NTSB Identification: LAX06LA228.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 10, 2006 in Havasu Lake, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2007
Aircraft: Palmer Seawind 3000, registration: N8025Q
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 amphibious airplane was destroyed in a ground fire following a forced landing. During the takeoff initial climb out, electrical fumes and smoke emanated from the right side portion of the instrument panel. A successful water landing was made; however, a post impact fire consumed the airplane. Examination of the airplane revealed that it was equipped with two batteries that were interconnected with each other and positioned in the right side nose/storage compartment area. Both batteries' cables were connected to a single MASTER solenoid and a single START solenoid. A burn mark was located in the battery compartment that was the size and position of the negative cable for the right side battery. The storage area for the batteries was not damaged; however, the cockpit was consumed in the post impact fire. Further inspection of the airplane's electrical wiring revealed that the groundside of the forward battery had been wired to the hot side of the START solenoid that resulted in a reverse polarity draw during engine start. The protective covering for the wires burned away exposing the wires that then came into contact with each other and started the fire. Recent maintenance work on the airplane included movement of both batteries to the right side, and a rewire of the cables to the MASTER and START solenoids.

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

an electrical fire due to improper wiring of the electrical system by other maintenance personnel.

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