FTW04CA240
FTW04CA240

On September 23, 2004, approximately 0845 central daylight time, a Carter-Jones Volmer Sportsman amphibian airplane, N70HR, was substantially damaged during a wheels-down landing in the water on Joe Pool Lake near Grand Prairie, Texas. The commercial pilot, sole occupant and owner and operator of the single-engine home-built aircraft, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 that originated from the Mid-Way Regional Airport (4T6) near Waxahachie, Texas.

In a written statement, the 15,540-hour pilot reported that he approached Joe Pool Lake from the south and entered a left traffic pattern on the downwind segment. He reported that he was performing a pre-landing checklist, when he noticed that the oil temperature gauge read excessively high and the oil pressure gauge read excessively low. Subsequently, the pilot reduced power to reduce strain on the engine. The pilot stated that he became distracted by the possible loss of power from the engine, in addition to other potential traffic in the area and the altitude required to maintain clearance with a dam on his final approach path.

He reported that the combination of these distractions prevented him from completing the pre-landing checklist. The pilot made a second power reduction to 1,700 revolutions per minute (rpm) to continue his approach to land on the glassy water, not realizing that his landing gear was extended. Assuring that the area was clear of traffic and a safety boat was in position, the pilot continued his approach and touched down in the water, tail wheel first, and felt that his attitude was correct for a smooth landing. When the pilot expected to hear the hissing of the water on the hull at the step, the pilot, instead, saw two columns of water on both sides of the cockpit shooting straight up. The airplane then violently nosed down into the water and came to rest inverted and submerged in the lake. Realizing that he was under water, the pilot proceeded with the emergency egress technique and escaped to the surface, uninjured.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector responded to the site of the accident, and the aircraft was recovered from the lake on the day of the accident.

At 0845, the automated weather observing system at the Grand Prairie Municipal Airport (GPM) near Grand Prairie, Texas, located approximately five miles west of the accident site, reported wind from 160 degrees at 3 knots, 10 statute miles of visibility, scattered clouds at 7,500 feet and 12,000 feet, temperature 72 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 62 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure setting of 30.09 inches of Mercury.

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