On June 25, 1997, at 0900 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 140, N4293N, veered off the runway, struck a perimeter fence, and nosed over while attempting a short field landing maneuver at the Columbia, California, airport. The aircraft, operated by Springfield Flying Service, was on a local instructional flight and sustained substantial damage. The student pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The flight departed Columbia airport at 0800 for the purpose of practicing landings. Visual meteorological conditions existed for the flight and no flight plan was filed.

In her written report, the student pilot reported that she was practicing a ". . .short field landing, bounced and was recovering [the aircraft] something went wrong [and] lost control ran off runway over taxiway into [the perimeter] fence."

The student was interviewed by an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector from the Fresno, California, Flight Standards District Office. The inspector said the student "described [the landing] as a hard landing after which she added power to smooth it out. . .the aircraft wanted to go left on its own. . . . She attempted to straighten it up, but before she could the airplane struck the airport perimeter fence and nosed over." The FAA inspector stated that the student pilot was questioned regarding short field landings and other flight maneuvers and answered all questions satisfactorily. He reported that he inspected the brakes and found no pre-existing anomalies.

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