On April 4, 2002, approximately 1815 mountain standard time, a Cessna 172S, N3512T, piloted by a foreign-based airline transport pilot, was substantially damaged during a hard landing at the Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT), Phoenix, Arizona. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted on a visual flight rules flight plan under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot and passenger on board the airplane reported no injuries. The cross-country flight originated at Grand Canyon, Arizona, at 1705.

The pilot said that everything was fine through the traffic pattern to the flare for landing. The pilot said, "During flare, blinded momentarily by sunlight, difficulties to judge altitude above RWY (runway) correctly. Flared too high." The pilot said he kept the nose of the airplane up to protect the nosewheel. He said, "... speed bled off ... resulting in heavy bumps onto the RWY together with stall warning." The pilot said that after 3 or 4 bumps, the airplane stayed on the runway. The pilot then taxied to the ramp. The pilot concluded, "I simply landed the airplane too high due to the lighting conditions and my landing picture based on my experience landing an Airbus A340." The pilot also concluded in recommendations he provided that he get more landings "to get the right picture during (the) flare."

A post-accident inspection of the airplane showed the airplane's nose gear pushed aft into the firewall. The lower part of the firewall was bent inward and aft. Flight control continuity was confirmed. An examination of the airplane's engine, engine controls, and other systems revealed no anomalies.

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