June 23, East Haddam, Conn. / Cessna 185E


At about 14:00 EDT, a Cessna 185E crashed into the Connecticut River after departure from the Goodspeed Airport. The pilot was seriously injured and a pilot/mechanic received minor injuries. The pilot/mechanic, who had performed repairs on the airplane, said it was the first flight since recent maintenance from a previous accident, in which the airplane was submerged under water. The pilot/mechanic, who was seated in the left front seat of the airplane, was not familiar with the airplane and brought along a second pilot to act as pilot in command. The pilot/mechanic handled the controls. He conducted a full runup of the engine and made three high-speed taxis down the runway. He then took off. While climbing through 25 feet, the pilot/mechanic noticed that the airplane was not performing as expected, and asked that the other pilot take the controls while he attempted to raise the landing gear. The airplane stalled, struck the water nose down and sank inverted. The pilot/mechanic escaped the sunken plane but did not see the other pilot. He dove back under water and pulled the other pilot out of the wreckage.


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