IAD02LA004
IAD02LA004

On October 12, 2001, at 1720 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172, N5385J, was substantially damaged during a landing at the Pennridge Airport (N70), Perkasie, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In a telephone interview, the pilot stated that he departed the Perkiomen Valley Airport (N10), Collegeville, Pennsylvania, about 1610, and flew to N70 to practice touch-and-go landings on a "larger" runway.

In a written statement he said:

"...As I turned final, I picked up considerable amount of sun glare on windshield; it was annoying but not distractive. The sun was low in the sky and directly off the end of runway 26. It was late afternoon but still a bright clear day. Windshield seemed to be full of small fractures that turned the entire windshield milky white in the sun. Continued my descent on final approach, put in 30 degrees of flaps, VASI lights were slightly hard to see but visible and they indicated that I was on the glide path. During final, the glare on windshield was not getting any worse. I reduced power and was holding approximately 65 knots. As I entered my flare and the nose of the aircraft came up, the sun was now positioned right into the windshield causing it to turn completely white. Visibility was very bad. As I slowed down I had to look out my side window to determine my height above the runway. As I did this, the aircraft sunk slightly faster then I had expected and the aircraft touched down and bounced. As I was trying to maintain directional control the aircraft bounced one or two more times. The contacts with the runway did not indicate any type of damage had occurred and it was not until the aircraft slowed down that it seemed as though the nose tire was flat. I let the aircraft come to a stop, the engine was running normally and there were no abnormal vibrations. I wanted to clear the runway even though there didn't appear to be anybody in the pattern. I taxied slowly back to the hangar area and shut the engine down and exited the airplane."

The pilot reported 110 hours of total flight experience, 2 hours of which were in make and model. He also reported no mechanical deficiencies with the airplane.

The airplane was examined by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector. According to the inspector, the firewall and floorboard of the airplane sustained substantial damage.

Weather reported at Naval Air Station Willow Grove (NXX), Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, at 1655, included variable winds at 6 knots, 7 miles visibility, few clouds at 4,000 feet, and overcast clouds at 20,000 feet.


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