On January 28, 2002, at 1720 central standard time, a Piper PA-28 single-engine airplane, N32194, was substantially damaged during a hard landing at the Carroll County Airport, Berryville, Arkansas. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual. The student pilot, who was the sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 solo instructional flight. The flight originated from the Springfield-Branson Regional Airport, Springfield, Missouri, at 1650.

According to the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), and in a telephone interview with the NTSB investigator-in-charge, the student pilot reported that "he was not familiar with the landmarks to make a proper approach." The first two approaches to runway 25 were "too short." On his third approach, the pilot reported that he "was still a little high," but thinking he could make it, steepened his glide path toward the numbers, "which caused me to gain too much speed." With the "glaring sun in [the pilot's] eyes," the airplane touched down "hard," bounced, touched down "hard" a second time, and bounced again. Touching down "hard" a third time, the nose gear collapsed, and both propeller blade tips struck the runway. The pilot added that after "losing directional control," the airplane veered off the runway, impacted an approach light, slid down an embankment, and came to a stop against two cedar trees.

The FAA inspector, who examined the airplane, reported that he found the left wing bent aft and the left flap crushed against the fuselage. An indentation on the leading edge of the left wing corresponded dimensionally to the diameter of one of the cedar trees. Additionally, both propeller blade tips were damaged.

At 1653, the Automated Surface Observing System, located at Harrison, Arkansas, 27 miles southeast of Berryville, reported wind 210 degrees at 5 knots, visibility 10 statutes miles, sky clear, temperature 22 degrees centigrade, dewpoint 06 degrees centigrade, and altimeter 29.90 inches of mercury.

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