On June 27, 2004, about 0815 eastern daylight time, a Lake LA-250, N802RA, was substantially damaged during a water landing near Deep River, Connecticut. The certificated private pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and the airplane was not operating on a flight plan. The personal flight, which departed Chester Airport (3B9), Chester, Connecticut, was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot, he made a normal approach for a water landing with the landing gear up, flaps down, and at an airspeed of 80 knots. He then leveled the airplane several feet above the water to bleed off airspeed, and noted that the water surface was "rippled." When he attempted to land, the hull of the airplane touched the water, and the airplane bounced up, about 1 foot. Just before a second touchdown, "the nose veered to the left," and the airplane touched down at an "oblique angle" relative to the direction of flight. To the pilot's best recollection, the tip of the right wing caught the water, and the airplane flipped, landing upside down with the nose pointing in a direction opposite of the approach.
The pilot also noted that after the airplane flipped over, the cockpit immediately filled with water because the canopy had broken. He was held upside down in his seat by his shoulder harness, which he released, followed by the canopy latch. The pilot exited the airplane, "watched the bubbles," and floated to the surface. The pilot then crawled onto the hull of the airplane and waited until he was picked up by a boater.
The weather reported at Meriden Markham Municipal Airport (MMK) Meridian, Connecticut, located 21 nautical miles to the northwest, at 0751, included calm winds, 10 statute miles visibility, clear skies below 12,000 feet, temperature 62 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 48 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure of 30.06 inches of mercury.