Bad bounce bends Ercoupe

This August 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: Ercoupe.

Location: Middleton, Ohio.

Injuries: None.

Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was practicing landings in preparation for a checkride. Three landings were made successfully. On the fourth try the pilot noted he was flying the approach at 60 mph instead of his normal approach speed of 70 mph. As he entered the landing flare, the airplane was right of the runway centerline and slower than normal. He lowered the nose to increase airspeed while he simultaneously added power. The airplane landed on the nose wheel and bounced. He added power to initiate a go-around, but the airplane bounced a second time. The airplane subsequently came to a stop and he taxied to the ramp.

The post-accident inspection revealed that the nose wheel had fractured and the firewall was damaged.

Probable cause: The pilot’s improper flare and his inadequate recovery from the bounced landing.

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