NTSB Identification: ERA12FA265
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 02, 2012 in Deland, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/02/2013
Aircraft: SAPP LARRY E SEAWIND 3000, registration: N514KT
Injuries: 3 Serious,2 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 pilot/owner flew the experimental amateur-built amphibious airplane with a pilot-rated passenger on a long cross-country flight to a land-based airport the day before the accident. The pilots landed the airplane uneventfully after the cross-country flight; however, while they were en route, the airplane’s transponder malfunctioned. The next day, the pilots departed to have the transponder replaced at a nearby maintenance facility. The airplane lost total engine power shortly after takeoff, stalled, and descended into a supermarket located about 1 mile from the departure end of the runway, where it was consumed by a postcrash fire.

The pilot-rated passenger reported that there were no problems with the airplane’s takeoff roll and initial climb; however, when the pilot turned to the crosswind leg of the traffic pattern, the engine lost total power. A pilot at the departure airport reported that the accident airplane rotated about 500 feet before the end of the runway and began a shallow climb, while mostly maintaining a high pitch angle. Shortly thereafter, he observed the airplane stall and enter a descending left spin, before it disappeared behind a tree line.

Postaccident examination of wreckage did not reveal any preimpact malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal engine operation; however, the condition of the wreckage precluded the investigators from functionally checking the engine, its associated components, and fuel system. In addition, it could not be determined if debris that was found in the airplane’s fuel system was present before the postcrash fire.

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

A total loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined because the damage and postimpact fire precluded thorough examination of the engine and its systems.

Full narrative available

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