This September 2009 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: Avid Catalina. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Inks lake, Texas. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The amphibian had a known history of taking on water when operating on the water. On the day of the accident, the pilot attempted to take off, but was unable. He remarked to a witness that he could not take off due to the water in the plane. He removed the plane from the lake and attempted to drain the water for about 15 minutes before he attempted another takeoff.
Witnesses observed the airplane accelerate across the lake, pull up into a steep angle to about 50 feet, and then bank left into the water. Due to impact damage, inspectors could not determine how water may have leaked into the airplane.
Probable cause: The pilot’s decision to take off with a known airframe deficiency.
For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: CEN09LA611