Student crashes on straight-in approach

Aircraft: Cessna 152. Injuries: None. Location: San Antonio, Texas. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The student pilot planned to practice solo takeoffs and landings at a nearby tower-controlled airport. Her logbook revealed that this was her second solo flight and the first time she traveled to the nearby airport without a flight instructor on board.

On the first landing she was instructed to do a straight-in approach. The airplane touched down on the main wheels and bounced. The nose landing gear came down hard enough to break off the airplane. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall and wing struts.

The pilot told investigators that she had very little practice with straight-in approaches, and she thought that using the traffic pattern to set up for the landing might have prevented the accident.

Probable cause: The student pilot’s misjudgment of the landing flare, which resulted in a hard/bounced landing and subsequent impact with the runway.

NTSB Identification: CEN12CA277

This May 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.


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