While practicing step taxiing in a Searey on a river near Mount Vernon, Wash., the pilot under instruction attempted to transition from step taxi to plow taxi.
During the transition, the right wing dropped and hit the water, which damaged the right sponson.
The flight instructor added power and proceeded to takeoff.
The airplane climbed to 10 feet above the water when it then started a slow uncontrollable turn to the right. The airplane lost altitude and hit the water.
Both pilots were able able to get out of the seaplane and were unhurt.
The airplane’s hull/fuselage was substantially damaged and it took on water.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to maintain lateral control while taxiing. Contributing to the accident was the incorrect decision to takeoff once the sponson had been damaged.
NTSB Identification: WPR14CA306
This July 2014 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.