On September 1, 1995, at 1330 eastern daylight time, a Lake LA-4-200, N5TB, an amphibious airplane, sustained substantial damage during a water landing, following a loss of engine power on initial climb. The private pilot received minor injuries, and the passenger was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local, personal flight. No flight plan was filed for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot stated that during the water takeoff roll, the airplane bounced several times as it maneuvered through waves and boat wakes. After becoming airborne, about 10 feet, the engine lost total power. The pilot nosed the airplane over toward the water, and it impacted the water in a nose down attitude.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector examined the airplane and noted that the fuselage was buckled. The FAA Inspector stated:

...A cursory inspection was performed on the...engine. A visual inspection was made and nothing abnormal was noted. The engine would rotate....Compression was obtained on all...cylinders and continuity was confirmed through the engine. The fuel filter was free of any contamination and residual fuel was noted. The fuel line at the flow divider was removed and residual fuel was noted. An operation check of the engine was made and nothing abnormal was noted.

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