On July 14, 2002, about 1240 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172N, N733NQ, was substantially damaged during a hard landing at Newport State Airport (UUU), Middletown, Rhode Island. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time. No flight plan had been filed for the flight, from Theodore Francis Green State Airport (PVD), Warwick, Rhode Island, to Newport State. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot, the airplane was lined up with the centerline of runway 22, and "the numbers" were in the center of his windscreen. The pilot's "approach profile" was "normal", and the VASI lights were red over white.

As the airplane approached the runway threshold, the pilot lowered the flaps to 30 degrees, and "headed for the numbers." The pilot noticed wind gusts as he approached the runway.

As the airplane passed over the numbers, the pilot reduced engine power to idle, and began to level off. The airplane was 5-6 feet above the runway, when the pilot felt it begin to sink. He applied back pressure to the yoke, and the airplane's nose pitched up higher than normal, which the pilot attributed to a gust of wind.

The pilot released back pressure in an attempt to level the airplane, but was "now too slow and the nose sank, causing the nose wheel to hit the ground very hard and the aircraft bounced back up." The pilot maintained the engine power at idle, and the airplane bounced once more before finally landing.

Weather, recorded at the airport at 1253, included winds from 210 degrees true, variable 160 to 320 degrees true, at 7 knots.

The pilot had logged 97 hours of total flight time, with 15 hours in make and model, and 1.7 hours in the previous 90 days.

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