Aviation safety investigations & reports

Landing accident involving Van’s RV-6A, VH-ANU, William Creek ALA, South Australia, on 28 July 2019

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed
Phase: Final report: Dissemination Read more information on this investigation phase

Final Report

Download final report
[Download  PDF: 183KB]
Alternate: [Download  DOCX: 776KB]

What happened

On 28 July 2019, the pilot of a Van’s RV-6A aircraft, registered VH-ANU, conducted a private flight from Coober Pedy to William Creek aircraft landing area, South Australia. After touching down with the main gear first, the nose gear touched the runway momentarily. The pilot noted that although the nose gear lifted off after touchdown, the main gear stayed on the runway.

When the nose wheel made contact with the runway surface for the second time, the nose gear bent under the aircraft. The propeller struck the runway and the aircraft skidded on its nose, then flipped over and came to rest inverted.

The pilot sustained serious injuries and the passenger minor injuries. The aircraft was substantially damaged.

What the ATSB found

The ATSB found that during the landing sequence, the ground clearance of the nose gear fork or strut was reduced sufficiently to allow them to contact the runway surface. This initiated the damage to the nose gear and resulted in the aircraft becoming inverted.

Safety message

A reduction in the nose gear ground clearance during landing can result in the nose gear strut or fork impacting the runway and affect the structural integrity of the nose gear. In the tricycle variants of Van’s aircraft, the factors that can affect nose gear ground clearance include the dynamics of the landing, tyre pressure, weight over the nose gear, and runway condition and characteristics.

After-market devices fitted to this aircraft aimed at reducing the risk of a nose-gear collapse and aircraft inversion, did not prevent the accident.

Download final report
[Download  PDF: 183KB]
Alternate: [Download  DOCX: 776KB]

The occurrence

General details
Date: 28 July 2019   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1526 CST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): William Creek (ALA)   Investigation phase: Final report: Dissemination  
State: South Australia   Occurrence type: Landing gear/indication  
Release date: 12 February 2020   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Amateur Built Aircraft  
Aircraft model Van’s RV-6A  
Aircraft registration VH-ANU  
Serial number Q203  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Coober Pedy, South Australia  
Destination William Creek, South Australia  
Last update 28 April 2020