Friday, August 23, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Cessna A185F Skywagon, N1920Q; accident occurred August 22, 2019 at Rangeley Lake Seaplane Base (M57), Franklin County, Maine

View of damaged right wing. 
Federal Aviation Administration 

View of damaged keel of the right float. 
Federal Aviation Administration 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Maine

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Rangeley Lake, ME
Accident Number: GAA19CA513
Date & Time: 08/22/2019, 1939 UTC
Registration: N1920Q
Aircraft:Cessna A185 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot of the amphibious-float equipped airplane reported that, while departing from a lake, the floatplane was not "gaining airspeed as usual" and that the takeoff run was taking "longer." Prior to aborting the takeoff, the left float lifted off the water, followed shortly by the right float. While in ground effect, the floatplane started to roll to the right. He corrected with full left aileron, but the floatplane continued to roll to the right. He then reduced power and applied 40º of flaps and still the floatplane rolled right so he increased the throttle to full and the right wing impacted the water.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing.

Two witnesses reported that, about one hour prior to the accident flight, the same floatplane controlled by the same pilot, water taxied over rocks near the floatplane deck.

The pilot added that the lake was 2 to 3 feet lower than normal and while water taxiing back to the floatplane deck, he saw the rocks but did not realize it caused any damage to the floats. After the flight, he did not find any residual water in the floats but did not examine the rest of the floats because it was under water. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Engineer
Age: 69, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present:No 
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/14/2018
Occupational Pilot:Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/17/2019
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 22824 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2099 hours (Total, this make and model), 16659 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N1920Q
Model/Series: A185 F
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1977
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18503502
Landing Gear Type: Amphibian; Float
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/13/2019, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3525 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2582 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO–520–D
Registered Owner: Acadian Aircraft Leasing LLC
Rated Power: 300 hp
Operator: Acadian Aircraft Leasing LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As: Acadian Seaplanes, LLC
Operator Designator Code: 6KDA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: K8B0, 1825 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1915 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 358°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 7000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 290°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.84 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 15°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Rangeley, ME (M57)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Destination: Bangor, ME (BGR)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1519 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Rangeley Lake (M57)
Runway Surface Type: Water
Airport Elevation: 1518 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Water--choppy
Runway Used: 24W
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7000 ft / 1000 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 44.953333, -70.663056 (est)

RANGELEY — Two men reportedly escaped with minor injuries Thursday afternoon after their floatplane went down on Rangeley Lake near Russell Cove.

Two men received minor injuries when a floatplane crashed on Rangeley Lake on Thursday afternoon. Photo courtesy of Rangeley Rescue Capt. Tiger Sikes

Pilot David Taisey, 69, of Pownal and passenger Mike Koob, 53, of Oquossoc were flying to Bangor, Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said.

Both men were treated at a local hospital and released.

An official from the Maine Warden Service said the plane went down about 3:30 p.m. at the northeast point of the lake.

Officials said it crashed during takeoff and landed upside down on the water. A video taken by a man boating on the lake shows the plane was only about 50 feet above the lake when it overturned and crashed.

“I couldn’t hear a thing,” witness Derek Hoyt told WGME. “I just noticed it had gone up into the air. From the distance I was at, it didn’t look like it went more than 30 feet in the air, and then it just plummeted downward and crashed.”

When fire crews first arrived, they found the men swimming back to shore, according to witnesses.

Among the rescuers who responded were Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies and crews from the Rangeley Fire and Rescue Department.

The Federal Aviation Administration was expected to be called to investigate the cause.

The plane was being towed 6 miles to Oquossoc, McCausland said, and is owned by Acadian Seaplanes of Rangeley.

Story and video ➤

AIRCRAFT:   1977 CESSNA A185F N1920Q, s/n: 18503502 

Last 100 hour inspection on 07/24/19 at TT 2582

ENGINE: TCM IO-520-D, s/n: 566463

Last 100 hour inspection on 07/24/19 at TT 2582; TSMOH 781.2
PROPELLER:    MTV-9-D, s/n: 150180

Last 100 hour inspection on 07/24/19 at TSN 781.2


Garmin GTX 345

Garmin GTR 225

Garmin GMA 340

Garmin GTN 650

Garmin G5 attitude

Garmin G5 HSI

Garmin GA 35

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT: Upon take-off the pilot indicated he thought the right float hit something in the water. The aircraft veered right after liftoff and flipped in the water. 


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