According to the flight instructor and the student pilot, they flew from their home airport to another airport where the student completed four landings without the flight instructor touching the controls.
After the fourth landing, the CFI got out of the Cessna 172 at the airport in Immokalee, Florida, so the student could complete three solo takeoffs and landings.
The first two landings were uneventful, however, according to the student pilot, just before the landing flare for the third landing, the plane was “pushed” to the left side of the runway, “possibly by a wind gust,” then landed hard.
The flight instructor noted that during the approach, the plane appeared to be slower than normal, followed by a hard landing. The main landing gear touched down first, then there was a “gallop on the nose wheel,” and the plane bounced twice before all landing gear were on the ground.
The CFI subsequently performed a partial inspection the airplane, determined there was no damage, and the two flew it back to their home airport.
During a subsequent rental, at an en route stop, another pilot noted propeller damage, and further inspection revealed firewall damage.
Wind, recorded about the time of the accident, was 10 degrees from the right of runway heading, at 6 knots.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the student pilot’s improper landing flare, which resulted in a hard landing.
NTSB Identification: ERA14CA109
This January 2014 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.