The pilot was attempting to land on Runway 18 at the airport in Minocqua, Wisconsin, while the wind was 170° at 11 knots, gusting to 21 knots.
He explained that he attempted a three-point landing instead of a wheel landing because the Piper PA-18-150 was equipped with “wheel-penetration skis.”
During the flare, snow began blowing directly across the runway just ahead of the airplane. The plane subsequently drifted to the right.
He corrected with rudder and aileron inputs and the plane still drifted right.
He decided to initiate a go-around. As he applied power in an attempt to fly out of the gusting crosswind, the right wing dropped.
The ski-equipped right main gear collapsed when it hit the snow with a side load.
The right wing tip then contacted the snow and the airplane sustained substantial wing spar and firewall damage when it cartwheeled on its right wing tip, nose, left wing tip, and then balanced on its nose.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot did not maintain directional control of the airplane during the landing flare when a sudden wind shift occurred.
NTSB Identification: CEN15CA071
This December 2014 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.