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Analysis

Summary

The pilot's decision, while conducting the preflight inspection, to defer the pumping out of the floats increased the risk of him forgetting to complete the task before departure. Compounding the situation was the pilot's perception of time pressure that may have further increased the risk of him forgetting to pump out the floats.

The combination of high aircraft weight and the likely presence of a substantial quantity of water in the floats, meant that the floats were riding relatively low in the water. A comparatively long taxy exposed the floats to further ingress of water through the seams and through the holes in the top of the right float.

The right turn after encountering the catamaran's wake would have allowed the northerly wind to lift the left wing with the associated effect of lowering the right float further in the water. It is likely that the right float became fully submerged, increasing its drag. The momentum of the floatplane acted from a centre of gravity that was higher than the drag of the right float, causing the aircraft to nose over to the right. With the slow speed of the floatplane, the effects of the control deflections and the addition of power were insufficient to stop the aircraft from nosing over.

The carriage of life jackets and the stowage of them below each of the seats, was in accordance with CAO 20.11 parts 5.1.4 and 5.1.5. While the wearing of life jackets was not required by CAO 20.11 Part 5.1.8, the consequence was that their availability was not assured after the occupants of the floatplane had exited into the water.

 
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