Aviation occurrence briefs

Contact with treetops involving a BRM Aero Bristell, Drouin, Vic., on 16 November 2019

Number:
AB-2019-047
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Brief

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 the morning of 16 November 2019, a BRM Aero Bristell departed Essendon Airport, Victoria to conduct an instructor-rating proficiency check flight. There was an authorised testing officer (ATO) and instructor on board.

During approach into Drouin, Victoria, the ATO directed the instructor to perform a practice forced landing onto the grass airstrip. The instructor reduced power to idle, adopted best glide speed for the aircraft and began the approach. During the approach, the instructor acknowledged that he would not make the selected touch down point. He applied power of about 100 RPM to assist in the approach. Upon the application of power, the ATO noticed that the aircraft contacted treetops and foliage. Further power was then applied to correct the flight path and to clear the obstacles.

The aircraft landed without further incident and was taxied to the parking area for inspection by the crew. There was no visible damage identified. The crew notified the training organisation’s on-duty instructor and subsequently conducted a return flight to Essendon.

Safety action

As a result of this occurrence, the aircraft training organisation has advised the ATSB that they are taking the following safety action:

A meeting was held with the organisation’s instructional staff to brief them of this occurrence and to advise them that if an incident of this nature should occur, an engineer must confirm the aircraft is safe for further flight.

Safety message

During training flights, testing officers and instructors need to be vigilant and prepared to discontinue a glide approach if it is established that a successful landing cannot be achieved. It is important to be aware of any obstacles or obstructions in the flight path and to ensure clearance is maintained at all times. In the event of contact between an aircraft and treetops or obstacles, such as in this occurrence, it is imperative that an engineer confirms the aircraft is safe for flight.

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.

General details
Date: 16 November 2019   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1150 EDT    
Location   (show map): Drouin    
State: Victoria    
Release Date: 24 December 2019   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer BRM Aero S.R.O.  
Aircraft model Bristell S-LSA  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Essendon, Victoria  
Destination Drouin, Victoria  
Last update 24 December 2019