This August 2009 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 172. Injuries: None. Location: Pensacola, Fla. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The student was practicing takeoffs and landings. One of the landings was harder than normal and resulted in a cut nose wheel, a damaged nose strut, and wrinkling of the firewall. The student pilot did not report the damage to officials from the flying club that operated the airplane.
The damage was discovered during a maintenance inspection. The student pilot subsequently left the flying club and did not respond to the club’s emails or telephone messages. Two other student pilots and their flight instructor confirmed that during the three previous flights, they noted no damage to the airplane.
Probable cause: The student pilot’s improper flare, which resulted in a hard landing.
For more information: NTSB.gov NTSB Identification: ERA09LA549