NTSB Identification: ERA12LA562
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 15, 2012 in Cedar Bluff, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/12/2013
Aircraft: REPUBLIC RC-3, registration: N6072K
Injuries: 1 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 of the amphibious airplane departed his home airport and flew to a lake to visit a friend who lived on the shore of the lake. According to the pilot’s friend, the pilot normally approached the lake from the north, made a left 180-degree turn, and then landed to the north. On the day of the accident, however, the wind was calm, and instead of landing to the north, the pilot flew over his friend's house from the west, about 400 feet above ground level, made a left 180-degree turn, and began a descent toward the surface of the lake. During the descent, the airplane contacted a set of electrical transmission lines. During the impact, the airplane's forward motion almost completely stopped, it rolled to the right until it was inverted, then fell to the surface of the lake and sank.

Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction of the airplane or engine that would have precluded normal operation. Examination of the electrical transmission lines revealed that they were unmarked where they crossed the lake. According to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector and local witnesses, the lines were hard to see and did not contrast well with the surrounding terrain due to the color of the sky, water, and cloud cover. However, the pilot should have been aware of the lines, because they were depicted on the sectional chart for the area, and he had landed on the lake several times before the accident flight.

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

The pilot's failure to see and avoid power lines during final approach to landing.

Full narrative available

Index for Sep2012 | Index of months