LAX05CA017
LAX05CA017

On October 25, 2004, about 1740 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 152, N4734B, veered off the runway during the landing rollout and nosed over at Imperial County Airport, Imperial, California. Flite Co. LLC 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. The local instructional flight originated from Imperial about 1730. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed.

In a written statement, the student pilot's certified flight instructor (CFI) reported that earlier in the day he and the student pilot performed touch-and-go practice takeoffs and landings for about 0.9 hours. During that flight, the student pilot executed seven landings, six of which were unassisted. The landing in which the CFI assisted, the second landing of the flight, the student pilot configured the airplane in a flare too high above the runway surface, and the CFI applied engine power in an effort to cushion the airplane's touchdown. After finishing the flight, the CFI determined that the student pilot was ready to fly the airplane without his assistance, and made the appropriate endorsements, enabling the student pilot to fly his first solo flight.

The CFI further stated that the student pilot opted to fly his first solo flight almost immediately after their flight terminated. The instructor was to observe the flight while remaining in contact via a handheld radio device. He observed the student pilot depart runway 32 and maneuver the airplane in a traffic pattern, configuring it with fully extended wing flaps while on the final approach leg. Upon touchdown, the main landing gear contacted the runway surface first, with the nose landing gear following. Shortly after the nose landing gear touched down, the airplane began to veer to the left. The airplane continued to the left and departed the runway surface. About 100 feet off the runway, the main landing gear impacted soft dirt, and the airplane nosed over, coming to rest inverted.

The CFI added, that after the accident the student pilot communicated to him that after the airplane touched down he lost focus and could not maintain control of the airplane. The airplane incurred damage to both wings and the rudder. The operator reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane.

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