On June 11, 1996, about 1210 Alaska daylight time, a "Tundra" tire equipped Cessna 185 airplane, N56581, sustained substantial damage while landing at the Gustavus Airport, Gustavus, Alaska. The solo, commercial certificated pilot was not injured. The airplane was being operated in visual meteorological conditions by the U.S. National Park Service under 14 CFR Part 91. The flight last departed Yakutat, Alaska, about 1030.

According to the pilot, as per a written statement given to a Federal Aviation Inspector on June 12, he said that as he approached Gustavus for landing, the Automated Weather Observation Station (AWOS)was reporting the wind as 090 degrees at 6 knots. He said he observed no crosswind as he approached runway 10. He said upon touchdown, the airplane immediately began to veer to the right. Sensing a crosswind, the pilot said he "rolled in left aileron." He applied brakes, and heard the left wing scraping the runway. When the airplane came to rest, the pilot noted that the left tire was flat, and the left aileron was damaged. In the pilot's written statement submitted to the NTSB and dated June 17, the pilot stated, in part: "Immediately upon touchdown the plane began hard to the right. I applied the brakes and then heard the left wingtip scraping the runway. ...I did not sense any crosswind." Both versions of the pilot's statements are attached to this report.

At 1214 local time, the AWOS positioned at the Gustavus airport reported the surface wind as 120 degrees at 5 knots.

The airplane's left main wheel assembly, inclusive of the 8.50X10 inch tire, inner tube, and Gar Aero wheel adapters, were examined by the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) at the Office of Aircraft Services (OAS) hangar in Anchorage, Alaska, on June 17. Neither the IIC, or the Chief of Maintenance for OAS, were able to find any evidence of preaccident mechanical deficiency or other anomaly with the wheel assembly.

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