FTW03LA002
FTW03LA002

On October 2, 2002, approximately 1850 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28-161 single-engine airplane, N9623C, was substantially damaged following a loss of directional control while landing at the University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport, Norman, Oklahoma. The airplane was owned and operated by the University of Oklahoma. The student pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. The local flight originated from the Westheimer Airport, at 1840.

According to the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) the 11-hour student pilot reported that this was his first supervised solo flight, and that his first two touch-and-go landings were "normal." The student pilot stated that on his third approach to runway 17, the airspeed was approximately 62 knots, and the visual approach slope indicator (VASI) was indicating that the airplane was too low. "To gain altitude I increased power, which put me back on path." The pilot reported that after passing the numbers on runway 17 he was about 20 feet high and noticed that the nose of the airplane seemed a little high. He then pitched the nose down to keep from "floating." After touching down "hard" the airplane began skidding to the left. The pilot stated that he attempted to regain directional control of the airplane with the rudder pedals, but "apparently overcorrected." The pilot reported that he was intermittently applying brakes, but was already off the runway moving toward a culvert. The pilot further stated that he continued to try to gain directional control of the airplane, but was never able to fully recover control. After coming to rest upright in a shallow culvert, the pilot placed the mixture control to idle-cutoff and exited the airplane.

Maintenance personnel who worked for the University reported that the left wing and left main landing gear were damaged, both propeller blades were bent, and the lower part of the firewall sustained structural damage.

At 1854, the University of Oklahoma Automatic Weather Observing System reported sky clear, visibility 10 statute miles, wind 140 degrees at 9 knots, temperature 84 degrees F, dew point 72 degrees F, and an altimeter of 29.92 inches of Mercury.

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