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On 13 May 2016, the student pilot of a Cessna 172S aircraft, registered VH-EWZ (EWZ), was conducting solo circuits at Moorabbin Airport, Victoria. The runway in use was runway 35 right (35R), and the wind was west to north-westerly at 10 to 20 kt. At the same time, the pilot of a Cessna 172R aircraft, registered VH-SYH (SYH), was also conducting circuits. SYH was the aircraft immediately ahead of EWZ in the circuit.

The student pilot of EWZ completed eight circuits. During that time, the wind, in particular the crosswind, increased and was subsequently reported as 9 to 15 kt from the left of runway 35R.

At the completion of their circuit training, the pilot of SYH landed and taxied clear of runway 35R, stopping on taxiway E facing north-west. Soon after SYH landed, at about 1059 Eastern Standard Time, EWZ was on the final approach for another touch-and-go landing. 

The pilot reported that during the landing, EWZ touched down heavily and to the left of the runway centreline. The pilot of EWZ then applied full power to continue the take-off. As the power increased, the aircraft yawed to the left and ran off the runway. At that time, the pilot of EWZ sighted SYH on the taxiway, reduced the power to idle and applied full right rudder in an effort to avoid SYH.

The underside of the left wing of EWZ contacted the top of the right wing of SYH. EWZ came to a stop on the grass to the left of runway 35R. Both aircraft sustained minor damage and the pilots were uninjured.

This incident highlights the importance of knowing your own limits. Pilots should use a ‘personal minimums’ checklist to help control and manage flight risks through identifying risk factors including weather conditions that may affect aircraft handling. This incident also underlines the importance of applying correct technique during all phases of flight, including take-off and landing.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 50

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General details
Date: 13 May 2016 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 10:59 EST  
Location   (show map):Moorabbin Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Runway excursion 
Release date: 25 August 2016 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 172S 
Aircraft registration: VH-EWZ 
Serial number: 172S10389 
Type of operation: Flying Training 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Destination:Moorabbin, Vic.
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 172R 
Aircraft registration: VH-SYH 
Serial number: 17280356 
Type of operation: Flying Training 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Minor 
Departure point:Moorabbin, Vic.
Destination:Moorabbin, Vic.
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Last update 18 April 2017