Aviation safety investigations & reports

Wheels up landing - VH-­WRD, Mount Borradale Station (ALA), NT, 16 July 2010

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 16 July 2010, the pilot of a Cessna Aircraft Company 210M on a passenger charter flight was preparing to land at Mount Borradaile Station, Northern Territory (NT). The pilot reported that it was quite windy during the approach, with the aircraft being blown off course. At about 300 ft above the airstrip, a small bird struck the windshield and briefly distracted the pilot. The pilot continued the approach. Just prior to touch-down the aircraft was picked up by a gust of wind. After the pilot corrected this, the aircraft touched down, but bounced three times.

The pilot assessed that there was not enough landing strip left to recover and initiated a go-around. The pilot pushed the throttle forward and raised the flaps to 15 degrees. As the aircraft took-off from the strip, the pilot retracted the undercarriage. The aircraft failed to climb and settled back onto the strip, skidding for about 30 m on its belly, before coming to rest prior to the end of the strip. The pilot and passengers were uninjured; however, the aircraft sustained minor damage.

On exiting the aircraft, the pilot realised that the pitch and mixture controls had not been placed in the full forward position resulting in insufficient power for the go-around.

This occurrence highlighted the potential impacts of distractions on the safety of operations. The following report (available at www.atsb.gov.au) provides further information:

  • Dangerous distraction: An examination of accidents and incidents involving pilot distraction in Australia between 1997 and 2004 (2006)
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 2.47MB]
General details
Date: 16 July 2010   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1600 CST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Mount Borradale Station (ALA)    
State: Northern Territory   Occurrence type: Wheels up landing  
Release date: 14 October 2010   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 210  
Aircraft registration VH-WRD  
Serial number 21062942  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Minor  
Departure point Swim Creek, NT  
Destination Mt Borradale Station, NT  
Last update 14 November 2018