On February 1, 1998, at 1000 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172K, N78222, was substantially damaged after a loss of control during landing at the Oxford Airport (43M), Oxford, Massachusetts. The certificated private pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local personal flight that originated at 43M, at 0950. No flight plan had been filed for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot said he departed runway 02, completed a traffic pattern, and returned to land. He said the airplane touched down in the first one-third of the runway. The airplane then began to vibrate as soon as the nose wheel touched down. He attempted to reduce the vibration by applying back pressure to the yoke. He said that after applying back pressure, "...the airplane started hopping on me." The pilot said the airplane bounced twice after the initial touchdown.

The pilot also attempted to retract the flaps during the landing sequence in an effort to increase braking ability. During that time, the airplane drifted to the right, struck a snowbank, nosed over, and came to rest inverted. According to the pilot, "The airplane drifted right and struck the snowbank, probably because I was reaching for the flaps."

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical deficiencies with the airplane. When questioned about the performance of the airplane, the pilot said, "The aircraft was fine." He said he completed a preflight using the checklist prior to departure and did not notice anything unusual.

According to a report from a Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Safety Inspector, "The nose wheel had very little air in it. However, it tested OK [at] 25 lbs. PSI."

The pilot stated that when weather permitted, he flew on a weekly basis. He last flew 2 weeks prior to the accident flight and had accumulated approximately 100 hours of total flight experience.

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