NTSB Identification: CHI94FA262.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 02, 1994 in ST. IGNACE, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/1995
Aircraft: GRUMMAN HU-16, registration: N7025N
Injuries: 1 Fatal,3 Minor,9 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PILOT AND BOAT OPERATOR HAD PREARRANGED TO MEET IN A COVE OFF A DESERTED ISLAND. THE PILOT STATED THAT THE WINDS WERE OUT OF THE ENE AT 10-15 KTS, AND HE LANDED ON AN EASTERLY HEADING. HE STATED '...WE TOUCHED DOWN AND WERE GOING TOWARDS SHORE WHEN I WENT INTO REVERSE AND OFF THE STEP. THE AIRPLANE TURNED RIGHT FURTHER TOWARDS SHORE AND AWAY FROM THE WIND....' THIS WOULD OCCUR IF THE LEFT PROPELLER DID NOT GO INTO REVERSE. THE PILOT THEN TURNED AROUND AND TAXIED DOWNWIND ON THE WATER TOWARDS THE MOORED BOAT. AS THE AIRPLANE NEARED THE BOAT, THE PILOT APPLIED REVERSE THRUST, BUT THE LEFT PROPELLER DID NOT GO INTO REVERSE PITCH. WHEN IT BECAME APPARENT THAT THE PILOT WAS HAVING DIFFICULTY SLOWING DOWN, THE BOAT OPERATOR, HIS WIFE, AND 4-YEAR-OLD SON JUMPED INTO THE WATER. THE 6-YEAR-OLD SON DID NOT GET OFF THE BOAT AND WAS KILLED WHEN THE AIRPLANE STRUCK THE BOAT. INVESTIGATION REVEALED THE LEFT PROPELLER LOW PITCH STOP ASSEMBLY WAS NOT OPERATING NORMALLY DUE TO A DISPLACED STOP RING AND STOP WEDGE. THE PROPELLER ASSEMBLY HAD OPERATED ABOUT 70 HOURS SINCE IT WAS REBUILT.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO FOLLOW GOOD SEAPLANE OPERATING PRACTICES BY TAXIING WITH POWER AT FORWARD THRUST, WITH A TAILWIND, AT A SPEED THAT NECESSITATED USING REVERSE THRUST TO ARREST THE EXCESSIVE SPEED, AND THE PILOT'S MISJUDGMENT OF HIS DISTANCE FROM THE BOAT. THE FAILURE OF THE LEFT PROPELLER REVERSING SYSTEM WAS A FACTOR IN THE ACCIDENT.

Full narrative available

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