Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain involving a Victa 115 Airtourer, VH-MUV at Leongatha Airport, VIC on 29 May 2015

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 29 May 2015, at about 1145 Eastern Standard Time (EST), a Victa 115 Airtourer aircraft, registered VH-MUV, departed from Leongatha Airport, Victoria, for crosswind circuit training, with an instructor and student on board.

The student pilot was flying the first circuit. The instructor reported that the circuit was normal and the approach was stable up to about 100 ft above ground level (AGL) when the student put the final stage of flap out. As the aircraft flared to land on runway 22, a strong gust of wind blew the aircraft off the runway centreline to the left and the aircraft bounced hard. The student initiated a go-around, applying full power, with the aircraft still drifting further to the left. As the aircraft was not climbing, the instructor called ’taking over’ and the student handed over control of the aircraft. The instructor lowered the nose of the aircraft to gain airspeed.

The aircraft continued to drift further away from the runway centre line. The student noticed the flaps were in the down position and thinking that it would assist, and without checking with the instructor, retracted the flaps to the up position. The aircraft descended and about 100 m past the threshold of runway 22, the aircraft collided with the airport perimeter fence. After a further 20 m, the aircraft flipped over the fence and came to rest upside down. The instructor and student exited the aircraft quickly through the broken canopy, as fuel was gushing from the fuel tanks. The instructor and student pilot received minor injuries and the aircraft was substantially damaged.

It is important in flight training to have a positive exchange of flight controls. The US Federal Aviation Administration publication Aviation Instructor’s Handbook, available from the FAA website, includes a section on the Positive Exchange of Flight Controls. The handbook provides guidance to use for the positive exchange of flight controls.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin Issue 44

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General details
Date: 29 May 2015   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1200 WST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Leongatha Airport    
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 04 November 2015   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Victa Ltd  
Aircraft model 115 Airtourer  
Aircraft registration VH-MUV  
Serial number 96  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Leongatha Airport, Victoria  
Last update 14 November 2018