ATL07LA110
ATL07LA110

On August 4, 2007, about 1000 eastern daylight time, an amphibious floatplane, Cessna T206H, N206MW, nosed over during landing on Lake Kezar in Lovell, Maine. The certificated commercial pilot, who was the owner of the airplane, was killed. One passenger received serious injuries, three passengers received minor injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight was operated as a personal sightseeing flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, and no flight plan was filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight originated from a private airstrip in Fryeburg, Maine, at 0945 the same day.

According to the passengers, the flight was for the purpose of sightseeing around the local area. The pilot and passengers had been at a family outing when the pilot offered them a chance to fly in a floatplane and see the local area. The passengers were a family of four; two adults, a 3-year-old boy, and a 5-year-old girl. During the flight the father sat in the front right seat, the mother, holding the 3-year-old boy, sat behind the father, and the 5-year-old girl sat behind the pilot.

Both parents stated that they were given a very good briefing on emergency evacuation procedures. They stated that the takeoff and flight were uneventful. As they approached the lake, the pilot made a comment that it was time to land. As the airplane touched down on the water, they felt like it skipped and immediately went over on the nose in a "summersault." The cabin filled with water immediately and it got dark and quiet. The father egressed by kicking out the windshield, and the mother egressed with her son out the emergency exit in the back. When they got to the surface they realized that the pilot and their daughter had not surfaced.

They further stated that some rescuers had arrived in boats to assist while other residents called 911. One of the rescuers had some goggles and went down to get the pilot and daughter. The rescuer found the girl still strapped in her seat behind the pilot, but could not release the seatbelt. He returned to the surface, and the mother took the goggles saying that she knew how to release the seatbelt. She successfully went down and got her daughter. Several attempts were made to rescue the pilot, but they were unsuccessful.

Other witnesses in the local area observed the airplane landing. Two of the witnesses observed the landing gear extended out from the floats, and once the airplane touched down on the water, it immediately bounced and nosed over inverted.

The pilot, age 68, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane single-engine sea, and instrument airplane, issued on October 3, 2001. His second-class medical certificate was issued on July 13, 2007, with a restriction that he must wear corrective lenses. The pilot's most recent medical certificate showed that he had accumulated 2,717 hours of total civilian flight time. The pilot's logbook was not recovered for examination.

The four seat, (the two rear seats had been removed by the pilot), high wing, float equipped airplane, was manufactured in 1999. The airplane was converted to an amphibious floatplane by the pilot/owner on September 24, 2004. It was powered by a Lycoming TIO-540-AJ1A, 310-horsepower engine, and equipped with a Hartzell Model F8468A-2R, three bladed constant speed propeller. A review of the aircraft maintenance logbook records showed that an annual inspection was completed on April 30, 2007, at a tachometer reading of 637.5 hours. There were 128.7 hours added to the tachometer time since the last annual inspection.

The airplane was recovered and righted by recovery personnel on a beach near the accident site. On August 5th and 6th, 2007, the airplane was examined by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector and a representative from Cessna Aircraft Company.

The examination found the left wing lift strut was broken at the wing attachment, and the left wing was observed resting on a picnic table. The right wing remained attached and the inboard trailing edge of the right flap sustained damage due to rescue personnel attempting to force it out of the way of the forward cargo door. The flap selector indicated 20 degrees of flaps and the left and right flaps were extended approximately 20 degrees. Flight control cable continuity was established for all flight controls.

The empennage remained attached and exhibited compression damage on the top of the rudder cap. The elevator trim tab actuator measured 1.6 inches, or approximately 5 degrees tab up.

The floats remained attached to the airframe. The water rudders were in the retracted position. According to recovery personnel, the main gear wheels were manually retracted to facilitate flipping the airplane upright. The landing gear position selector handle was in the down position and the round gear selector handle was broken off of the lever. The landing gear light switch was in the dim position.

Examination of the left cabin door found it compressed along the vertical axis and bowed outwards. The left cabin door interior door handle was in the closed and locked position, and the exterior door handle was in the open position.

A right front cabin door had been installed in accordance with FAA Form 337, Major Repair and Alteration, when it was converted to an amphibious floatplane. The right cabin door remained attached to the airframe and operated normally.

At the time the airplane was examined, the aft cargo doors were observed closed. The forward cargo door was opened utilizing the recessed door handle. It opened approximately 4 inches until it contacted the extended flap. The aft cargo door handle was actuated and the aft cargo door opened fully. Examination of the aft cargo door handle and latching pawls revealed they operated normally. The flap interrupt switch on the upper sill of the forward cargo door appeared normal. No airframe anomalies were noted during the on-site examination.

Examination of the engine revealed that all of the cylinders remained attached to the crankcase and visually appeared undamaged. The propeller was rotated by hand and thumb compression was established an all cylinders, and internal gear and valve train continuity was established. The spark plugs were removed and appeared normal in color and wear per the Champion Aviation Check-A-Plug chart. There was no indication of preimpact damage to or failure of the engine.

According to the airplane's flight manual supplement, the airplane was equipped with an amphibian landing gear position advisory system, which provides the pilot with supplementary gear position information not normally found in amphibious airplanes. The aural announcements were "gear is up for water landing" and "gear is down for runway landing." The system is automatically turned on upon receiving normal electrical power and is armed once the airspeed reaches the predetermined airspeed threshold. Upon slowing to the set airspeed threshold (V Ref + 10-20 mph/kts), the annunciation system will activate providing both an aural (through the speaker or headset) and visual (annunciator light) advisory. These advisories will repeat once every 3.5 seconds until the pilot presses the amber annunciator light, thus canceling both advisories. According to the passengers as they approached the water, they recalled hearing a male voice speaking, they were not sure what it meant but then they saw the pilot push a button.

Two of the propeller blades were undamaged. The third propeller blade was bent aft and had gouges and scrapes.

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on August 7, 2007, by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Augusta, Maine. The autopsy findings reported the cause of death as blunt force trauma to head and neck with drowning.

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report stated that no carbon monoxide, cyanide or ethanol was detected in blood or vitreous. Metoprolol and quinine were detected in blood and urine.

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