NTSB Identification: ANC13FA001
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 07, 2012 in Aleknagik, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/12/2013
Aircraft: GRUMMAN G-44, registration: N139F
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 of the twin-engine seaplane was en route to a remote lake to pick up passengers. A passenger who was awaiting pickup witnessed the accident and said that when the airplane arrived in the area, it made multiple passes over the lake and island where he was waiting. After the third pass, the airplane came into view very low over the water. The airplane banked to the left, and the left wing float struck the water. The airplane veered sharply to the left, bounced, and cartwheeled three times. The airplane came to rest, partially submerged, with its high-mounted wings level with the surface of the water. The witness was unable to reach the airplane due to the icy water, and the airplane subsequently sank in the lake and was not recovered. The witness did not see the pilot.

The witness reported that the weather conditions at the time of the accident consisted of calm wind, low clouds, light rain, and fog restricting the visibility. He further described the water as glassy. It is likely that, due to visibility and water conditions, the pilot misjudged the height above the surface of the lake during a low pass, resulting in the left wing float inadvertently contacting the surface of the lake.

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

The pilot's decision to make multiple low passes over the glassy surface water, which resulted in an impact with the surface of the lake.

Full narrative available

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