The pilot reported that he ferried the straight float-equipped Piper PA-20S to a grass airstrip in Arcadia, Florida, for an annual inspection.
During landing in crosswind conditions, he applied back pressure to the controls upon touchdown and added power, but the plane lifted and came back down quickly.
The crosswind had drifted the airplane to the left and as it began to slow on the runway, the pilot felt the left float buckle.
Subsequently, the left wing and nose hit the ground and the airplane nosed over, coming to rest inverted.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, the fuselage, and the rudder.
The pilot reported that there were no pre-impact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.
He also reported the wind as 060° true at 10 nautical miles per hour, and not gusting.
He landed on Runway 31, where the grass had just been cut. He told investigators it would have been better if there had been dew on the grass.
He added the crosswind drifted the airplane to the left causing the left float to collapse. He wrote that he should have returned home and come back the following day when there was dew on the grass and no headwind.
Probable cause: The pilot’s improper pitch and power control during landing in a straight float-equipped airplane on grass in crosswind conditions, which resulted in a loss of directional control.
NTSB Identification: GAA17CA040
This October 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.