NTSB Identification: NYC02LA070.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 02, 2002 in Coatesville, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 172P, registration: N65021
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

While the student pilot was landing on runway 11, about 5 feet above the runway, a gust of wind was encountered, which lifted the right wing. The left main landing gear touched down and the gear spring twisted. The airplane began to drift to the left, and after the CFI "gave the student a second or two to recover from this position," he took the controls. Continuing to veer, the airplane departed the left side of the runway, where the left main landing gear collapsed. The airplane came to rest in a grass area. The left main landing gear spring was retained for further examination. According to the manufacturers technical report of the examination, the tubular spring for the left main landing gear fractured at the inboard end. The inboard end of the spring contained a longitudinal oriented fracture that intersected a fastener hole. The fracture face contained chevron marks typical of an overstress fracture that pointed back to the hole, indicating that the fracture emanated from the fastener hole. No evidence of corrosion was noted on the fracture region. Further examination revealed that the fastener hole contained machining marks and fretting. Review of the airplane's maintenance records revealed that the landing gear struts were removed from the fuselage, and floats were installed, in 1992. After about 2,158 hours of service, the floats were removed, and the original landing gear struts were re-installed. The airplane had accumulated about 3,598 hours of total service. The CFI reported that the winds at the airport, about the time of the accident, were from 180 degrees at 8 knots, gusting to 17 knots.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The student pilot's loss of aircraft control which resulted in a hard landing, and the CFI's delayed remedial action. Factors related to the accident were the fatigue cracks which initiated at the attachment hole on the landing gear strut, and the crosswind conditions.

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