NTSB Identification: LAX02LA135.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 24, 2002 in Avalon, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/25/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 172M, registration: N61737
Injuries: 4 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.

The rental airplane porpoised on landing and sustained substantial damage to the firewall. The pilot said that the approach was normal. The flap position indicator ceased to function during the flight and the pilot estimated that he used 20 degrees of flaps for the approach and landing. He said that once he had the runway made, he reduced the throttle to idle and flared. He stated that even though the throttle was all the way to the rear, the engine continued to produce "quite a bit of power" that he estimated was between 1,200 and 1,600 rpms. The aircraft bounced after the initial touchdown and he lowered the nose in an attempt to get the airplane to settle onto the runway. The aircraft bounced three more times during this process. The pilot stated that the only way he could get the engine to cease producing excess thrust was to move the mixture control to the idle cutoff position. After moving the mixture, the engine continued to run for 30 or more seconds until it finally shutdown. Examination of the maintenance records disclosed that the engine had been overhauled on January 16, 2002, and was installed on the airframe on March 12, 2002, about 17 hours prior to the accident. The records listed the carburetor as having been overhauled at the time of engine overhaul. Safety Board investigators examined the airplane and engine at the operator's maintenance facility. The carburetor exhibited fuel staining from the parting surface gasket. Continuity of the power controls was established between the cockpit and the carburetor. The carburetor was removed from the engine and taken to a carburetor overhaul facility, where it was installed on a calibrated fuel flow test bench. The carburetor flowed to specification and the float stopped the flow at the correct level. Following the functional test, the unit was disassembled. The screws securing the bowl chamber to the carburetor body were tight. The brass floats were intact and set correctly. The jets were intact and clear. According to the NOAA Airport Facility Directory entry for the Catalina Airport, runway 22 is asphalt and 3,240 feet long by 100 feet wide with a 1.7 percent upslope for the first 2,000 feet. The runway is equipped with a Visual Approach Slope Indicator set to 3 degrees.

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

The pilot's inadequate bounced landing recovery technique, which resulted in an inadvertent porpoise.

Full narrative available

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