On 15 March 2013, a student pilot was conducting solo circuit training at Jandakot Airport, Western Australia, in a Grob G‑115C, registered VH-ZTM (ZTM). 

At 1135 Western Standard Time, on the student’s third solo circuit to runway 06R, ZTM began to drift to the left of the runway centreline. The student elected to go-around and applied full power. Following the application of power, the nose pitched up abruptly and the aircraft then rolled to the left before pitching nose down. The left wing tip contacted the ground and the nose gear and right main gear collapsed before the aircraft came to a stop. The student pilot was able to exit the aircraft without injury, however the aircraft sustained substantial damage.

As a result of this occurrence, the flight training school has advised the ATSB that they are taking the following safety actions:

  • Increased emphasis on Stabilised Approach Criteria to be made during pre-flight briefings.
  • Instructor training and standardisation to include more emphasis on the essential use of rudder.
  • Inclusion on the training syllabus of an upper air exercise prior to first solo, to check student use of rudder and go-around procedures.
  • A more detailed brief on landing technique, for the G115C, to be included in the standard operating procedures.

A go-around is an aborted landing of an aircraft that is on final approach. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has identified that for the ten-year period, between 1994 and 2003, accidents that occurred during a go-around accounted for approximately 6 % of the total accident rate for general aviation. During a go-around the aircraft is trimmed for landing, not for going around and the pilot will need to be positive with attitude changes as power is applied.


Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin Issue 20