On December 4, 2002, at 1320 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172N, N5321D, operated by Tulip City Air Service, sustained substantial damage when it veered off runway 26 (5,000 feet by 100 feet, asphalt) and struck a snow bank. The solo student pilot was not injured. The 14 CFR Part 91 solo instructional flight was practicing takeoffs and landings at the Tulip City Airport (BIV), Holland, Michigan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The student pilot reported that he had flown two normal takeoffs and landings in the traffic pattern at BIV, and one takeoff and a simulated engine failure with a landing at BIV with his flight instructor prior to the accident flight. The student pilot reported that the flight instructor "felt that I was ready to solo and I agreed." The student pilot had a total of 10.4 hours of flight time.

The student pilot departed runway 26 at BIV on his first solo instructional flight. He entered a left hand traffic pattern for a full stop landing. He reported that he maintained 65 KIAS on final and the glide slope indicators showed two red and two white lights. He reported he extended the flaps to 30 degrees and "made a perfect landing on the center of runway 26." He reported the airplane drifted left of the runway so he added right rudder to get the nose wheel back on centerline. He reported, "The plane did not respond as I was on the ice on the side of the runway." The airplane veered off the runway and hit a 12-16 inch high snow bank on the side of the runway. He reported the landing gear hit the hardened snow bank and the nose and propeller hit the ground. He reported that the airplane tipped and banked to the right, and the right wing hit the snow bank.

A Federal Aviation Administration operations inspector reported that BIV runway 26 was covered with snow and ice.

The reported winds at BIV were 170 degrees at 6 knots.

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