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On May 7, 1996, at 1650 eastern daylight time, a Lake LA-4-200, N3027P, collided with two 35 foot tall trees while maneuvering near the west shore of Lake Washington in Melbourne, Florida. The instructional flight operated under the provisions of Title14 CFR Part 91 with a visual flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane was substantially damaged. The certified flight instructor, the dual student, and the passenger were fatally injured. The local flight departed Melbourne, Florida, at 1630 hours.
According to the operator, the training flight departed Melbourne enroute to Lake Washington. The operator further stated that the purpose of the flight was to provide the pilot with recent flight experience to act as pilot in command in accordance with Title 14 CFR Part 61.57. Part 61.57 requires the completion of three landings and three takeoffs within the last 90 days for a pilot to act as pilot in command of an airplane carrying passengers. The dual student was seated in the left front seat, and the certified flight instructor was seated in the right front seat.
After the flight departed Melbourne, no further radio or visual contact was reported. At 1755, the airplane wreckage was located by another pilot flying in the vicinity of the accident site. The exact time of the accident was not determined, and there were no eyewitnesses to the accident. The aircraft hobbs meter showed that the airplane had been operating 20 minutes after the engine started when the collision occurred.
Information on the airplane is included in this report on page 2 of the factual report under the data field labeled "Aircraft Information."
Information about the First Pilot is included in this report on page 3 of the factual report under the data field labeled "First Pilot Information." A review of the dual student's airman information disclosed that he was seaplane rated, he had ten hours of flight experience in the Lake-4-200 aircraft, but he was not current to act as pilot in command. Information about the dual student is included in this report on NTSB Form 6120.4 Supplement E.
Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of accident. Weather information is contained in this report on page 3 of the factual report under the data field labeled "Weather Information." The accident site was several miles west of the nearest weather reporting station. The prevailing winds were reported as 110 degrees at 15 knots; the wreckage path was orientated on a 300 degree magnetic heading.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
Examination of the accident site disclosed that the airplane was 225 feet west of the tree line on the western edge of the takeoff and landing lane. Wreckage debris was scattered over an area 225 feet long and 75 feet wide on a westerly magnetic heading. According to the operator, the accident site was in the vicinity of the approach and takeoff lanes for Lake Washington.
The airplane was discovered in a near inverted position with the nose section submerged in approximately four feet of water. Airframe examination showed moderate damage. A 44 inch section of the outboard wing panel, with the tip, was located in the immediate vicinity of the freshly broken trees. Tree debris was embedded in the circular crush of the outboard wing panel. There was also a circular crush along the leading edge of the left wing section that remained with the airframe.
The on site examination of the aircraft also disclosed that the engine and propeller assemblies remained attached to the airframe. The on site examination and the subsequent functional examination of the engine assembly failed to disclose a mechanical malfunction. The examination of the airframe sub-systems and the flight controls also failed to disclose a mechanical problem.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMARION
On May 9, 1996, the postmortem examinations on both pilots were performed by Dr. D.J. Wickham at the Brevard County, Office Of The Medical Examiner in Rockaledge, Florida. The toxicological examinations were negative for alcohol and other drugs.
The east /west takeoff and landing lanes at Lake Washington are approximately 6,000 feet long. According to the Lake LA-4 performance data, a normal water takeoff at maximum gross weight will require approximately 1,275 feet to clear a 50 foot obstacle.
According to the operator, the purpose of the flight was to get the dual student current as pilot in command. They further stated that the dual student had completed formal training in seaplanes and had a seaplane rating.
An examination of the flight's weight and balance information, disclosed that the aircraft was within normal operating limits at the time of the accident.
The aircraft wreckage was released to Mr. Deanes L. Rowedder (Insurance Adjuster).