On March 19, 2002, about 1600 Pacific standard time, a Piper PA28R-200, N5060T, made a hard landing at Redlands, California. The Flight School at Palm Springs was operating the rental airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The commercial pilot and one pilot rated passenger were not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The personal flight departed Palm Springs, California, about 1500, en route to Redlands, and returned to Palm Springs. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The operator stated that the pilot was preparing for a certified flight instructor check ride. The pilot flew to Redlands to practice landings. On the fifth landing, the pilot encountered a strong updraft about 15 feet above ground level (agl), and pulled power. This was immediately followed by a downdraft. The airplane touched down hard on the right main landing gear.

The pilot completed two more landings and returned to Palm Springs. A follow-up maintenance examination discovered damage to a wing rib.

The Safety Board was informed of the accident on April 8, 2002.

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