On April 2, 2001, at 1849 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N669SP, made a hard landing on runway 25L at the Long Beach/Daugherty Field Airport, Long Beach, California. The airplane sustained substantial damage after it veered off the right side of the runway and struck a taxiway sign with the lower portion of the left wing strut. The airplane was operated by Surface to Air as an instructional flight under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The student pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local landing pattern-work flight. No flight plan had been filed.

The Long Beach/Daugherty Field (LGB) aviation routine weather report (METAR) issued at 1856 reported: visibility 10 miles with few clouds at 4,000 msl; wind from 160 degrees at 9 knots; temperature 57 degrees Fahrenheit; dew point 48 degrees Fahrenheit; and altimeter 29.85 inHg.

A Safety Board investigator interviewed the operator of the airplane. He stated that this was the student pilot's fifth solo. The pilot had been approved to practice landing pattern work. On the first landing the student landed the airplane hard. The airplane ballooned and veered to the right off the runway, where it struck a taxiway sign.

Repeated unsuccessful attempts were made to obtain airplane and pilot information from both the airplane owner and the student pilot.

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