On the 12th of September 2009 I was approaching Atherton Airport for a landing. There was a blustering cross wind blowing and I was tired after after a long day of flying north to Lakeland, setting up and judging landings for an air race and then flying back to Mareeba to further judge another leg of the same race.
As I approached and flared for a landing I was having to compensate for intermittent turbulance from the crosswind as it rolled over a row a trees on the upwind side of the runway.
I suddenly got dropped onto the ground from a metre or so and bounced. I stabilized, applied a squirt of power and set up again but was again knocked by turbulence and bounced. I applied power to go around but in the blink of an eye the left wing stalled, the aircraft turned to the left then dropped back onto the ground and skidded sideways. In doing this it rolled the leading (right) main wheel under the fuselage and broke it off. It then did the same with the nose wheel and the nose dropped and had a prop strike, shattering the prop. Despite what was in fact a very soft "crash" there was a fair amount of damage done.
Obviously two wheels were gone, the right wing tip dug into the ground and got buckled and the underbody suffered quite a few abrasions. The tail must have struck the ground at some point as the elevator was cracked and the top engine cowl separated from the aluminium piano hinge holding onto the bottom cowl.
However, I had no injuries and the aircraft was insured.
One thing I will advise anyone contemplating crashing. Do it in the same sort of place I did!
I crashed at the small country airport where I have a hangar................so I had somewhere to put the wreck.
Do it where you are having an aeroclub event so the following people are there at the time.
1. A mate who owns a flatbed truck with a crane on the back.
2. A mate who is also your insurance broker .........who can then do all the paperwork you need to start the insurance claim.
3. A mate who is the local CASA field officer who sees it happen and can then put in all the required reports for you.
4. A whole bunch of other people there who can then give a hand to load the wreck onto the above mentioned truck and transfer it across the field to your hangar.
5. The same bunch of mates who can come back in a weeks time to help you load it on the transporter to send to the repair factory.
Thank God for mates. They all made the whole sad event at least tolerable.
In all the aircraft was at the factory in Bundaberg for 12 weeks. I flew it home on the 12th December, exactly 3 months later.