The student pilot was flying a Cessna 172 on his first solo cross-country flight to Bardstown, Ky. The wind at the destination airport was from 120° at 6 knots.
He chose to land on Runway 20. When the airplane was abeam the intended point of landing, he reduced power, added 10° of flaps, and obtained the desired descent airspeed.
He maintained that airspeed on the base leg, but when he turned on to final he noted that the airplane was high. He added more flaps in an attempt to maintain the desired approach airspeed, but the airplane “ballooned,” and the stall warning horn sounded before the airplane dropped suddenly and hit the runway in a nose-low attitude.
The post-flight examinations revealed a collapsed nose landing gear and firewall damage.
The NTSB determined the probable cause to be the student pilot’s improper flare during a crosswind landing, which resulted in a hard landing.
NTSB Identification: ERA13CA154
This March 2013 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.