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Wheels-Up at Leongatha

Old 16th Aug 2022, 07:11
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Wheels-Up at Leongatha

Newbie here (long time lurker) so please go easy on me... I won my PPL whilst dodging COVID last year and flying for fun as a way to de-stress from modern life and am hoping to gain my MPPC in a Piper Arrow sometime - if I can find one that works, which leads me to this post:

On 26 May this year (blimey!, was it that long ago??) I happened across an interesting sight on arrival in the circuit at YLEG. He was mighty hard to see, there were no obvious indications of a closed runway and the place was deserted when I arrived for a few T&Gs. I was planning to land on RWY 04, but since he was already blocking that, after a low pass changed to the beautifully-finished RWY 36 and grabbed a few quick pics on the way through.

Did anyone here anything?? AFAIK, the student pilot forgot to put his wheels down sometime earlier that morning. Supposedly it was NOTAM'd, but by the time I got back home they'd removed it from the runway and it was all clear again. I'm surprised to find no mention of this incident anywhere, so I guess it's a warning to all of us to be sure to confirm the runway is actually clear before joining the pattern - or risk a 2-vehicle pile-up.

Cheers,
Cameron



Overhead YLEG 2500'


On final approach RWY 36



Last edited by PiperCameron; 22nd Aug 2022 at 02:50. Reason: Pics added for context
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Old 16th Aug 2022, 11:27
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According to the CASA register, VH-OUV comes up as a Cirrus ...
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Old 16th Aug 2022, 11:35
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so I guess it's a warning to all of us to be sure to confirm the runway is actually clear before joining the pattern - or risk a 2-vehicle pile-up.
Do you realise what would happen if every inbound aircraft did what you are suggesting? That why god invented the go-around procedure.
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Old 16th Aug 2022, 11:51
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It would probably be a good idea to report that there is a disabled aircraft on the runway to ATS, so they could alert other aircraft inbound and possibly add a NOTAM. Haven't been to YLEG for a long time so can't remember if there is ATS coverage on the ground but it would have been nice for the stranded aircraft to also make such a report for others. There are a few alternates around YLEG to go to low on fuel, but somewhere more remote it would be nice to know well in advance if someone/thing is blocking the runway.

Even if someone had a handheld and just alerted inbound aircraft it would be something.

According to the CASA register, VH-OUV comes up as a Cirrus ...
He might mean UOV or UOU.
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Old 17th Aug 2022, 07:07
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Originally Posted by 43Inches View Post
He might mean UOV or UOU.
My apologies for the mis-type... Yes, I do mean UOV
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Old 17th Aug 2022, 07:10
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Unfortunately, so long as I'm a newbie here, discussions are difficult and I can't post the pics I intended to. Just as soon as I can (it's 8 posts I think?) I will, and hopefully that'll explain what I saw better than I can in text format.

Just interested to know - does anyone here know anything about this incident?

Thanks,
Cameron
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Old 18th Aug 2022, 01:46
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YLEG is an ALA and NOTAMs are not issued for ALA's unless something special, then under the AREA heading.
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 00:30
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All, it seems I've been here long enough now to be allowed to add pics to my first post in this thread. Woo-hoo! Enjoy.

Comments?!??

Last edited by PiperCameron; 19th Aug 2022 at 06:30.
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 04:29
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Originally Posted by triadic View Post
YLEG is an ALA and NOTAMs are not issued for ALA's unless something special, then under the AREA heading.
Agreed - although since NOTAMs seem to take a while (hours?) to appear, perhaps in this case it had been and gone in the time it took for the wreck to be cleared from the runway. As indicated in the photos, the place was deserted when I arrived and the airport wasn't closed entirely because RWY36/18 was clear. Nobody was talking on the radio so I really didn't know what to do in the situation, other than a low pass to take some pics, a couple of T&Gs and then leave.

What would you have done?
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 07:16
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Originally Posted by PiperCameron View Post
What would you have done?
I would have done the following:

- Made a call on CTAF advising any incoming aircraft
- Made an advisory call on Mel Ctr for other aircraft and as a heads-up to the controller
- Not done a low pass so as to not cause concern to those on the ground who might think you are are landing
- Not taken photos whilst performing said low lass

Last edited by Squawk7700; 19th Aug 2022 at 12:34.
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 08:06
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Originally Posted by Squawk7700 View Post
I wound have done the following:

- Made a call on CTAF advising any incoming aircraft
- Made an advisory call on Mel Ctr for other aircraft and as a heads-up to the controller
- Not done a low pass so as to not cause concern to those on the ground who might think you are are landing
- Not taken photos whilst performing said low lass
I had seriously considered all that at the time, but chickened out (I'd be a member of JD's Live Cowards Club if I knew where to signup!). ..no pics and it didn't happen, right??

