This February 2008 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: Glasair. Injuries: None. Location: Telluride, Colo. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: Unicom advised the pilot that the winds were from 260° at 6 knots. He decided to land on runway 9 as per the airport’s request to avoid flying over populated areas. The pilot delayed lowering the flaps until he “had the runway made.” This resulted in an airspeed of 90 knots, which was higher than normal for an approach. The plane crossed the runway threshold at 50 feet AGL. Full flaps were deployed and the pilot reduced airspeed. He noticed his groundspeed was quite a bit higher than what he was accustomed to. The first touchdown was 800 feet past the runway threshold and, as he pulled back to flare, the airplane ballooned up 20 feet. The pilot flared again but the airplane dropped and bounced on the main gear, then the nose gear, which then collapsed. The propeller struck the runway and the airplane skidded to a halt.
Probable cause: The pilot’s improper flare and his failure to maintain aircraft control, resulting in the design stress limits of the nose gear being exceeded. Contributing factors were the excessive airspeed, the pilot-induced porpoise of the airplane, and the tailwind.
For more information: NTSB.gov