LAX08CA074
LAX08CA074

On March 11, 2008, about 1530 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 172M, N80318, veered off the side of runway 01 and nosed over at the Richfield Municipal Airport, Richfield, Utah. The student pilot was performing her first solo flight and first landing when the airplane suddenly exited the runway. The solo instructional flight was performed under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot's certified flight instructor (CFI) reported to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator that he had monitored his student's flying as she proceeded around the traffic pattern. The pilot's approach and landing appeared normal. However, during rollout the airplane departed the tarmac, entered soft terrain, and nosed over. The CFI reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 030 degrees at 3 knots. The pilot received minor injuries. The airplane was leased to, and operated by, the CFI who was operating his flight instruction business using the name Fly Aviation. According to the Federal Aviation Administration coordinator who responded to the accident site, the airplane's vertical stabilizer, left wing, and lift strut were bent. The airplane was substantially damaged. The flight originated from Richfield about 1520.

The student reported to the Safety Board investigator that she had not experienced any mechanical malfunction with the operation of the airplane. Immediately prior to the accident she had flown her CFI around the traffic pattern three times, and she had made three "great takeoffs and landings." Thereafter, the CFI exited the airplane and she commenced her first solo flight.

The student further reported that during her landing approach she had incrementally extended the wing flaps, and on final approach the flaps were set to at least 20 degrees. After the airplane touched down on the runway she may have briefly looked downward. She had not increased engine power in preparation for her planned touch-and-go when the airplane began veering off the runway. The student indicated that she attempted to redirect the airplane toward the runway, but she lost directional control while initially manipulating the ailerons and then using the rudder. The student additionally stated to the Safety Board investigator that she applied brakes in a effort to decelerate, but she had not pulled the yoke in an aft direction.

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