On July 4, 2002, at 1045 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172, N6338F, was substantially damaged during a hard landing at Oswego County Airport (FZY), Fulton, New York. The certificated student pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Syracuse International Airport (SYR), about 1000. The solo instructional flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the student pilot, this was his first solo cross-country flight, and his intent was to practice takeoffs and landings.

Upon arrival at Oswego, the student pilot configured the airplane for landing on runway 24. The winds were from about 250 degrees at 8 knots, and he put the airplane in a slip on final approach. He deployed the flaps "early," which resulted in a steeper approach angle than he intended. The student pilot added power to arrest his descent, to shallow his approach angle, and to reach the touchdown zone of the runway.

When the student pilot added a little power, the airplane ballooned. He then reduced the power, which caused the airplane to drop and land flat. When it touched down, the airplane was turned to the left and the nose was not aligned with the runway.

When asked about the performance and handling of the airplane, the student pilot responded that he had made four other landings with the airplane that day, and had not had any problems with it.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the nose landing gear was out of alignment, that the firewall was buckled, and that the control column was jammed.

The student pilot's FAA third class medical certificate was issued March 19, 2002. He reported 23 hours of total flight experience, all in the accident airplane.

Runway 24 at Oswego County Airport was 3,996 feet long, and 100 feet wide.

The weather reported at the airport, 9 minutes after the accident, included winds from 260 degrees at 12 knots.

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