On January 12, 2008, about 1238 central standard time, N617MZ, an experimental amateur-built Ziermann RV8 airplane, operated by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage on impact with Round Lake during a forced landing following an in-flight loss of engine power near Garrison, Minnesota. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan was on file. The pilot received serious injuries. The flight originated about 1215 from the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, near Brainerd, Minnesota, and was destined for the Winsted Municipal Airport, near Winsted, Minnesota.

The Aitkin County Sheriff's interview of a witness who was fishing on Round Lake, in part, stated:

[The witness] was outside of his fish house, when he heard this plane,
the engine was sputtering, that was traveling east. [The witness] stated,
the plane then banked hard right, and went down on the ice. [The
witness] stated, the plane was almost flat when it hit the ice. When it
hit, debris started to fly around, and the plane spun around, and slid to
a stop.

The pilot's accident report stated, "Headed home after eating lunch, no indication of any trouble up to that point." The pilot reported that he departed on the flight with 30 gallons of 100 low lead aviation gasoline on board the airplane.

A Lycoming IO-360 engine with serial number L-20187-51A powered the airplane. The airplane's last conditional inspection was conducted on October 7, 2007. The pilot reported that the airplane had accumulated 279.5 hours of total time at the time of the accident.

Engine logbook entries show that the engine was previously installed on a Lake LA-4-200, N3027P. An entry dated May 7, 1996, indicated that the Lake LA-4-200 airplane was destroyed in an accident and that the engine had accumulated a total time of 1,529.0 hours. The endorsement on the engine logbook's next page showed maintenance actions that included an inspection of cylinder compression. That page was signed off with the accident pilot's name, certificate number, and signature.

Federal Aviation Administration inspectors examined the airplane wreckage. Flight and engine control continuity was established. No pre-impact anomalies were detected.

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