On July 1, 2000, at 1130 Eastern Daylight Time, a Cessna 172H, N1688F, was substantially damaged during landing at the Potomac Airfield (VKX), Friendly, Maryland. The student pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the solo instructional flight that originated at VKX, approximately 1120. No flight plan was filed for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In a written statement, the student pilot said:

"...I embarked upon my first supervised solo flight... This was to be a set of three takeoffs, completions of the traffic pattern, and landings.

"On final in the first flight, as I cleared the houses at the end of the runway, an updraft seemed to push the tail of the plane up and the aircraft to the right. I corrected to put the airplane back on the centerline. However, the landing was somewhat hard and with a side load. The airplane bounced twice. Although it veered to the left of the runway, the plane did not enter the grass. A bystander noticed that the skin on the plane was dented.

In a written statement, the student pilot's flight instructor stated he supervised the flight from the ground. According to the flight instructor:

"The first take-off and pattern was performed very well. On his first approach to land, an updraft at the end of the runway pushed [the student] off of the centerline. While correcting for the centerline, [the student] ballooned above the runway, added power to compensate, but still landed with an extreme side load due to the correction to get back on centerline.

"Afterwards, [the student], thinking that he had only landed hard, began to taxi back for his second circuit. While taxiing, an observer pointed out a dent in the aircraft. The flight was discontinued immediately to survey the damage [to] the aircraft."

In a telephone interview, the student pilot stated there were no mechanical deficiencies with the airplane. He reported 39 hours of total flight experience, all of which was in the Cessna 172.

Weather reported at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, 7 miles northwest of Potomac Airfield was scattered clouds at 7,000 feet with winds from 010 degrees at 5 knots.

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