On 27 February 2015, the pilot of a Liberty XL-2 aircraft registered VH-CZT, conducted circuits at Moorabbin Airport, Victoria. At the completion of the first circuit, the pilot flared the aircraft to land on runway 17 Left (17L). The main landing gear contacted the runway and the aircraft bounced into the air. The pilot immediately applied full power and conducted a go-around.

The pilot then conducted a second circuit and established the aircraft on final approach to the runway about 3-4 kt slower than the previous approach. The aircraft touched down normally and the pilot then performed a touch-and-go and continued the circuit.

On the third approach to runway 17L, as the pilot flared the aircraft for the landing, it collided with the runway. The aircraft then bounced into the air and the pilot initiated a go-around by applying full power and slight forward pressure on the control stick. Instead of climbing away, the aircraft struck the runway again and veered to the left. The pilot applied right rudder in an attempt to counteract the left yaw and the aircraft again became airborne before colliding with the runway and skidding towards the grass to the left of the runway.

During the accident sequence, the main landing gear collapsed and the propeller and left wingtip struck the runway, resulting in substantial damage. The pilot was not injured.

This incident highlights how different aircraft types and configurations can affect the approach profile and landing characteristics. The visual cues and the control inputs required to conduct safe landings vary depending on many factors including aircraft design and performance, weight and balance, and environmental conditions including wind strength and direction.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 40