On November 17, 2001, at 1115 central standard time, a Cessna 172M, N4380R, piloted by a student pilot, sustained substantial damage during a landing and subsequent nose over at a private airstrip near Vandalia, Missouri. The north-south oriented turf runway is about 2,500 feet long by 200 feet wide, and the landing was made to the north. The 14 CFR Part 91 solo instructional flight was not on a flight plan and was operating in visual meteorological conditions. The student pilot received minor injuries. The local flight originated at an undetermined time.

In a written statement, the pilot said that he was performing touch and go's and was landing on runway 36 at the private airstrip. He said that he had performed three touch and go's without incident. He said that on the fourth attempt he landed in a nose up attitude. He said that during the rollout, the airplane nose lowered, and then the airplane shuddered. He said that the airplane then came to a stop and nosed over.

A postaccident examination of the airplane and wreckage area revealed the nose landing gear fork broken in two places. The nose wheel and portions of the fork were found about 100 yards in front of the airplane. The fork was examined and the fracture surfaces exhibited signatures consistent with overload failure. The fork ears were bent to the left. No other anomalies were found with respect to the airplane or its systems.

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