On 26 November 2013, a SOCATA TB-10 aircraft registered VH-YTT, departed Parafield Airport, South Australia, for solo night circuits in visual meteorological conditions. After one hour of flying circuits the student pilot conducted a touch and go landing prior to a final full stop circuit. At about 200 feet above the ground (AGL) after take-off the student noticed a vibration with a loss of power from the engine. The student initiated a gradual turn to the right until the large dark area of Parafield airport could be seen. At about 2120, just passing over the airport fence the student broadcast on the CTAF that the engine had failed. The student could see the white lights of the duty runway 21R/03L and the green lights of Bravo taxiway. The aircraft was at about 50 feet AGL and with partial engine power navigated toward the duty runway. There were no other aircraft on final or landing on runway 21R. The engine power was cutting in and out as the aircraft touched down on runway 03L at about a 30 degree angle, the aircraft remained on the runway, rolled through and turned off onto taxiway B5 where the engine lost all power and the aircraft stopped on the taxiway. The student broadcast on the CTAF that the aircraft was clear of the runway. The student pilot was uninjured and the aircraft was not damaged.
The incident highlights the importance of the points made in the ATSB booklet Avoidable Accidents No. 3 - Managing partial power loss after take-off in single-engine aircraft publication. Which include:
- pre-flight decision making and planning for emergencies and abnormal situations for the particular aerodrome
- conducting a thorough pre-flight and engine ground run to reduce the risk of a partial power loss occurring
- taking positive action and maintaining aircraft control either when turning back to the aerodrome or conducting a forced landing until on the ground, while being aware of flare energy and aircraft stall speeds.