Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Cessna 152, N94565: Accident occurred April 30, 2016 in Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, California


NTSB Identification: GAA16CA209
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 30, 2016 in Palo Alto, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N94565
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the student pilot, during his fifth solo flight, he struggled to keep the nose straight during the landing on runway 31. He reported that during the touchdown the airplane porpoised, the nose gear collapsed, and the airplane came to rest on the runway. According to his certificated flight instructor (CFI), the student pilot was endorsed to fly the airplane in a maximum wind velocity of 8 knots. The meteorological aerodrome report (METAR) indicated that the wind at the time of the accident was 310 degrees true at 15 knots, gusting to 22 knots. According to METAR data the wind velocity exceeded the pilot's endorsed limitation at 0747 Pacific daylight time (PDT), and did not subside during the remainder of that day. The student pilot's solo flight commenced at 1259 PDT. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or anomalies with the airplane prior to or during the flight that would have prevented normal flight operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The student pilot's decision to takeoff in wind conditions that exceeded his certificated flight instructor's maximum wind endorsement, and the student pilot's failure to maintain pitch control during the touchdown, resulting in abnormal runway contact, and substantial damage to the firewall.

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