The student pilot had performed three uneventful landings with his instructor on board the Cessna 172; his CFI later stated that the student, “… performed way above the standards needed to show me he would be safe during solo flight.”
While flying solo for the first time, the student performed one uneventful touch-and-go landing and remained in the traffic pattern for Runway 9R in Miami, Florida. With a calm wind, the student pilot reported that the approach was normal, however, the landing was harder than normal.
He continued the takeoff roll for another touch-and-go landing but reported hearing a weird sound. He added power, and believe that was the moment when the nose landing gear tire deflated. He then felt a “strange movement and I felt the nose falling.”
He reduced power to abort the takeoff and then heard and felt something touching the floor.
After coming to rest he contacted the air traffic control tower and reported what occurred.
Post-accident inspection of the airplane by several FAA inspectors revealed the wings, upper fuselage, cabin, tail, main landing gear, primary flight controls, engine, and engine mount were intact. The nose landing gear inner cylinder was pushed up through the upper housing, and the firewall was damaged on the left, right, and aft sides of the nose landing gear mount. The upper quadrant of the firewall also exhibited a 7-inch buckle.
Following recovery of the airplane, the engine was started and found to operate normally. The operator also reported that the cabin floor was bent.
The National Transportation Safety Board determined the probable cause as the failure of the student pilot to achieve a proper touchdown during a touch-and-go landing resulting in a hard landing and substantial damage.
NTSB Identification: ERA15CA038
This October 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.