The Searey landed on a lake near League City, Texas, and then performed a step-taxi into the wind.
When the pilot applied full power to takeoff, the airplane hit a wave from a passing boat.
When the airplane hit the second wave from the boat, the front of the airplane went under water. The nose of the airplane was ripped off. With the engine still running, the airplane nosed over and filled with water.
In his report the pilot noted that he had not set the airplane’s trim properly and he failed to apply back pressure on the controls when he hit the boat wake.
He also noted that there were no pre-impact mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control during a water takeoff after an encounter with the wake from a boat.
To download the final report. Click here. This will trigger a PDF download to your device.
This August 2020 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.