On April 12, 2004, about 1750 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N669SP, experienced a hard landing at Long Beach Airport, Long Beach, California. California Flight Center was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The student pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed. The local student solo instructional flight originated in Long Beach about 1630. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
In a written statement, the student pilot reported that he was attempting to land on runway 25L. While the airplane was over the runway identifying numbers, he started the flare. The yoke control froze and he could not properly operate it. The airplane touched down, and bounced down the runway. He reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane.
During a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board, the owner of the flight school that was operating the airplane stated that the student pilot had about 4.7 hours of solo time. After interviewing the student, and looking at the damage, he assessed that the student did not flare before touchdown. He thought the nose wheel impacted the runway hard, pushing it into the cowling. This resulted in the firewall bending and the elevator controls jamming, becoming inoperative. The airplane porpoised down the runway, and the student applied brake pressure. The student taxied to the ramp area uneventfully. The flight school owner noted that one propeller blade collided with the runway during touchdown, leading him to believe that the student attempted to touchdown at a 40- to 45-degree angle. Examination of the airplane revealed no discrepancies with the control system.