Aviation safety investigations & reports

Californian Sailplanes BJIB Duster, VH-UIS, "Jonnybrooke" (7 km South of Monarto) SA, 14 January 1989

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot had recently purchased the glider, and had previously made two short flights in it, for endorsement and familiarisation purposes. On the day of the accident he had trailered the glider to the launching strip, and had then assembled and rigged it for flight. A normal winch launch was carried out, with the glider releasing from the winch at about 1000 feet above the ground. It was then observed to be circling in a thermal, while gaining a further 500 feet of altitude. The angle of bank at this time appeared to be moderately steep. A witness then observed that the nose of the glider dropped and the aircraft commenced to spin to the left. It spun rapidly in a steep nosedown attitude, with occasional pitch oscillations, and recovery was not effected prior to impact with the ground. The subsequent investigation did not reveal any apparent faults or defects with the aircraft which might have led to the development of the accident. In addition, there was no medical evidence to indicate that the pilot was incapacitated or unfit to perform his duties as pilot in command. Although the pilot had received training in spin recognition and recovery techniques, he was possibly unaware that a spin could occur during an apparently normal thermalling turn. It could not be established when he had last performed spinning manoeuvres.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 14 January 1989   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1435    
Location   (show map): "Jonnybrooke" (7 km South of Monarto)    
State: South Australia   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 16 June 1989   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Californian Sailplanes  
Aircraft model BJ-1B  
Aircraft registration VH-UIS  
Serial number GFA-HB-86  
Type of operation Gliding  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Monarto SA  
Departure time 1430  
Destination Monarto SA