ATL99LA003
ATL99LA003

On October 2, 1998, about 1030 Eastern Standard Time an Auxier Herschel A. Jr. Sea Rey Amphibian homebuilt airplane, N54114, collided with water shortly after takeoff at Lake Geneva, in Keystone Heights, Florida. The airplane was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The private pilot was not injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight originated from Melrose, Florida, about 0930.

According to the pilot, after about nine touch and go landings on Lake Geneva, he noticed the tenth takeoff was sluggish and required more time to get off the water. Once airborne at about 20 to 30 feet above the ground the aircraft began a left turn, and aileron input would not correct for it. The aircraft spiraled left until the left wingtip and nose contacted the water. Just prior to impact the pilot stated that he pulled the throttle back when he realized he had no aileron control to minimize the impact with the water. He estimated the speed at impact at about 40 to 45 miles per hour.

According to the FAA Inspector on-scene, the pilot stated to him that he may not have reached minimum control speed before takeoff and stalled the aircraft. Examination of the airplane found no mechanical defects, and the pilot was not certificated for a single engine sea plane.

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