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: Pearland, Texas. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The student pilot was on his private pilot checkride. He was attempting to make a short-field landing. Approximately 50 feet above ground level it was apparent to the pilot that he was not going to land on his intended touchdown point, and the flight examiner in the right seat directed the pilot to go around.
The student pilot applied full power, however the airplane landed hard before becoming airborne again. The flight examiner took over the flight controls and successfully landed the airplane.
An examination revealed that the the nose gear was bent and that the firewall and fuselage skin aft of the nose gear was wrinkled.
Probable cause: The student pilot’s failure to control the airplane’s descent rate during the short-field landing, resulting in a hard landing.
For more information: NTSB.gov; NTSB Identification: CEN10CA075