On 24 August 2014, the pilot of a Gippsland Aeronautics Airvan aircraft, registered VH-XHV had just completed a parachute drop and was on descent to land at the Pinjarra Skydiving Airstrip, Western Australia.

At about 1,000 ft above the ground, the aircraft was configured for landing with full flap selected. The pilot reported that the airspeed was about 80 kt on base and that day, and during the landing roll noticed the wing of a Classic Aircraft Corporation WACO aircraft was over the runway.

The pilot applied some braking but could not stop the aircraft in the 836 metres available. In an effort to avoid a collision, the pilot manoeuvred the aircraft to the left of the runway. Shortly after, the wing of the Airvan struck the WACO causing the Airvan to spin rapidly. The propeller struck a parked trailer and then an unoccupied 4WD.

The pilot was not injured, however two people on the ground sustained minor injuries and both the Airvan and Waco sustained substantial damage.

This accident serves as an important reminder of the need to initiate a go-around as soon as there is doubt about the suitability of the approach and landing. In this instance, the pilot had assumed that the full length of the runway was available and had left the option of a safe go-around too late.


Aviaiton Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 37