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 provides further information:

  • Dangerous distraction: An examination of accidents and incidents involving pilot distraction in Australia between 1997 and 2004 (2006)