On October 9, 1999, about 0815 Eastern Daylight Time, a float-equipped Cessna 172I, N35669, was substantially damaged during an attempted water takeoff from Moosehead Lake, near North East Carry, Maine. The certificated private pilot and the passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan had been filed for the local flight, which was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot, the morning started out overcast and rainy. About 0745 the weather started to clear, and by 0800 the visibility was good, but it had become windy, and the surface of the lake was rough. After startup, the pilot water-taxied the airplane out of a cove, then started the takeoff run.

The pilot further stated:

"Plane came up onto step, and airspeed started to increase at this time. Plane went off a wave and became airborne, the right wing dipped and we hit a wave with the float. This caused us to become airborne again. Airspeed was not good and wind was gusting. I believe the high wing stalled. We rolled and struck the water."

The pilot also wrote that he "probably should [have] waited to see if wind and water would calm down."

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector reported that, at the time of the accident, swells on the lake were in excess of 3 feet.

Weather recorded at an airport about 130 degrees magnetic, 45 nautical miles from the accident site, 33 minutes after the accident, included winds from 230 degrees magnetic at 8 knots, gusting to 15 knots, with winds varying from 200 to 270 degrees magnetic. At the same time, winds recorded at an airport about 170 degrees magnetic, 75 miles from the accident site, were from 200 degrees magnetic, at 13 knots, gusting to 25 knots.

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