Aviation safety investigations & reports

Loss of control during initial climb involving Cessna 150, VH-RXM, at Moorabbin Airport, Vic on 18 February, 2014

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 18 February, 2014 an instructor from a local flying school at Moorabbin Airport, Victoria, conducted a trial instructional flight (TIF) in a Cessna 150, registered VH-RXM.

As the aircraft taxied to the runway holding point, ATC advised of a 3-4 knots tailwind on the duty runway, 35 Left (L).  Although the wind was now southerly, the instructor was satisfied it was still acceptable to safely depart on this runway.

The flight was intended to give the student a “hands-on” experience at flying an aircraft. During the take-off, the student slowly advanced the throttle to attain full power, and then applied back pressure to the control column during the rotation and initial climb. These actions were monitored by the instructor. To enhance the “flight experience” for the student, the instructor had minimal input. He did however, maintain full control of the rudder pedals, and took control of the throttle lever once the student had applied full power.

During the initial climb, the student continued to apply back pressure to the control column resulting in a reduction in optimal airspeed, and a higher than normal aircraft nose attitude. As the instructor attempted to rectify the aircraft’s profile, the right wing dropped and the aircraft began to descend.

The instructor’s efforts to recover the aircraft to a normal climb attitude were not successful, and the right side of the aircraft struck the ground. The aircraft bounced, then came to a halt on its left side.

The instructor and student egressed through the right door. They both sustained minor injuries.  The aircraft was substantially damaged.

As a ‘Safety Action’, the flying school have changed their procedure in regard to trial instructional flights.

Instructors will now complete the take-off and initial climb to a height of 300 ft.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 31

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General details
Date: 18 February 2014   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1120 EDT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Moorabbin Airport    
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 17 June 2014   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 150  
Aircraft registration VH-RXM  
Serial number 15065186  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Moorabbin, Vic.  
Destination Moorabbin, Vic.  
Last update 14 November 2018