This October 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: Piper Arrow Injuries: None. Location: Cambridge, Md. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: A CFI was giving instruction to a commercial pilot, who was working toward his flight instructor certificate. At the destination airport, the CFI demonstrated a power-off 180° approach to landing. The commercial pilot successfully demonstrated four of the same approaches and began the fifth approach.
During the landing, he misjudged the landing flare, which resulted in a firm touchdown. The CFI attempted to maneuver the airplane in a nose-high configuration, but was unable to apply enough back pressure to prevent a firm touchdown, due to the force being applied by the commercial pilot. Upon touchdown, the CFI executed a go-around maneuver and then flew to the home airport where they landed without incident.
Probable cause: The commercial pilot’s inadequate flare during landing and the CFI’s delayed remedial action, which resulted in a hard landing.
For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: ERA11CA052