NTSB Identification: SEA99FA146.
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Accident occurred Monday, August 23, 1999 in CHIMACUM, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/30/2000
Aircraft: Republic RC-3, registration: N6070K
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 1,100 hour pilot-in-command (PIC), who had just purchased the amphibious RC-3, had no amphibious/floatplane experience. Accompanied by the 4,664 hour flight instructor serving as a safety pilot, the two pilots departed Port Angeles, Washington, for Corvallis, Oregon, with the intention of making practice landings en route. Witnesses observed the aircraft in a smooth, descending, right turn lining up to the north over the south end of Discovery Bay and headed towards 50 foot power lines which crossed the bay on an east/west line. Just short of the power lines, the aircraft was observed to execute a sharp 90 degree left turn, descend out of control to the water, bounce into the air and then re-enter the water in a steep, nose down attitude. Post-crash examination of the aircraft revealed no evidence of airframe or powerplant malfunction. Forward fuselage crush angles confirmed a nose low, left wing low attitude, characteristic of a stall condition upon water impact. A pilot who landed a floatplane near the accident site immediately after the crash reported gusty windy conditions.

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

The inadequate visual lookout by both the pilot-in-command and second pilot, and the pilot-in-command's failure to maintain sufficient flying speed to prevent a stall condition. Contributing factors were the transmission lines, gusty wind conditions, and the pilot-in-command's lack of total experience in type of aircraft.

Full narrative available

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