MIA00LA240
MIA00LA240

On August 17, 2000, at about 1745 central daylight time, a Lake LA-4 seaplane, N2015L, registered to a private owner crashed during a touch-and-go landing on the Perdido River located in the vicinity of Pensacola, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The seaplane sustained substantial damage. The commercial pilot receiving instruction and the airline transport-rated flight instructor (CFI) sustained serious injuries. The flight originated from Perdido River, about 4 minutes before the accident.

The commercial pilot stated he and the CFI had been conducting takeoffs and landings from the Perdido River in preparation for his seaplane rating. They had made several touch-and-go, and full-stop landings. He took off from the river and set up for another touch-and-go landing to the south. On touchdown, the seaplane bounced, he held his pitch attitude, and the CFI instructed him to add power, which he complied with. He observed a piece of land/island in the river, which they had seen on the other landings. The island was getting closer when the CFI took the flight controls and started a left turn to avoid a collision. The right wing collided with a tree, and the left wing collided with the water. The nose of the seaplane went below the water, came back up, and the seaplane remained floating.

The CFI stated the touchdown on the last water landing approach resulted in a bounce and the second touch down was too close to the shore to stop without beaching against a steep bank. Full power was added and a left turn was initiated. The "escape maneuver" involved a wings level left turn and a gradual climb to gain enough altitude to do a "real turn" with the left wing down. He further stated we were running out of airspace rapidly and I was flying a compromise between a stall buffet with the trees on the right and the water on the left. The right wing clipped pine branches, which slowed the airplane. We rolled left and the wing tip/float hit the water, the airplane pitched nose low and collided with the water. The CFI further stated, "the errors in this incident was that I didn't initiate a go-around much earlier before our initial touch down."

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