On April 9, 2002, at 0710 central daylight time, a Cessna 172P, N53066, collided with the terrain following a loss of control while landing on runway 31 (4,100 feet by 75 feet, concrete) at the Council Bluffs Municipal Airport, Council Bluffs, Iowa. The solo student pilot received minor injuries. The airplane received substantial damage. The 14 CFR Part 91 solo instructional flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The flight originated from the Council Bluffs Municipal Airport, at 0705.

The student pilot reported that this was his first landing of the day. He reported that while on final approach, at an altitude of 10 to 20 feet above the ground, at an airspeed of 60 to 65 knots, he heard a loud noise. He stated that the noise sounded as if it was coming from the right side of the airplane behind the passenger seat. The student reported, "Shortly after the noise the airplane started to bank hard to the left, like in a large crosswind. The bank became uncontrollable, even with the yoke turned fully to the right." The pilot reported he increased the throttle slightly, and applied right aileron, but the airplane would not recover. He reported the airplane stayed in the left bank until it contacted the grass next to the taxiway. The pilot stated that he thought the stall warning horn sounded just prior to the airplane impacting the terrain.

A postaccident inspection of the airplane was conducted by an inspector from the Des Moines, Iowa, Federal Aviation Administration, Flight Standards District Office. The inspector reported that flight control continuity was established to the flight controls. The inspector reported that he found nothing mechanically wrong with the airplane which would have resulted in the loss of control.

The student pilot reported having 42 hours of total flight time, 1.6 hours of which were solo flight time.

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