April 11, 2013, Polk City, Fla., SeaRey Experimental Amphibian


At about 1530 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a collision with water after departing controlled flight shortly after takeoff. The private pilot reported a minor injury; the passenger was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later described the airplane’s performance as “normal” during taxi and takeoff. At an estimated 100 feet above the lake, the pilot heard a “loud bang or crashing sound,” the airframe twisted and the airplane entered an uncontrolled, spiraling descent to the water. Examination revealed the right/forward wing strut attach bolts had fractured. The bolts were shorter than prescribed and had been installed incorrectly.


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