Bad landing, worse go-around

Aircraft: Cessna 172. Injuries: None. Location: Millville, N.J. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot, who was on a flight with two pilot-rated passengers, was practicing a no-flap landing. During the landing he flared the airplane about half-way down the runway. The plane bounced, then pitched up and drifted to the left. The tail tie-down hit the runway.

The pilot relinquished the controls to the pilot-rated passenger in the right front. That pilot lowered the pitch, and added full power to perform a go-around. During the go-around the plane continued to the left, hitting an airport sign. The passenger was able to land the plane.

Probable cause: The pilot’s improper recovery from a bounced landing, which resulted in a loss of aircraft control during the go-around.

NTSB Identification: ERA11CA236

This April 2011 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.



  1. Greg W says

    With out second guessing as to how much runway was left, sounds like a great job of flying what was left. The lesson, as it is often, is to not give up, FLY it to the end. I hope they all get back in an airplane again as soon as possible and don’t let this scare them away.

  2. Bruce Corey says

    The amazing part of this is that after hitting the sign, mangling the horizontal stabilizer and leaving the left elevator on the runway, the airplane with 3 aboard………went around and made it.

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