On September 17, 1994, at 1100 eastern standard time (est), a Piper PA-28-161, N523PU, registered to Purdue University of West Lafayette, Indiana, and piloted by a student pilot, was substantially damaged during a collision with terrain following an aborted landing maneuver. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot reported no injuries. The flight departed from West Lafayette, Indiana, at 1055 est. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot's written statement on NTSB Form 6120.1/2, he had made three landings with an instructor before being sent out on his first solo flight. On his first landing the pilot said he "...pulled up too soon which caused me to float awhile above the runway. This caused me to hit kind of hard and bounce a little." The pilot said he thought the airplane bounced higher than it did and he applied full power to "...do a go-around." He said the crosswind "...and left turning tendency caused [him] to run off the runway." The student pilot stated the landing was his first solo landing after 14 hours of dual instruction.
The airplane crossed the area between runways, crossed a second runway, entered a clear area next to the second runway becoming airborne as it collided with a small hill. The airplane was observed skidding sideways through the air for a short time. Its right wing struck the ground followed by the right main landing gear. The right main landing gear separated from its mount. The nose gear collapsed aft and to the left of the airplane's fuselage centerline.
A review of the student pilot's logbook showed he began his flight training on August 25, 1994. Each page of the logbook is divided into three areas: flight time blocks, maneuver blocks, and a remarks section. Review of the maneuver blocks revealed that there were no blocks for recovery from a bounced landing, and a rejected or aborted takeoff. A review of the remark's section revealed the following statements: "Be ready to go around on a bounce.", and "Two go-arounds."
One logbook page listed thirteen "maneuvers" under a statement that said: "Prior to the student's first solo flight, the following maneuvers and instruction must be given and specifically logged." These maneuvers are also found in 14 CFR Part 61.87 (d)(e). None of the thirteen items described a recovery from a bounced landing and the rejected or aborted takeoff.
A review of the flight school's training curriculum revealed seven lessons to be flown before solo. None of the lessons described training for recovery from a bounced landing and rejected or aborted takeoffs. Lesson seven did state: "The student must have 10 hours of dual including three hours of takeoffs and landings before first solo."
During an interview with the flight instructor it was revealed she did not instruct the student in recovery from bounced landings or aborted/rejected takeoffs. She could not recall if she had discussed them with the student. The instructor said the student had trouble making a go-around decision on the previous flight but had performed correctly on the dual flight before his solo flight.