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On 30 April 2014, the pilot of a Cessna 172 aircraft, registered VH-MKQ, was conducting a private flight from Launceston to a landing site about 13 km south-west of Launceston, Tasmania. Prior to departing Launceston, the pilot completed two circuits with stop-and-go landings, and confirmed the brakes were operating normally.

After a flight of about 6 minutes, the aircraft arrived overhead the landing site and the pilot overflew four times to assess the field. The pilot then conducted the approach as planned, however, when on final, he determined that the aircraft was too high and too fast to land so he conducted a go-around. 

On the second approach, the pilot established the aircraft on final, with full flap selected, and slightly lower and slower than the previous approach. The wheels touched down at the pilot’s selected point, and the aircraft bounced slightly. The pilot applied the brakes and the aircraft began to decelerate, however, as he increased the pressure on the brakes, the brakes locked up and the aircraft continued towards a fence.

The pilot selected the fuel mixture to idle cut-off and the engine stopped. The aircraft collided with the fence and the nose landing gear entered a ditch. The aircraft nosed over and came to rest inverted. The aircraft was substantially damaged and the pilot was uninjured.

This incident highlights the importance of considering all of the factors when assessing a landing area. The stopping distance required by an aircraft may vary considerably depending on the surface conditions.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 32

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General details
Date: 30 April 2014 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1400 EST  
Location   (show map):13 km SW of Launceston Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Tasmania Occurrence type: Runway excursion 
Release date: 14 July 2014 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Minor 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 172N 
Aircraft registration: VH-MKQ 
Serial number: 17272167 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Launceston, Tas.
Destination:Agfest 10 NM SE Carrick, Tas.
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Last update 14 November 2018