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N6113Y accident description

Maine map... Maine list
Crash location 44.049444°N, 70.524723°W
Nearest city Otisfield, ME
44.090349°N, 70.549226°W
3.1 miles away
Tail number N6113Y
Accident date 17 Mar 2012
Aircraft type Sadler Terry A Merlin
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On March 17, 2012, at 1230 eastern daylight time, N6113Y, an experimental, amateur built Merlin airplane, was substantially damaged during takeoff from Pleasant Lake, Maine. The certificated private pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.

According to a witness, he and the pilot made adjustments to the aircraft floats prior to the pilot's departure from the frozen lake.

The witness reported that the pilot taxied on the ice, and then departed to the north. As the airplane reached an altitude of approximately 100 feet, the right wing "dipped a little" and the airplane banked "hard left and went down." The airplane impacted the frozen lake nose first and bounced, before impacting again and breaking the ice.

In a telephone interview with the pilot, he reported that he purchased the airplane in 2005 and has flown about 1 hour in the airplane since then. The most recent flight he conducted took place a few weeks prior to the accident. During that flight, the airplane "pulled to the right." As a result, the pilot made adjustments to the floats to assure they were aligned properly.

The pilot reported that on the day of the accident he taxied around the lake for a while, and then departed. As the airplane reached an altitude of about 100 feet, it "felt funny and nosed down." He attempted to set the airplane back down on the lake; however, the nose of the airplane impacted the lake and the airplane bounced. The pilot reported that he did not experience a loss of engine power during the flight.

In the NTSB Pilot/Operator Accident Report (Form 6120), submitted by the pilot, he stated during departure it felt as if a gust of wind struck the airplane. The airplane climbed to the right and the nose dropped straight down, impacting the lake.

The winds reported at the closest airport, 10 nautical miles to the east, were from 280 degrees at 4 knots.

An examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed flight control continuity from the cockpit to all flight control surfaces.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed during takeoff, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was his lack of experience in the airplane make and model.

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