On May 31, 2004, approximately 1040 central daylight time, a Cessna 172M single-engine airplane, N61663, registered to a private individual and operated by Levelland Aviation, of Levelland, Texas, sustained substantial damage following a loss of control while landing on runway 17 at the Levelland Municipal Airport (LLN), near Levelland, Texas. The solo student pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional solo flight.

According to the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), the student pilot reported that he configured the airplane with 10 degrees of flaps at an airspeed at 80 knots for a second touch and go landing on Runway 17. The student pilot reported that the winds were from 100 degrees at about 8 knots as he attempted to land on the 6,110-foot by 75-foot wide runway with a prevailing left crosswind. The pilot added that upon touchdown the airplane bounced and began to "float" to the right of centerline. The airplane touched down a second time, and began to skid to the right. The pilot stated, "I lost control of the plane, and it went off the runway" The aircraft impacted a large drainage ditch, then came to rest in the upright position.

The operator reported that the student pilot had accumulated a total of 33 hours of total flight time, of which 26 hours were in the accident make and model. A review of the pilot's training records revealed that the student pilot was found to be properly endorsed for this flight, which was his third solo flight.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, who traveled to the accident site, revealed that the main bolt on the left main landing gear had sheared, both spars on the left stabilizer were bent and wrinkled, and the fairing between the vertical fin and the fuselage was cracked into two pieces. A review of the aircraft logbooks did not reveal any discrepancies.

Weather conditions at LLN at 1053 were reported as winds from 120 degrees at 13 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear skies, temperature 24 degrees Celsius, dew point 0 degrees Celsius, with an altimeter setting of 29.98 inches of mercury.

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