Student pilot lands with tailwind

This April 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: Hampton, Va. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The student pilot was landing at his home airport at the end of a solo cross-country flight. When he contacted the air traffic control tower he was offered the option of runway 8, which had a tailwind, or 26, which had a crosswind.

He chose to land on runway 8. During the landing flare, the airplane bounced and the nose landing gear hit the runway, resulting in substantial damage to the engine firewall.

The student pilot reported there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with the airplane. At the time of the accident, the wind was from 230° at 11 knots.

Probable cause: The student pilot’s inadequate landing flare and improper recovery from a bounced landing. Contributing to the accident was the student’s decision to land with a tailwind.

For more information: NTSB Identification: ERA10CA512



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