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The aircraft was established in normal cruise flight when the pilot thought he could smell burning oil. A check of the engine instruments did not indicate any problem but he elected to return to Essendon. The Essendon Terminal Information Service recording advised runway 35 was in use wind from the north at 15-30 knots and a temperature of 28 degrees. The flying conditions were moderately turbulent and the pilot made the approach with 10 degrees of flap and at 75 knots. Observers in the Tower reported the aircraft touched down well into the runway heavily nosewheel first and bounced two or three times before coming to rest. Subsequent ground inspection of the aircraft revealed that the bolt attaching the upper portion of the nose gear leg to the aircraft had been sheared by straight overload forces. This had allowed the upper part of the nose leg to be forced into the engine bay under pressure. The engine firewall was also buckled.

Download Final Report
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General details
Date: 23 November 1989 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 957  
Location:Essendon Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Hard landing 
Release date: 23 February 1990 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 172 
Aircraft registration: VH-RSB 
Serial number: 17273719 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Essendon VIC
Departure time:918
Destination:Essendon VIC
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