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Final Report

Summary

On 5 June 2016, the pilot of a Cessna 206 floatplane, registered VH-NTK, was taking off from the Southport Broadwater about 6 km south-east of Southport Airport, Queensland, for a charter flight with two passengers on board.

The wind was blowing from the west-north-west at about 18 kt, with gusts of variable speed. The take-off direction to the north-west was too restrictive due to the presence of boats in the area, so the pilot elected to begin the take-off towards the south-west and then veer right onto a more westerly (into wind) heading to complete the take-off.

The pilot set 20° flap and left the water rudders in the down position to assist with directional control at the start of the take-off run. The pilot retracted the water rudders about five seconds into the take-off run. As the aircraft was turning, the right wing lifted and the aircraft rolled to the left and the left wing impacted the water. The aircraft rotated to the left through about 270° and came to rest in an upright position, facing in a westerly direction. There were no injuries and the aircraft was substantially damaged.

This accident highlights the risk of a water-loop event during a crosswind take-off in a floatplane. The combined forces acting on a floatplane have the potential to significantly reduce the margin of control available to the pilot.

 

Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 50

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