NTSB Identification: ANC05FA098.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 07, 2005 in Seward, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2006
Aircraft: Maule M-7-235, registration: N5661J
Injuries: 1 Fatal,4 Minor.

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 commercial certificated pilot/lodge operator was conducting a day 14 CFR Part 91 flight to a glacier fed coastal lake in a float-equipped, single-engine airplane. The pilot reported that the approach to the lake was routine, until about 25-50 feet above the surface of the lake, the airplane "quit flying," and descended rapidly in a level attitude, impacting the lake. During the impact, the floats spread apart and collapsed. The wings lay on top of the floats, and except for the cabin top, the fuselage was submerged. The pilot and the four passengers exited to the top of the fuselage and wings. The glacier fed lake was populated with icebergs, and the survivors were forced to abandon the sinking airplane, and swim to a nearby iceberg. A passenger, who had not previously donned his personal flotation device, and left it in the airplane, drown. The surviving passengers were rescued by search personnel several hours after the accident. The pilot reported that prior to the accident, there were no known mechanical anomalies with the airplane, and the engine was running normally.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain minimum airspeed during final approach, which resulted in an inadvertent stall, and impact with the surface of the lake.

Full narrative available

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