The student pilot was undertaking a solo cross-country flight to Lydd Airport where, accompanied by his instructor, he had landed a few days previously. Runway 21 was in use and the reported wind was from 110º at 8 kts so there was a crosswind from the left and a slight tailwind. The pilot believed he approached at the correct airspeed but, when he flared, the aircraft ballooned and then sank. Although he tried to reduce the descent rate by adding power, the aircraft bounced and when it contacted the runway a second time, the nose leg collapsed rearwards, the propeller blade tips shattered and the engine stopped before the aircraft came to a halt on the runway.
The pilot later stated that it was a hot day (24ºC) and that convective lift over the runway may have been a factor when the aircraft ballooned. In retrospect he assessed that he should have initiated a go-around, rather than adding power to try to reduce the high descent rate that preceded the first touchdown. His instructor reported that the pilot had demonstrated two “good” landings during a training flight from Stapleford Airport before departing on the cross-country flight.
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Published 14 September 2017