On May 20, 2004, about 2045 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna R172K, N758ND, landed hard at the Jack Northrop Field/Hawthorne Municipal Airport, Hawthorne, California. A & E Flying Club of Los Angeles, Inc., was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The private 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 personal local flight originated at Hawthorne, about 2000.

In a written statement, the pilot reported that he was attempting to land on runway 25, in night conditions. During the landing flare, he noted that the airplane was higher than normal. The airplane stalled about 10 feet above ground level, and the nose of the airplane rapidly dropped, resulting in the nose wheel impacting the runway surface hard. During the accident, the airplane incurred damage to the firewall and nose gear.

The pilot further stated that he had accumulated a total of 3.5 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane, all of which he acquired in the 90 days prior to the accident. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane.

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