Bellanca Scout C-GSSV - Epilogue

Report / July 17, 2018 / Project number: Bellanca Scout - B Category

Location: Gimli, Manitoba
Date: 17 July 2018
Status: Investigation Completed

The accident flight was part of the Air Cadet Gliding Program in Gimli, MB and in support of the summer glider pilot training. The Bellanca Scout aircraft is used to tow gliders to altitude where the glider would release from the tow plane and conduct their training mission.

After the second successful tow flight, the tow plane pilot completed the pre-landing checks and joined the circuit in preparation for landing. Once established on base leg, the pilot noticed that the aircraft was slightly higher than normal but the approach was still manageable by increasing flap selection. While on final, the pilot noticed that the rate of descent was not sufficient to maintain a normal approach angle. After selecting full flaps early in an attempt to correct the glide path, the pilot realized that the plane could not get back to the normal glide path and therefore moved the aim point further down the landing strip and subsequently focused entirely on a specific landmark as a final stop point. Upon touchdown the pilot applied excessive braking, enough that the aircraft rotated forward allowing the propeller to contact the ground. The aircraft then rotated past vertical and ended up on its back.

The aircraft sustained very serious damage and the pilot received minor injuries.

The investigation did not reveal any evidence of technical issues with the aircraft and focused on human factors. Due to self-imposed pressure, the pilot became focused on stopping prior to a safety cone and applied brakes while the tail wheel was still off the ground. The preventive measures recommended modifications to the tow plane conversion training course.

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