According to the flight instructor who observed the student pilot’s first solo flight from the ground, the airplane landed hard at the airport in Palm Coast, Florida, and porpoised due to the student pilot’s improper flare.
A post-accident examination revealed the Cessna 172 sustained substantial damage to the aileron and elevator systems and the firewall.
The flight instructor reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable cause: The student pilot’s improper landing flare, which resulted in a hard landing and porpoise.
NTSB Identification: GAA17CA104
This December 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.