On January 14, 1996, at 0935 central standard time, a Cessna 152, N24311, operated by Phoenix Aviation, Chesterfield, Missouri, sustained substantial damage when it impacted and remained on the roof of a hangar after an aborted landing. The student pilot received minor injuries. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight departed the Spirit of St. Louis Airport, Chesterfield, Missouri, on a local student flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The student pilot reported that he planned to practice touch and go's during the flight. On the first landing he hit hard and bounced. The airplane landed on the nose wheel and started porpoising. He reported that he tried to recover after the third bounce by setting an approach attitude, but lost directional control. The airplane veered off runway 26R to the left 90 degrees, and was heading for a row of hangars. He applied full throttle and tried to gain enough altitude to clear the hangars. The airplane impacted the hangar at the roof line and came to a stop. The pilot secured the airplane, and with help from others, was able to climb down to safety.

An Operations Inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration reported that the student pilot was on his first unsupervised solo. He reported that the skid marks on the ground revealed that the airplane veered off the runway and was still on the ground as it headed for the hangars. He also reported that parts of the wheel rim had broken off during the impact and been found on the runway.

The Operations Inspector asked the student pilot's flight instructor about the student pilot's flight proficiency. The instructor characterized the student pilot as a "great student" who was quick to learn and apply new knowledge. Asked whether recovery from a porpoising situation had been covered during their instruction, the instructor responded that the situation had been discussed. When the student pilot was questioned about instruction he had received concerning porpoising, he recalled it had been discussed, but not in detail. The student pilot reported that the instructor had told him to re-establish the approach attitude, but he was uncertain exactly what that meant.

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