Aircraft: Piper Cherokee Arrow. Injuries: None. Location: New Smyrna, Fla. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was preparing for his initial flight instructor check ride with a CFI on board. He performed a 180° power-off approach and landing.
During the landing, he flared the airplane about 10 feet above the runway and it landed hard. After taking off again, he attempted to raise the landing gear, but it would not retract completely, so he put the landing gear back down, performed another 180° power-off approach, landed, and then taxied to the ramp.
After parking, he and the flight instructor, who was sitting in the left seat, noticed that they could not open the door because the door handle was broken. After having someone open the door from the outside, they noticed that the right wing had been damaged during the hard landing.
During a post-accident interview, the flight instructor stated that the CFI candidate pilot was the “full manipulator of the controls” and he had not intervened.
Probable cause: The pilot’s improper flare, which resulted in a hard landing. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor’s inadequate remedial action.
NTSB Identification: ERA12CA242
This March 2012 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.