FTW97LA266
FTW97LA266

On July 7, 1997, at 1000 central daylight time, an Engineering & Research Ercoupe 415-C airplane, N99739, was substantially damaged while landing at Huntsville Municipal Airport near Huntsville, Texas. The student pilot and the commercial pilot/flight instructor were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the instructional cross country flight from Huntsville Municipal Airport (T39) to Palestine Municipal Airport (PSN), Palestine, Texas. The student pilot reported filing a VFR flight plan.

In a telephone interview, conducted by the investigator-in-charge (IIC), and on the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, the flight instructor reported that they were departing on a cross country flight to Palestine and elected to return due to deteriorating weather conditions. The cloud bases were 1,500 feet AGL. During the final approach to runway 18, the student pilot allowed the airspeed to become slow and corrected for the airspeed loss by adding power. The airplane hit the ground after the student "pulled power, pulled [the] nose up [and the airplane] stalled at approx[imately] 10 f[ee]t AGL" The instructor stated that before he could execute corrective action, the airplane landed hard on the runway.

In a telephone interview, conducted by the IIC, and on the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, the student pilot reported everything appeared "normal" during the approach to runway 18 at an approach speed between 60 and 70 mph. During the landing flare, the airspeed "must have dropped below 60 MPH, and my guess is that it stalled at approx[imately] 10-15 feet above [the] runway." The airplane appeared to "drop like a rock" and landed hard.

The flight instructor reported structural damage to the nose landing gear that was bent forward. The student pilot reported that 4 engine mounts were bent.

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