On April 19, 1999, at 1800 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140 airplane, N32458, was substantially damaged following a hard landing on runway 15 at the Cleburne Municipal Airport near Cleburne, Texas. The private pilot and his passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight which originated from Hicks Airport near Quinlan, Texas, at 1730. The aircraft was owned by a private individual and operated by Split-S Aviation of Fort Worth, Texas.

According to a pilot rated witness, located on the approach end of runway 15, the accident airplane "came in hot and fast, hit the nose first and bounced up then nosed over again and impacted again [on the] nose." The witness added that the nose wheel separated and the airplane slid 100 feet down the runway, where it came to rest upright.

During telephone interviews conducted by the investigator-in-charge, the pilot stated that he had "made a perfect approach;" however, when he got closer to the ground the airplane had "produced a very high sink rate." The pilot stated that the airplane would not respond to his control inputs to try and stop the descent. The airplane impacted the runway, bounced once, impacted the runway a second time, and came to a stop.

At 1555, the weather observation facility at Carswell Airport (located 28 miles north of the accident site) reported the wind from 190 degrees at 18 knots. At 1553, the weather observation facility at Arlington Airport (located 30 miles northeast of the accident site) reported the wind from 230 degrees at 9 knots. The pilot reported that the wind at the time of the accident was from 180 degrees at 15 knots gusting to 25 knots.

The pilot had accumulated 190 total flight hours, of which 40 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The pilot was endorsed for his biennial flight review the day of the accident.

An FAA inspector examined the airplane and reported that the nose gear had separated, and the engine mounts and firewall were buckled. Additionally, he confirmed flight control continuity subsequent to the accident.

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