On December 26, 2011, about 1400 central standard time, a Cessna 182J, N2618F, sustained substantial damage as a result of a hard landing on runway 14 at the St. Paul Downtown Airport (STP), St. Paul, Minnesota. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the Mentone Flying Club under the provisions of the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed from the Rice Lake Regional Airport (RPD), Rice Lake, Wisconsin, and was en route to STP.

The pilot reported that he made two visual approaches to runway 27 at STP. On the first approach he executed a planned go-around. On the second, he planned to make a full stop landing; however, during the landing flare, a gust of wind caused the airplane to drift so he performed another go-around.

The pilot decided to change runways for the next landing attempt, and he elected to land on runway 14; although the STP air traffic controller informed the pilot that the wind was from 230 degrees. The pilot reported that he continued the visual approach and was on glideslope, airspeed, and centered on the runway as he approached the runway landing zone. He reported that he encountered a “big” gust of wind during the landing flare. The airplane landed hard on its nose on the runway centerline about 500 – 1000 feet from the runway threshold.

The postaccident inspection of the airplane revealed that the airplane’s firewall was bent. The pilot reported that there was no mechanical malfunction or failure of the airplane.

At 1405, the surface weather observation at STP was: wind 240 degrees at 19 knots gusting to 26 knots; 10 miles visibility; sky clear; temperature 11 degrees Celsius; dew point -6 degrees Celsius; altimeter 29.71.

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