NTSB Identification: ERA09LA325
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 06, 2009 in Knoxville, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2010
Aircraft: SMITH BRET B SEAREY, registration: N169GW
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
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 pilot was providing rides to passengers in an amateur-built seaplane, and following a previous uneventful local flight with another passenger, the pilot returned, landed, and the accident passenger boarded. The final moments of the accident flight were captured on video by pleasure boaters. The airplane overflew the boat at a low altitude, then entered a steep bank, descended steeply, and impacted the water. Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures of the engine or flight controls. According to the experimental seaplane’s kit manufacturer, when equipped with a 100 horsepower engine and loaded with 2 occupants, the stall speed in level flight was 40 miles per hour.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed, resulting in an aerodynamic stall and uncontrolled descent. Full narrative available
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