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The pilot reported, that during the take off run on runway 27 at Bunyan, the tug and glider combination experienced a slight down draught which caused them to settle back on the runway. The combination ran along the runway for a further 10 metres and the glider became airborne again. A short distance later as the tug was becoming airborne, there was a hard loud thump on the nose gear. The aircraft became airborne and all controls and instruments indicated that the tow was normal. Given the length of strip remaining, the hill in front, and the glider at low level on tow and the now normal operation of the aircraft, it was decided to continue with the glider tow. The glider was towed up to 5,500 ft, and then released. The tug commenced a descent and returned to the airstrip to land. After allowing sufficient distance for the tow rope to clear the power lines on approach to the airstrip, the aircraft descended to make a smooth touch down on the main landing gear. When the nose landing gear touched the ground, it began to skid over the rough surface, as the scissor link had apparently been fractured during take off and the nose leg turned through approximately 60 degrees from its normal tracking position. The nose leg then fully collapsed resulting in the propeller striking the ground. The aircraft subsequently ground looped and the left wing tip struck the ground. The aircraft was evacuated with nil injuries to the occupants. The pilot of the glider observed that as the tug was about to become airborne, he saw a cloud of dust rise from the nose wheel of the aircraft, after which he noticed that the front wheel of the tug was approximately 60 degrees from its normal position and the scissor link appeared to be fractured. He advised that he continually tried to transmit a message to the tug, but his radio apparently was not transmitting.
Download Final Report
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General details
Date: 14 June 1997 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 15:00 EST  
 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Release date: 09 October 1997 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 182 
Aircraft registration: VH-CDJ 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Bunyan NSW
Destination:Bunyan NSW
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Last update 28 October 2014