The private pilot had owned the amphibious airplane for three weeks, and had performed about 30 water landings in the Maule M7-235B.
He noted that during takeoff on the accident flight, the airplane was veering “severely” to the left, however he continued the takeoff.
He said the flight was unremarkable, and he returned to the lake near Littleton, N.C., to land the airplane. Upon touchdown, the airplane veered to the left, nosed over, and came to rest inverted.
The passenger said the airplane bounced during the landing, and a witness stated that the airplane landed “hard” on the water, bounced about 10′ into the air, then hit the water again.
xamination of the left float skin revealed signatures consistent with overstress failure. It is likely that the pilot’s hard, bounced landing resulted in the failure of the left float skin.
Probable cause: The pilot’s improper landing flare, which resulted in a hard landing and subsequent damage to the left float.
NTSB Identification: ERA16LA181
This April 2016 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.