On August 19, 1997, at 1140 hours mountain standard time, a Cessna 172N, N3266E, landed hard at the Ernest A. Love Field, Prescott, Arizona. The airplane was substantially damaged and the student pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The airplane was operated by Embry Riddle Aeronautical University as an instructional flight under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated from Holbrook, Arizona at 1033. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported that Prescott Air Traffic Control Tower asked him to make left traffic for runway 3L. He replied that he was "unable" to land on runway 3L, due to the fact that the flight school prohibits solo pilots from landing on that runway except when necessary for the safety of flight. The tower responded that runway 3L was the only runway available because of airport construction activity.

The pilot reported that he elected to perform a go-around on the first landing attempt. On the second attempt, he noted that his ". . . approach was good, but his speed was a little high." He landed hard and flat. The aircraft bounced back into the air, then pitched over and struck the ground in a nose-low attitude. The airplane bounced up a second time, landed hard, and came to rest upright on the runway.

The flight school reported that according to their operations manual, solo pilots are prohibited from landing on runway 3L/21R except when necessary for the safety of flight, due to the fact that there are drainage ditches approximately 10 feet deep along either side of the runway. The school reported that they had been informed that runways 3R/21L and 12/30 would be closed at 1200 and only 3L/21R would be available. The school flight supervisor stated that he ensured that all solo students would be back prior to the closure; however, the airport closed the runways 30 minutes early and the flight school was not informed.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page