Piper PA-28-151 Cherokee Warrior, G-BTNT
The student pilot completed four visual circuits with her instructor before being cleared for a first solo flight. Runway 21 was in use, with fine weather and a surface wind from 190° at 13 kt. The student pilot took off to fly a normal circuit and was preparing to land. She described her final approach as steady and stable at about 75 kt, with speed reducing as she approached the runway threshold. She reduced power to idle and started a flare, but the aircraft landed firmly and bounced, pitching nose-down. The student was unable to control the aircraft’s oscillatory motion but concentrated on keeping the aircraft wings level until it came to a stop. She was advised by ATC to shut down on the runway and await assistance.
ATC reported that the aircraft had appeared slightly slower over the threshold than before, but not excessively so. It appeared to land firmly and bounce twice, before settling heavily on the runway. The student’s flying training organisation commented that the conditions were ideal for a first solo flight and that the event was entirely unexpected, given the student’s previous training and progress.
Date of occurrence: 9 September 2012