NTSB Identification: MIA97LA141.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 19, 1997 in FORT MYERS, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/1997
Aircraft: Young MERLIN GT, registration: N2100S
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of the amphibious/homebuilt aircraft elected to take off from an intersection of a taxiway and runway from which there was 1,600 feet of runway remaining. The passenger stated that after departure, while climbing through 250 feet, the pilot began pumping the throttle as if he was trying to get more power out of the engine. The passenger did not notice a loss of engine power. As the pilot pumped the throttle, the aircraft stalled and entered a spin to the left from which it crashed. After the accident, the engine was operated to full power with no evidence of failure or malfunction. The fuel oil mixture appeared normal in color, the engine showed no damage from oil starvation, and the spark plugs had deposit coloring consistent with normal operation. No evidence of malfunction of the aircraft structure or flight control systems was found. A representative of the company that produced the aircraft kit stated the aircraft on floats with the 65 horsepower engine was under-powered and that they normally did not fly it with 2 persons onboard. The passenger noted that the cabin doors were locked open and that there was a lot of noise in the aircraft. The company representative said the aircraft flew fine with the doors locked up, although this would reduce performance.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain airspeed during the initial climb after takeoff, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin and subsequent collision with the terrain. Factors relating to the accident were: the pilot's failure to use all available runway, and his failure to recognize the reduced performance of the aircraft, when it was configured with floats, and was flown with two occupants aboard, with the doors locked open.

Full narrative available

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