On October 7, 2000, about 1030 hours Hawaiian standard time, a Cessna 172H, N3715R, operated by the pilot, made a hard landing on runway 03 at the Hilo International Airport, Hilo, Hawaii. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed during the solo instructional flight, and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damaged, and the student pilot was not injured. The flight was performed under 14 CFR Part 91, and it originated from Hilo about 1015.

In pertinent part, the student pilot reported that during the first touchdown she decreased the engine power too soon for the flare and hesitated too long. Thereafter, she should have increased engine power but forgot what to do. The airplane touched down two more times, and the third time was "harder than necessary (and) noises were heard."

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) coordinator, the pilot's certified instructor witnessed the accident. The CFI reported that the airplane touched down hard during the pilot's third landing on her first solo flight. Thereafter, the airplane porpoised about three times. The airplane's firewall was found bent during a subsequent inspection.

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