NTSB Identification: ATL98LA100.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 04, 1998 in WISE, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/15/2001
Aircraft: Aerofab Inc. LAKE LA-4-250, registration: N1401P
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 reported that while attempting a water takeoff from Lake Gaston, in Halifax County, North Carolina, the airplane encountered a boat wake. A right turn was made to parallel the wake, resulting in dragging the right sponson, and a water loop ensued. The FAA Advisory Circular 61-21A-Flight Training Handbook discusses the forces that act on a seaplane during a crosswind takeoff. It states that the crosswind pushes the airplane sideways, acting along with the friction of the airplane on the water causing the airplane to weathervane into the wind. The turn is aggravated by the occurrence of centrifugal force. This is opposed by the water reaction on the hull and if strong enough and, in combination with the wind may cause the seaplane to tip, submerging the downwind float and causing the wing to strike the water. This is known as a 'water loop'.

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

The pilot's improper turn during the takeoff that resulted in dragging the sponson. A factor was the rough water caused by the boat wake.

Full narrative available

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