NTSB Identification: ERA09CA541
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 27, 2009 in Pensacola, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/03/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA 172P, registration: N55437
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The student pilot stated that he was performing touch-and-go landings prior to the accident. Shortly after his third landing, the airplane veered left and impacted a taxiway sign. The nose landing gear separated from the airframe and resulted in substantial damage to the firewall. Examination of the airplane's nose landing gear by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the upper scissor bolt, cotter pin, and castle nut were missing. Winding tire marks were observed on the runway prior to the airplane veering off the runway. Examination of the airplane found no damage to the nose landing gear scissor flange or nose landing gear scissor. In addition, the upper scissor flange bolt was not recovered, nor was any evidence identified that indicated the bolt was in place at the time of separation. An annual inspection was performed 17 days prior to the accident flight. A visual examination of the nose landing gear was performed, but no maintenance was required to be performed. The airplane accumulated 18 hours of flight time after the annual inspection prior to the accident.

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

The pilot's inability to maintain control during landing due to the separation of the nose landing gear upper scissor from the nose gear assembly. Contributing to the accident was the inadequate visual examination performed during the annual inspection.

Full narrative available

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