The airplane landed hard and was consumed by a post-impact fire. The student pilot was on a solo flight practicing touch-and-go takeoffs and landings. While the accident airplane was on the base leg of the traffic pattern, a twin engine airplane touched down on the runway surface. The accident airplane proceeded onto final approach and encountered wake turbulence about 5 to 6 feet above the runway surface. The airplane's left wing immediately lifted up about 45 degrees. The pilot recovered to a wings-level configuration just prior to the airplane slamming down on the runway surface. As a result of the hard impact the nose wheel collapsed and a fire erupted as the airplane slid down the runway; fire consumed the airplane. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The student pilot reported that there were no failures or malfunctions with the airplane prior to the accident. Weather recorded by the destination airport's Automated Surface Observing System about 25 minutes prior to the accident indicated calm winds. The student pilot reported 68 hours total flight time and 20 hours of pilot-in-command (solo) flight time.
Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular 90-23F, Aircraft Wake Turbulence, states that wake turbulence (vortices) are generated once the aircraft lifts off because wake turbulence (trailing vortices) are a by-product of wing lift. The advisory circular notes that when landing behind a larger aircraft on the same runway, the smaller aircraft should stay at or above the larger aircraft's final approach flight path and land beyond its touchdown point in order to avoid the wake turbulence.