On 16 May 2014, a DA40 aircraft, registered VH-CGT departed Bankstown Airport, New South Wales, for the local training area. On board the aircraft were an instructor and student.

Once the training area exercises had been completed, CGT returned to Bankstown, with the student conducting the landing. The instructor reported the landing as satisfactory, but felt the student was still not flaring the aircraft sufficiently, prior to touchdown. He authorised the student to conduct four practice solo circuits.

With the weather CAVOK and minimal wind, the student commenced the first solo circuit. The initial, crosswind and downwind legs were reported as normal. Maintaining 80 knots on base, the turn onto final was between 600 and 700 ft.

The approach was steeper than usual, and as the student commenced the flare, it was evident that the aircraft was still too high above the ground. The student initiated a go-around. Almost immediately, the aircraft tail struck the runway. The aircraft rolled rapidly to the left and stalled. It then turned further left and continued across the taxiway and through a wire perimeter fence. The student was uninjured but the aircraft sustained substantial damage.

The flying school has reviewed the training emphasis related to control input during go-around procedures, and stabilised approaches. It is also amending the selection process for intake to the flying program.


Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin - Issue 35