This December 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: Mt. Comfort, Ind. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The student pilot was attempting to land. The airplane touched down smoothly on the main gear but as the nose gear settled, it began to drift to the right. The student applied left rudder, but it didn’t keep the plane from going off the right side of the runway and into the grass.
The post-accident inspection revealed the firewall was dented.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control while touching down during landing.
For more information: NTSB.gov; NTSB Identification: CEN10CA062