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Final Report

Summary

On 16 May 2016, the pilot of a Maule MT-7-235 aircraft, registered VH-DRS, conducted a private flight from Greenfields airstrip (near Noosa), Queensland, with two passengers on board. The aircraft departed Greenfields airstrip at about 1220 Eastern Standard Time (EST) and returned to Greenfields at about 1545 EST.

On final approach to land, the pilot noticed they were getting low on the approach path and at about 500 ft, they increased the power to regain their approach path. The pilot subsequently assessed that the aircraft was too high and lowered the nose to re-intercept the approach path. The pilot flared the aircraft for landing, the aircraft landed heavily and bounced into the air. As the aircraft landed again, the nose wheel touched down first (before the main landing gear) with sufficient force that the nose wheel strut fractured. The nose landing gear and propeller then dug into the ground and the aircraft rotated over its nose and slid a short distance inverted before coming to rest. The pilot and one passenger were uninjured, the other passenger sustained minor injuries, and the aircraft sustained substantial damage

The pilot commented that conducting a go-around could have prevented an unstable approach and initial bounce from escalating to an accident. Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) Approach-and-landing accident reduction (ALAR) briefing note 6.1 emphasises the need to be ‘go-around-prepared’ or ‘go-around-minded’ because the execution of a go-around is an infrequent manoeuvre. FSF ALAR briefing note 7.1 provides further information on unstable approaches and how to develop personal lines of defence.

 

Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 50

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