On 5 July 2015, the pilot of a Cessna 182 aircraft, registered VH-AHC, conducted a local flight from a private airstrip about 100 km south-west of Bourke, New South Wales. The aircraft took off towards the west. After a flight of about 15 to 20 minutes, the aircraft returned overhead the airstrip. Based on the indicated wind, the pilot elected to conduct an approach to land towards the south.

When on final approach to land, at about 5 ft above ground level, the aircraft sank rapidly. The aircraft landed heavily and the nose wheel detached from the aircraft. The aircraft then bounced into the air, touched down for a second time, and dug into soft ground. The aircraft flipped over and came to rest inverted, resulting in substantial damage. The pilot and two passengers sustained minor injuries.

This incident highlights the importance of the identification and management of risks associated with unsealed airfields.

Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 42

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