On February 23, 2004, at 1756 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172N, N738EK, was substantially damaged while landing at Youngstown Elser Metro Airport (4G4), Youngstown, Ohio. The certificated student pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local solo instructional flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The student pilot reported that she was landing on runway 10, a 4,012-foot long, 50-foot wide, asphalt runway. During the flare, she felt an impact on the right side of the empennage. The student pilot looked back and observed that the airplane had struck a deer. The student pilot then taxied the airplane uneventfully to the ramp area.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed substantial damage to the horizontal stabilizer.

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