The pilot reported that he took off from the surface of the lake in Wurtsboro, N.Y., in an FPNA A-22 Valor into a 9-knot wind. Once the light-sport floatplane climbed above the treetops, the pilot initiated a left turn and retracted the flaperons “simultaneously.”
At that time, the control wheel rotated left, and the pilot was unable to return the wheel to the “neutral” position.
The airplane continued in a descending left turn and hit trees and terrain, resulting in substantial damage to the wings, fuselage, and the tail section.
The Pilot Operating Handbook states that flaperons extension are not recommended in a crosswind of 9 or more knots and that the airplane should be at an altitude of 500 feet after takeoff before flaperon retraction.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to comply with the manufacturer’s limitations and guidance regarding flaperons usage at low altitude and in adverse wind conditions, which resulted in an in-flight loss of airplane control.
NTSB Identification: ERA13LA346
This July 2013 accident report is are provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.