Grob G109 , G-BRCG, 6 March 2005

Grob G109, G-BRCG


After an uneventful navigational exercise from Gamston, the pilot flew a shallower than normal approach to asphalt Runway 36 at Pocklington. The surface wind was 020?/10 kt and the runway was dry. The approach was flown at 60 - 65 kt with the throttle at idle and the airbrake marginally open; stabilising the approach on this type of motorised glider. At approximately 100 feet agl the aircraft sank rapidly. Although the pilot had time to retract the airbrakes his application of power was delayed as he had to change hands on the control column; the throttle being positioned on the opposite side to the airbrake control. Before these actions could take effect the aircraft landed heavily in rough grass in the undershoot, approximately 60 metres short of the runway threshold. The landing gear collapsed and the aircraft slid to a halt on its fuselage (Figure 1). The two occupants, who were both wearing four point harnesses, were able to vacate the aircraft normally without injury. The pilot reported that, in the prevailing wind conditions, a three metre high earth bank, located 20 metres short of the runway threshold, may have created an area of sink. Exposure to this sink was exacerbated by the increased time at low level brought about by the shallower than normal approach angle. The aircraft’s high aspect ratio wings are particularly susceptible to loss of lift and subsequent sink can occur very rapidly.

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