On June 22, 2001, at 0940 hours Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-38-112, N2572N, landed hard and collapsed the nose landing gear at the Auburn Municipal Airport, Auburn, California. The airplane, owned and operated by Mazzei's Flying Service as an instructional flight under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, sustained substantial damage. The student pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had been filed. The flight departed the Fresno Yosemite International Airport, Fresno, California, about 0800. The flight was scheduled to terminate at the Fresno airport.

According to witnesses on the airport, on the landing touchdown the airplane porpoised three times down runway 25 and the nose landing gear collapsed.

In the student pilot's written statement to the Safety Board, he stated that the purpose of the flight was to conduct touch-and-go takeoffs and landings. On the first landing the airplane "touched down fast . . . ," and bounced into the air two times. When the airplane touched down on the runway the third time, the nose landing gear collapsed. No discrepancies were noted with the airplane.

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