Cessna 172M Skyhawk, G-BHCC
Soon after takeoff a red warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The pilot identified it as a STARTER warning light. When downwind the pilot realised he was too close to the runway. ATC informed the pilot that, as the wind was very light, he could land on any runway. On final approach the pilot realised he was too high and too fast. Believing he had an engine problem, he was reluctant to fly a Go Around in case it aggravated the problem. He subsequently landed “extremely” heavily and bounced 2 or 3 times. After landing the pilot realised that he had misidentified the warning light. It was a Low Voltage warning light. He had misidentified the light as he did not read the writing on the placard below the caption. He assumed it was the Starter warning light as the Low Voltage light is the same size, shape and position in a Cessna 172 as the Starter warning light in a Piper Warrior PA-28, which he had done most of his flying training on. The nose wheel and the nose leg had been damaged. The firewall had been creased and the floor panelling behind the firewall had been buckled.
Published 10 December 2014