Water takeoff goes bad

This September 2010 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: de Havilland Beaver. Injuries: None. Location: Renton, Wash. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot performed a preflight inspection and then taxied from the seaplane base to the departure area. He encountered heavy rain during taxi, with wind out of the south between four to six knots.

The air traffic control tower cleared the pilot for a westbound departure, however, he elected to continue with a crosswind takeoff. The pilot applied left-wing-down aileron control inputs as he applied engine power. As the airplane accelerated, it began a drift to the left. The pilot was unable to stop the drift with the application of full right rudder. He elected to abort the takeoff, and as he reduced engine power the right wing struck the water.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control of the float-equipped airplane during an aborted water takeoff, resulting in a dragged wing.

For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: WPR10CA461

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