Approach by student pilot goes bad

This May 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Cessna 172.
Location: Oxford, Maine.
Injuries: 1 Minor.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The student pilot was attempting to land. He thought that he was too high and too fast on final approach so he applied full flaps. Witnesses said the airplane was going too fast to land on the first third of the runway, and did not touch down until it was more than halfway down the span.

The airplane bounced back into the air. The student pilot applied full power and retracted the flaps in an attempt to do a go-around. He told investigators that he heard an unusual noise from the engine then reduced power. The airplane began to sink and drifted to the side of the runway, where it struck a small berm. The impact snapped off the nose gear. The airplane flipped onto its back.

Probable cause: The student pilot’s failure to maintain a climb during a go-around resulting in collision with an embankment.

For more information: NTSB.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20070828X01250&key=1.

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