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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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General details
Date: 05 June 2016 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 13:50 EST  
Location   (show map):6 km SE Southport Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Loss of control 
Release date: 25 August 2016 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: U206G 
Aircraft registration: VH-NTK 
Serial number: U20605862 
Type of operation: Charter 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Southport Broadwater, Qld
Destination:Southport Broadwater, Qld
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Last update 14 November 2018