ANC01LA131
ANC01LA131

On September 1, 2001, about 1530 Alaska daylight time, a float-equipped Maule M-7-235B airplane, N1007U, sustained substantial damage during takeoff from a remote lake, about 25 miles northeast of Koliganek, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by the pilot. The private certificated pilot, and the sole passenger, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on September 4, the pilot reported that he was departing Frost Lake, which is about 1,500 feet long, and is a location the pilot has operated from in the past. The pilot said he taxied into the middle of the lake several times to check the wind conditions before takeoff. The wind appeared to shift from the northwest, to the west, about 12 knots. The pilot said he initiated one takeoff run, but aborted the takeoff. His second takeoff included a step turn toward the south, during which the airplane seemed to lose a slight amount of speed. The pilot decided to lower the flaps to assist in getting off the water and he reached for the flap handle. The pilot said that as he reached for the handle, he realized he was reaching for the area of the airplane where the flap handle is normally installed in his other airplane, a Piper PA-18. He was distracted by not finding the flap handle in the accident airplane. The airplane became airborne, but collided with the bank of the lake. The airplane was then launched upward in a steep nose-up attitude, and the pilot said a stall was eminent. He lowered the nose of the airplane, but the airplane rolled to the left, and collided with the ground. The left float assembly, the left wing, and fuselage were damaged.

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