The solo student pilot reported that on final to the airport in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, following a cross-country flight, “it was really bumpy,” the airplane was at a “pretty steep angle,” and the stall warning horn was “really going crazy.”
He further reported that he tried to avoid a stall, lowered the nose of the Cessna 172, and the airplane touched down to the left of the runway “unexpectedly.”
The airplane continued to the left of the runway and hit a ditch.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage. The student pilot was seriously injured in the crash.
Probable cause: The student pilot’s failure to maintain an appropriate descent rate and runway alignment during the landing flare, which resulted in the airplane touching down left of the runway and hitting a ditch.
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA515
This September 2016 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.