Failure to go around bends firewall

This March 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: Lawrence, Kan. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The student pilot was practicing touch-and-go landings. During the first approach she felt that her approach was too high, so she pitched down slightly, leveled off, and landed on the main landing gear. After landing, the plane porpoised twice and then landed flat and hard.

The pilot taxied back to the hangar and had the airplane examined for damage. None was found, so she took off again and continued her flight. Sometime after the flight the firewall was found buckled.

Probable cause: The student pilot’s failure to maintain an appropriate glide path during approach. Contributing to the accident was the decision to continue the approach instead of going around.

For more information: NTSB Identification: CEN10CA163



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