CEN11LA328
CEN11LA328

On May 7, 2011, at 1230 central daylight time, a Piper model PA-18 airplane, N195T, was substantially damaged while landing on Tin Can Island in the Island Lake Reservoir, near Fredenberg Township, Minnesota. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the private pilot, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was operated without a flight plan. The personal flight originated from the pilot's private airstrip in Duluth, Minnesota, around 1200.

The pilot reported that he was attempting a southerly landing on a sandbar located on the west side of the island. He noted that he had previously performed the same landing in the accident airplane, which was equipped with oversized tundra tires. He stated that there was a 6-8 knot left crosswind during the landing approach. As the airplane descended below the treetops, the crosswind component diminished and the airplane began drifting left of the desired landing path. Shortly after touchdown the left wingtip collided with shrubs and trees which caused the airplane to veer away from the sandbar and into a marsh area. The right main landing gear sunk into the soft terrain and the right wing impacted terrain. A postaccident inspection revealed substantial damage to the right wing and the fuselage structure. The pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.

The nearest aviation weather observation station with recorded historical weather information was at Duluth International Airport (KDLH), about 12.5 miles south of the accident site, which was equipped with an automated surface observing system (ASOS).

At 1255, the KDLH ASOS reported the following weather conditions: wind 100 degrees at 9 knots; visibility 10 miles; few clouds at 4,000 feet above ground level; temperature 13 degrees Celsius; dew point 3 degrees Celsius; altimeter setting 29.87 inches of mercury.

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