Pilot porpoise prangs plane

This February 2010 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. Injuries: None. Location: Fort Pierce, Fla. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The student pilot was practicing touch-and-go landings. On his seventh landing he misjudged the flare, porpoised, and landed hard on the main landing gear.

The airplane bounced back into the air and then landed on the nose gear. He applied full throttle and initiated a go-around. He returned to the airport and made an uneventful landing on another runway. Upon exiting the runway he realized that he did not have directional control of the airplane. Subsequent examination of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the firewall and forward lower fuselage.

Probable cause: The student pilot’s improper flare during landing.

For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: ERA10CA143



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  1. Rod Beck says

    The pilot later admitted his father and uncle were “addicted” to the mid 60’s childrens TV show “Flipper” and during his youth were always doing dolphin impressions!!

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