This November 2007 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 152. Location: Ardmore, Okla. Injuries: None. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The 79-hour student pilot was at the end of a solo flight. He was on final approach to Runway 17 at an indicated airspeed of 70 knots with the airplane configured with 20° of flaps. The pilot stated that the airplane crossed over trees at the north end of the runway and was “still descending in a nose-down attitude, about to round-out when the airplane literally dropped out of the air.” The airplane landed hard and bounced in a nose down attitude. The pilot was unable to recover. The nose gear collapsed and the airplane skidded down the runway approximately 900 feet before coming to rest.
Probable cause: The pilot’s improper landing flare, which resulted in a hard landing.
For more information: NTSB.gov