I left a message about it on the ARO's mobile once I got back to YMMB and he called me back a few hours later to apologise for not taking my call saying he was busy clearing the runway. He said that RWY04 had been closed by NOTAM which was withdrawn as soon as the aircraft was removed, although there were no big 'X's or anything though, as you can see. If that was correct I'm glad I DIDN'T do as you suggest, 'cause I'd feel a right goose if I'd made a song and dance about it only to to be told by ATC that I should have read the NOTAM.
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 10:15
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As you’re a ‘newbie’, PC, I’d ask you to reflect on whether you’d appreciate photos being taken and published by another pilot if you’d been in the left seat of UOV as it came to a scraping rest on that runway.

I was recently among a number of people who assisted a pilot after an apparent ‘wheels up’ landing at a place that will remain nameless. After asking the pilot a number of questions to help me to confirm the pilot was not injured, I assured the pilot that I would not be posting any details or photos of the aircraft on PPRuNe. It’s the very last thing that the pilot needs and it in no way contributes to safety.

I don’t know why the aircraft whose pilot I assisted apparently landed without the undercarriage extended, and you don’t know why UOV ended up in the circumstances it did. It’s none of our business, other than for the purposes you (correctly) identify: Always check that a runway’s clear before landing. Always. Questions as to why an aircraft ended wheels up on a runway are for ATSB and CASA and insurance companies to work out and, in time, we might find out the course of events which led to the unfortunate outcome.

Another tip FWIW: Be careful publishing photos that appear to be taken in the circuit by you from the ‘left seat’ as PIC. At the point in the circuit and the height at which a couple of the photos you’ve posted were taken, good airmanship would probably have the PIC concentrating on more important things than taking photos.

Last edited by Lead Balloon; 19th Aug 2022 at 10:50.
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 11:07
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“I was recently among a number of people who assisted a pilot after an apparent ‘wheels up’ landing at a place that will remain nameless. After asking the pilot a number of questions to help me to confirm the pilot was not injured, I assured the pilot that I would not be posting any details or photos of the aircraft on PPRuNe. “

1. Apparent….were the wheels up or down?
2. I ‘ll bet that the pilot, in his/ her moment of distress was very pleased about not being posted on PPRuNe. Did you ask the person if they knew what PPRuNe was? Was it before or after you gave them the Valium to calm them down?
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 11:31
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Originally Posted by wombat watcher View Post
“I was recently among a number of people who assisted a pilot after an apparent ‘wheels up’ landing at a place that will remain nameless. After asking the pilot a number of questions to help me to confirm the pilot was not injured, I assured the pilot that I would not be posting any details or photos of the aircraft on PPRuNe. “

1. Apparent….were the wheels up or down?
2. I ‘ll bet that the pilot, in his/ her moment of distress was very pleased about not being posted on PPRuNe. Did you ask the person if they knew what PPRuNe was? Was it before or after you gave them the Valium to calm them down?
Thanks for helping me make my point, WW (perhaps inadvertently?).

The fact that an aircraft is found with its wheels up on a runway does not mean it approached and landed with the wheels up. An aircraft can touch down with the dunlops drooped but that does not mean they’ll definitely stay there.

A pilot who’s just been involved in an event that resulted in substantial damage to an aircraft is not helped by photos of the outcome being published, resulting in the inevitable conclusion - even by apparent ‘experts’ - that the outcome was the result of pilot error. I’m trying to get other pilots like PC to reflect on whether that’s a good thing to ‘feed’.

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Old 19th Aug 2022, 13:00
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Even if you did take the photos, probably best to keep them to yourself, rather than sharing on a public forum. What was the purpose of this thread? Reminding people to check the runway is clear before landing? Definitely could have been achieved without an aerodrome code, photos, rego...etc...etc...
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 14:13
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A mate once told me about a time he was securing an aircraft that had performed a wheels up at a GAAP. At the point he was coming out of the cockpit making sure that fuel and masters were off and secure the media turned up and filmed him making it look like he was the pilot, resulting in some interesting phone calls. There was a while he was in a rumor that he had had a wheels up... ATSB and CASA, didn't bat an eyelid at the event, so only those involved learned anything from it.
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 18:53
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Once you've had a wheels up, you can apply to Qantas.
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 20:20
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Agreed with the above, don't think the photos are necessary. When I was in high school I posted a photo online of a tailwheel aeroplane that had ended up on its back after a groundloop; a few years later I personally experienced a groundloop (incidentally in the very same aeroplane - karma?) and I can say I felt bad enough with the small group of people who'd witnessed it, it would have been an immeasurably worse feeling if someone had caught it on photo or video and put it up online! Have taken a few photos since then of post accident aftermaths but they have remained well and truly offline.
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 00:24
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Originally Posted by PiperCameron View Post
If that was correct I'm glad I DIDN'T do as you suggest, 'cause I'd feel a right goose if I'd made a song and dance about it only to to be told by ATC that I should have read the NOTAM.
Minor embarrassment to you that ATC may remind you that you didn't check the NOTAMs (big deal - after 10 minutes no one will remember the radio exchange) but reporting a potential safety (or inconvenience) matter for everyone's benefit is worth doing (despite the potential minor embarrassment).

Sometimes the best airmanship action might be to risk making (a minor) goose of yourself. my 2c
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 01:48
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Chances are if you didn’t see a NOTAM and you announce it on centre, someone else who also didn’t see the NOTAM will thank you quietly.
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