Sunday, February 28, 2021

Hard Landing: Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP, N957TC; accident occurred March 30, 2020 at New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport (KEVB), Volusia County, Florida

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: New Smyrna Beach, FL
Accident Number: ERA20CA165
Date & Time: 03/30/2020, 0930 EDT
Registration: N957TC
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Hard landing
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional


The flight instructor said he was not on the flight controls as the student pilot made a stable approach to the runway for a full stop landing. The student pilot initiated a flare over the runway but did not follow thru and the airplane bounced about 20-30 ft back into the air. The flight instructor took control of the airplane and tried to save the landing; however, the airplane stalled and landed hard resulting in substantial damage to the firewall and fuselage. The flight instructor said there were no mechanical issues with the airplane and the accident could have been prevented if he had executed a go-around.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The flight instructor's delayed remedial action and decision to not go-around after a bounced landing, which resulted in an inadvertent stall and hard landing.


Aircraft Landing flare - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Delayed action - Instructor/check pilot
Personnel issues Decision making/judgment - Instructor/check pilot
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Student/instructed pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern final Miscellaneous/other
Landing-flare/touchdown Hard landing (Defining event)

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial; Private
Age: 21, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/22/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/24/2020
Flight Time:  229 hours (Total, all aircraft), 224 hours (Total, this make and model), 188 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 57 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 30, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/22/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  13 hours (Total, all aircraft), 13 hours (Total, this make and model), 13 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 13 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N957TC
Model/Series: 172 S
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2005
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 172S9957
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/12/2020, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2299 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 50 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 10021.1 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-L2A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator:On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: EVB, 10 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0947 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3400 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.17 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 20°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: New Smyrna Beach, FL (EVB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: New Smyrna Beach, FL (EVB)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:0716 EDT 
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: New Smyrna Beach Muni (EVB)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 10 ft
Runway Surface Condition:Dry 
Runway Used: 29
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4319 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:2 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 29.055556, -80.948889 (est)


  1. A case of one blind man leading another...
    Too many incidents and accidents with time-building CFIs that have no interest in teaching students how to fly. That's how we end up reading about the 60-hr student pilots destroying planes and injuring or killing themselves. That has to stop.

    The FAA should consider rewriting the rules on CFI eligibility - at a minimum they should have a few hundred hours of commercial time (towing banners and such) and a few years as commercial pilots under their belts before being allowed to become CFIs.

    1. Nobody is hiring 250 hour pilots to "tow banners and such". In fact, CFI'ing is probably the safest first commercial job for these folks. I'm not going to monday morning QB this one - Florida is mostly international flight students from India/China, and with the communication barriers this often creates additional challenges, even for good CFIs.

    2. Hours are hours, commercial or not commercial, shouldn't matter. Just poor instruction, plane and simple.

  2. At 13 hours the student should have had many landings under her belt unassisted by that time in dual instruction. That's approaching the typical solo hour amount back in my day (I did it at 14 hours). Sounds like the making of another 50+ hour career student. And we all know KR is full of those reports of those high time students never signed off for private being involved in a landing incident.