Poor approach results in poor landing

This June 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: New Hudson, Mich.
Injuries: None.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The student pilot was attempting to land. She felt the airplane was too fast and too high, so she reduced power. Although the airplane was still faster than the usual approach speed, she decided to initiate the landing. The airplane touched down hard and bounced twice. The student did not initiate a go-around. The airplane was past midfield and still had not stopped. The student pilot was not confident that the airplane could clear the trees at the end of the runway. Concerned that the next hard bounce could damage the gear and the airplane, the pilot steered the airplane off the runway onto the grass. The airplane did not stop until it ran into bushes.

Probable cause: The student pilot’s improper flare, which resulted in a hard landing. An additional cause was the pilot’s inadequate recovery from a bounced landing.

For more information: NTSB.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20070823X01228&key=1

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