NTSB Identification: ANC02LA073.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 07, 2002 in Karluk, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 206, registration: N35606
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 certificated commercial pilot was landing an amphibious float-equipped airplane on a saltwater lagoon. The pilot reported that after departing from a gravel-covered airstrip, en route to the salt-water lagoon, his attention was temporarily distracted while correcting a minor flap retraction problem. The pilot thought he had placed the landing gear retraction handle in the "up" position, in preparation for a water landing at his destination, but failed to observe 4 blue lights, indicating that wheels were up for a water landing. During touchdown in the lagoon, as the keels of the floats made contact with the water, the airplane suddenly pitched forward, and nosed over. The pilot said that as he exited the sinking airplane, he noticed that the wheels were in the "down" position. Due to the saltwater emersion damage, the landing gear retract/extension system could not be tested. The director of operations for the operator reported that when he interviewed the pilot shortly after the accident, the pilot reported that after departing from the airstrip, his attention was distracted during the wing flap anomaly, and that he just forgot to retract the wheels.

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

The pilot's inadvertent water landing on amphibious floats with the wheels extended, which resulted in the airplane nosing over. A factor associated with the accident was the pilot's diverted attention during departure.

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