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On 9 March 2013, two glider clubs were conducting gliding operations at Tocumwal aerodrome, New South Wales. A Grob G103 Twin Astir glider, registered VH‑UIZ (UIZ), was towed airborne, however, after a number of orbits looking for rising air, the pilot of UIZ tracked to return to the circuit and land. A few minutes later, a Cessna 150 registered VH‑ROZ (ROZ), became airborne towing a glider. ROZ and this glider were from one gliding club, UIZ from the other. Following the release, the pilot of ROZ turned left and tracked for a left downwind for runway 36L.

Witnesses on the ground reported hearing both pilots making all necessary CTAF broadcasts.

Just as ROZ touched down on runway 36L, the pilot felt a heavy jolt on the top of the cockpit and simultaneously heard a loud noise. Immediately, he saw the windscreen fill with the underside of a glider. He observed the glider continue down the runway at about 5 to 10 ft above ground level. The pilot was uninjured and, on exiting the aircraft, observed a wheel contact print on the top of the aircraft. The pilot of UIZ was uninjured and landed the glider well down the runway. On exiting the glider, the pilot observed damage on the left wing and fuselage.

As a result of this occurrence, the GFA has advised the ATSB that they will raise awareness of collision risk at non-towered aerodromes with its members through the Gliding Magazine and through its biennial Safety Seminars.

As a result of this occurrence, the operator of the glider tug has advised the ATSB that they are sourcing quotes for the fitment of FLARM collision warning system to their gliders and glider tug aircraft.

When operating outside controlled airspace, it is the pilot’s responsibility to maintain separation with other aircraft. For this, it is important that pilots utilise both alerted and unalerted see-and-avoid principles. Pilots should never assume that an absence of traffic broadcasts means an absence of traffic.

Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin Issue 19


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General details
Date: 09 March 2013 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 13:26 ESuT  
Location   (show map):Tocumwal Aerodrome Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 29 May 2013 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 150 
Aircraft registration: VH-ROZ 
Serial number: 15063770 
Type of operation: Sports Aviation 
Damage to aircraft: Minor 
Departure point:Tocumwal, NSW
Destination:Tocumwal, NSW
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Grob - Burkhart Flugzeugbau 
Aircraft model: G103 
Aircraft registration: VH-UIZ 
Serial number: 3224 
Type of operation: Gliding 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Tocumwal, NSW
Destination:Tocumwal, NSW
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Last update 06 June 2014