NTSB Identification: ERA13LA007
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 04, 2012 in Parkersburg, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/12/2013
Aircraft: ERCOUPE 415-C, registration: N93606
Injuries: 1 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 first leg of the student pilot's planned solo cross-country flight was uneventful until he attempted to land at his destination airport. During the flare, as the airplane began to settle, he reduced power and the airplane "dropped," touched down on the main landing gear, then the nose landing gear, and then "hopped." The airplane then touched down again and traveled about 50 feet before the nosewheel separated, and the airplane slid to a stop. Examination of the airplane revealed that the two halves of the nosewheel assembly had separated from each other and multiple fractures existed in both halves. Further examination of the airplane also revealed that the firewall and fuselage had incurred substantial damage. The airplane was manufactured in 1946, and the pilot stated that he believed that the nosewheel assembly might have failed due to fatigue during the landing. However, examination of the nosewheel assembly by the NTSB's Materials Laboratory revealed that the damage was consistent with an overload event.

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

The student pilot’s improper landing flare, which resulted in a hard landing.

Full narrative available

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