The student pilot reported that, while landing during a solo flight, a wind gust pushed the Cessna 172 to the right side of the runway at the airport in Silver City, N.M., and he was “unable to recover.”
The airplane landed hard, bounced, and came to rest inverted.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing and empennage.
The student pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
A review of recorded data from the automated weather observation station located eight nautical miles south-southeast from the airport revealed that, about five minutes before the accident, the wind was from 280° at 12 knots, gusting to 16 knots. The airplane landed on Runway 35.
Probable cause: The student pilot’s improper landing flare in gusting crosswind conditions, which resulted in a hard, bounced landing.
NTSB Identification: GAA18CA112
This January 2018 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.