NTSB Identification: FTW04LA086.
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Accident occurred Saturday, February 28, 2004 in Crowley, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/02/2004
Aircraft: Lake LA4-270T, registration: N193TM
Injuries: 1 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.

While landing on a lake, the single-engine amphibian airplane nosed over. The 666-hour pilot reported that he configured the aircraft for a normal approach into the wind for the first of many practice water landings. At approximately 400 feet MSL, he inadvertently selected the landing gear handle, while reaching for the flap handle. The landing gear and the flap handles are two position levers, with the flaps either being full "UP" or full "DOWN", as is the landing gear lever. As he continued the approach and performed the "flow check", the pilot reported that the rising sun created a glare within the cockpit, which prevented verification of the position of the flaps and landing gear. Confirmation of the landing gear position with the external mirrors was also impaired by the sunlight. Upon contact with the water, the airplane "violently" flipped over onto its back. The pilot stated that for the previous three weeks he was unable to practice water landings, due to maintenance on the nose gear doors. During this time, he performed landings on hard surface runways.

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

The pilot's inadvertant water landing with the landing gear extended. Contributing factors were the sunglare and the pilot's failure to verify the position of the flaps and landing gear.

Full narrative available

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