviation from his normal procedure. After descending over the trees and once sure of reaching the strip he closed the throttle, and did not subsequently notice the airspeed. The aircraft was over-rotated at flare point, resulting in a balloon. This was followed by an over-correction downwards which in turn was followed by a hard touchdown and several bounces. A go-around was not attempted from the initial balloon, because the pilot felt that the nose attitude was too high and a go-around might have resulted in a stall. Although he did recognise that the approach was becoming unsafe, he elected to continue because he thought that if he took any different course of action he may have aggravated the situation.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 25KB]
General details
Date: 11 May 1988   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1200    
Location: Mandurah    
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Hard landing  
Release date: 28 October 1988   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 182  
Aircraft registration VH-PKJ  
Serial number 18256314  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Mandurah WA  
Departure time 1155  
Destination Mandurah WA