Aviation safety investigations & reports

Hard landing involving a PA28R, VH-ADU, at Mangalore Airport, Vic on 17 June 2014

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 17 June, 2014 a PA28RT-201, Piper Arrow aircraft registered VH-ADU was returning to Mangalore Airport, Victoria for the final leg of a dual navigation exercise.

The straight in approach onto runway 18 went as planned, although there was some turbulence from a line of trees, late on the approach.

During the flare the aircraft ballooned, and the instructor called ‘taking over’. The student relinquished his control prior to the instructor gaining full control of the aircraft. The incorrectly trimmed aircraft rapidly dropped its nose. The instructor used a great deal of force in an attempt to bring the nose back into the landing position. Just as he got the nose level, the aircraft landed heavily on all three wheels.

The aircraft bounced so the instructor initiated a go-around. The student, flew part of the circuit, but was apprehensive about landing.  The aircraft again ballooned in the flare. The instructor took control and landed without incident.

The United States Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Instructor’s Handbook 2008 (p 8-9) devotes a section to the Positive Exchange of Flight Controls.

This publication states that numerous accidents have occurred due to a lack of communication or misunderstanding regarding who had actual control of the aircraft, particularly between students and flight instructors. It goes on to say that during flight training, there must always be a clear understanding between students and flight instructors about who has control of the aircraft.

Further reading is available at:


The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Flight Instructor Manual (2) (2007)– Aeroplane, directs instructors to repeatedly practice the “handing over and taking over” drills, in the early air sequences, to prevent any confusion on who is manipulating the controls.

The CASA Flight Instructor Manual is available at:



Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 36

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General details
Date: 17 June 2014   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1300 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Mangalore Airport    
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Hard landing  
Release date: 03 December 2014   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-28RT-201  
Aircraft registration VH-ADU  
Serial number 28R-8018063  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Destination Mangalore Vic.  
Last update 14 November 2018