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What happened

On 7 September 2016, the pilot of a Jabiru J170-C aircraft, registered 24-5215, approached to land, or perform a ‘touch-and-go’ manoeuvre, on runway 09 at Yarram aerodrome, Victoria, as part of a solo training flight. The pilot mishandled the landing attempt and lifted off to perform a go-around. The aircraft was observed at 50 to 100 ft above the aerodrome in a left wing down 30° angle of bank prior to it entering a steep descent consistent with an aerodynamic stall. The aircraft collided with the terrain and the pilot was fatally injured.

What the ATSB found

The ATSB found that the aircraft was likely subject to mechanical turbulence at the threshold of runway 09 at Yarram aerodrome. Trees and hangars on the north-eastern perimeter of the aerodrome were known locally to cause turbulence in the last 50 ft of the approach when the wind gusted out of the east-northeast. This information was not published in the Airservices Australia En Route Supplement Australia entry for Yarram aerodrome. The pilot was also likely affected by physical and mental fatigue given their age, medical history and recent physical labour. Fatigue’s effect on attention, reaction time, and vigilance likely exacerbated the pilot’s mishandling of the landing attempt and the subsequent go-around.

Safety message

Pilots and flying school operators should ensure they have thorough knowledge of the effects of weather on the pilot’s destinations and plan accordingly prior to flight. They should also remain cognisant of the effects of fatigue on the individual at different stages of their life. All pilots need to take into account how lifestyle changes, age, medical history, and medication may affect their fatigue.

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The occurrence

Safety analysis


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General details
Date: 07 September 2016 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 15:44 EST  
Location   (show map):Yarram Airfield Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 31 July 2017 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Jabiru Aircraft Pty Ltd 
Aircraft model: J170-C LSA 
Aircraft registration: 24-5215 
Serial number: 177 
Type of operation: Flying Training 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Yarram, Vic.
Destination:Yarram, Vic.
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Last update 31 July 2017