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By akg1486
#1377165
Three months ago, I was going to land a C172 on a temporary field on snow. The field was short and the old landing skills are a bit rustier in winter than in summer. It was all good on final and when crossing the threshold, so I mentally committed to landing. During flare, I floated longer than I expected. Given the fact that the field was short, I was anxious to land the aircraft so I kept pulling softly on the yoke in order to stall it and sink.

I am not very tall, and with a high nose in a C172 the forward visibility is not that good: to put it simply, I lost my references. When the aircraft landed and the nosewheel touched the ground, I saw that I had drifted a bit left and that the nose pointed 10 degrees or so to the left. I had no chance to try to steer to the right, so I continued into the deeper snow (just under a foot deep). As luck would have it, the aircraft hit a little hole in the ground beneath the snow just when the speed was almost gone. Result: we tipped forward and hit the ground with the prop and the left wing. There was no speed to speak of, so we didn't flip over.

There are many lessons here. First: remember that what constitutes a "difficult" landing is not the same all year around. This was too hard for me at that time and place. Second: let the aircraft land the way it always does if you do things right on final and over the threshold. Third: things can go from perfect to disaster in a matter of seconds, especially when you are close to the ground.

Neither I nor my passenger/fellow pilot were injured, and the insurance company came through. The new wing, prop and gearbox are to be installed shortly. (The C172 in question has a diesel engine, so a gearbox that take the hit. Chock load therefore not needed.)
By ROG
#1419175
Sounds obvious--but a cushion will improve your forward viz--amazing how often one sees pilots so low down on the seat that their forward viz is very restricted.
Another 2/ 3 inches lift will surprise you.
By Lefty
#1422718
ROG wrote:Sounds obvious--but a cushion will improve your forward viz--amazing how often one sees pilots so low down on the seat that their forward viz is very restricted.
Another 2/ 3 inches lift will surprise you.


I had one student (already a PPL) who was slightly vertically challenged and struggled to see over the foaming of a C172. He was very reluctant to use a cushion, so I had no choice but to refuse to let him fly unless he used cushions to enable him to see out of the aircraft.