Aviation occurrence briefs

Hard landing involving Luscombe Aircraft Corp 8A, Bunbury Airport, WA, on 23 March 2019

Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Occurrence Briefs are concise reports that detail the facts surrounding a transport safety occurrence, as received in the initial notification and any follow-up enquiries. They provide an opportunity to share safety messages in the absence of an investigation.

What happened

On 23 March 2019, a Luscombe Aircraft Corp 8A departed Bunbury, Western Australia, to conduct a training flight with an instructor and a student on board. During approach to land back at Bunbury, the aircraft encountered unexpected turbulence and windshear[1] and as a result, the aircraft landed heavily. The crew exited the aircraft without injury and conducted an inspection to check for any damage. The post-flight inspection did not reveal any damage and the aircraft subsequently conducted two more flights.

On 25 March 2019, the aircraft was sent to a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (LAME) to conduct a more detailed and thorough inspection. The engineering inspection revealed that the aircraft had sustained substantial damage with some slight creasing at the attach point of one of the undercarriage legs, some dimpling on top of a wing and skin dimpling behind the rear door post. The LAME found the aircraft to be unserviceable and it was consequently grounded.

Safety message

All pilots, regardless of their experience levels, should be prepared to undertake a go-around rather than continuing with an unstable approach. The Flight Safety Foundation released a briefing note Approach-and-landing accident reduction Briefing Note 6.1 to remind pilots of the importance of being prepared to conduct a go-around during all approaches. This occurrence also serves as a reminder that after any hard landing or other related incidents, where the integrity of the airframe or structure may be compromised, a detailed and thorough engineering inspection should always be carried out to ensure the serviceability of the aircraft and all of its components.

About this report

Decisions regarding whether to conduct an investigation, and the scope of an investigation, are based on many factors, including the level of safety benefit likely to be obtained from an investigation. For this occurrence, no investigation has been conducted and the ATSB did not verify the accuracy of the information. A brief description has been written using information supplied in the notification and any follow-up information in order to produce a short summary report, and allow for greater industry awareness of potential safety issues and possible safety actions.



  1. Windshear: a change in wind velocity or direction that can be an extremely dangerous because, when encountered at a low altitude, windshear can cause a sudden and potentially disastrous difference to airspeed and thus lift.
General details
Date: 23 March 2019   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1530 WST    
Location   (show map): Bunbury    
State: Western Australia    
Release Date: 06 June 2019   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Luscombe Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model 8A  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Bunbury, Western Australia  
Last update 31 July 2019