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On August 27, 2006, about 1326 Pacific daylight time, an Aviat Aircraft, Inc, Husky A-1B, N94HY, sustained substantial damage during landing at the Owyhee State Reservoir Airport (28U), Owyhee, Oregon. The airplane was being operated as a cross-country flight under the provisions of Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The private pilot/registered owner of the airplane was the sole occupant and received minor injuries during the accident sequence. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that originated at Ontario, Oregon, approximately 30 minutes prior to the accident.
In a written report submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board, IIC, on September 6, the pilot stated he had completed 3-4 water ski runs (a maneuver accomplished by setting the aircraft's parking brake, touching down on the water, and skiing on the main landing gear tires) on the reservoir and was transitioning to the airport for a full-stop landing. The pilot stated that after he completed the maneuvers, he climbed to 1,000 feet AGL and entered a left downwind for the intended runway. He stated that when the airplane touched down (wheel landing approximately 43 mph) he felt the right main tire drag and attributed it to the soft runway condition. He reported that when the left main tire touched down, the airplane's tail "came up" and the airplane nosed over. The airplane came to rest (inverted) on the dirt/sod runway.
In the written report, the pilot stated the airplane's parking brake was engaged prior to the "water ski" maneuver; however, he failed to release it after completing the maneuver and inadvertently landed with the brake set.
The airplane, a 2005 model, was equipped with an AmSafe Aviation Inflatable Restraint (AAIR) system. Investigators from the NTSB's Northwest Regional Office and Survival Factors Division (AS-60) examined the AAIR system subsequent to the recovery of the airplane to a hangar facility in Boise, Idaho. The examination reveled the following findings:
Both forward and aft pilot seats were intact and undamaged. The forward and aft five-point airbag belt assemblies (to include the imbedded airbags) buckle assembly, inflator assembly, squib connectors and associated lines and Electronic Module Assembly (EMA) were intact and no damage was noted. It was noted that the airbags did not deploy during the accident sequence.
An AmSafe designed System Diagnostic Tool (SDT) was used to check the functional status of the AAIR. The SDT is a portable, hand-held device designed for use by maintenance personnel to test functionality and integrity of the AAIR system. Specifically, the SDT tests the electronic module's battery, sensor and inflator systems. The system check, which was conducted by the IIC, was completed and no system anomalies were noted.
Additional testing and evaluation of the EMA was completed at AmSafe's manufacturing facility in Phoenix, Arizona, under the supervision of a representative from the FAA's Manufacturing Inspection District Office. The circuitry, trigger timing and overall condition of the unit was evaluated, and according to the post examination report "no anomalies were found and the unit performed as designed."
The aircraft and associated components were released to a representative of the owner on December 8, 2006.