Wednesday, September 11, 2019

SIAI Marchetti SM-1019, N16XC: Accident occurred September 07, 2019 in Lakeport, Lake County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento

Pacific Coast Air Museum

https://registry.faa.gov/N16XC

NTSB Identification: GAA19CA528
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 07, 2019 in Lakeport, CA
Aircraft: SIAI-MARCHETTI SM 1019, registration: N16XC

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Aircraft on takeoff from the lake lost control and nosed over.

Date: 07-SEP-19
Time: 22:54:00Z
Regis#: N16XC
Aircraft Make: SIAI MARCHETTI
Aircraft Model: SM1019
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: LAKEPORT
State: CALIFORNIA




LAKEPORT — Saturday morning at the Natural High property in Lakeport began quietly with seaplanes of all makes parked in the field, until the wind picked up in the afternoon, causing a seaplane to crash into the lake.

The pilot of a SIAI Marchetti had departed from the event. As the plane rose to upwards of 100 feet off the water, a gust of wind came over the trees lining the bank, creating a wind shear sending the plane crashing into the lake, breaking the plane in two, crushing the windshield, shearing off the propeller and destroying the left wing.

The pilot and a passenger were rescued and an ambulance took them to the hospital. Deputy B. Bosse of the Lake County Sheriff Department’s marine patrol, who came to oversee the crash, said the unidentified pilot was “lucky that he and his passenger only had cuts and bruises.”

A crowd raced to help as the seaplane was hauled out of the water by a truck owned and driven by Gregg Hierolzer. In the field of Natural High, onlookers surveyed the mangled seaplane. Only the pontoons seemed to be in good shape.



Splash In event

Sponsored by the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, the Splash In is in its 40th year and accidents are not unheard of. Steve Hamilton, who helped haul out the SIAI Marchetti, said he crashed his seaplane two years ago, but it’s not always the pilot’s fault. “It’s often a swift change in the weather.”

Clear Lake is not unfamiliar to seaplanes. According to military websites, during WWII, Clear Lake was used as an outlying seaplane base for Alameda Naval Air Station. It was also used when seaplanes couldn’t land in San Francisco Bay due to unsafe landing conditions.

Melissa Fulton, Lake County Chamber of Commerce CEO, said that approximately 22 seaplanes were scheduled to fly in and a crowd of 800 to 900 was anticipated at Saturday’s event.

Scott Herring, 54, from Georgetown, Calif., near Auburn, flew his 2015 Carbon Cub to the Splash In. “I’ve been flying since I was 16.” He laughed and said, “I have seven airplanes, which is why I’m not married.” The yellow-shirted ramp staff, made up of seventh and 10th graders, helped park his plane by rolling it into place. “This is a great treat,” Herring said, “to come to this event.”

Viet Nam vet, Lee Cook, 72, flew as an air crewman during the war. This is his 18th year volunteering for Splash In. This year he’s the ramp boss, who makes sure the landing and take-off of each plane is safe. Cook spoke about the low cloudy weather. “The low clouds are great for these airplanes. They don’t have air conditioning and the pilots like it overcast because there’s so much heat inside the airplane. Vision is good, also, without the glare of the sun.” Cook pointed to the far side of the field where a blue tent sat. “The Sea Scouts,” he said, “are used for security. They stayed overnight in that tent. They’re used to boats not planes, but they’re learning.”

The planes rolled into the lake from the temporary ramp and took off in the water with the dark humps of Mount Konocti in the distance.

Local pilot Damon Trimble, came to talk with other pilots and to look at the seaplanes. “I’ve got a Mooney, a single-engined aircraft, not a seaplane.” He was especially interested in the small Icon amphibious light-sport aircraft. It has no pontoons, but a specially designed hull, and doesn’t need a pilot’s license to fly it, he said.

Tom Beattie, piloted the Icon that Trimble was looking at, from Vacaville. It was his first time at the Lakeport Splash In, although he has piloted a lot of demos for Icon Aircraft, and at other Splash Ins. He personally owns a land plane, a Piper Archer. “The weather here,” he said, “is great. Calm, cool and the clouds aid in depth perception, which is perfect for seaplanes.” Beattie, 64, said he’s been flying for 46 years.

“It’s always fun to have these smaller events in Lake County,” said David Velazquez who also attended the Taste of Lake County event. “The Splash In is so unique and the seaplanes come from all over.” He looked at the Light Sport built by Capt. Ray Shipway of Cloverdale who was helping direct people over a portable microphone. Shipway told Velazquez that to fly his Light Sport, a pilot’s license is needed because it’s a two-seater. As a retired captain for the Merchant Marine, Shipway said, “I’ve been doing this for 15 years and we really appreciate how the city has taken care of the field.”

District 4 Supervisor for Lake County, Tina Scott and her husband Douglas, showed up as she always does for Lake County events. Eager to support the county, she said, “What a great way to showcase Lake County; from the air and the water.”

An Iraq Marine veteran, David Vogel flew from Santa Rosa just for this Splash In. “I like air events. I’ve been here five times,” he said while watching the competitions of several seaplanes.

Two competitions took place after Ryan Contioso handed a giant inner tube painted bright orange on one side to the owner of the boat Carol Ann, who volunteered to anchor the inner tube off shore. It was a target for water bomb drops – half-filled water bottles flagged with ribbons for easy retrieval. The closest drop to the inner tube would win. The second competition was a Spot Landing, in which the pilot was to land as close to the inner tube as possible.

Alberto Rossi won the Water Bomb Drop in his beige 172 Cessna. Roger Stevens won the Spot Landing in his yellow Super Cub.

Byron Hernandez, 32, an Air Force Reserve pilot who flies a 757 for United Airlines, flew his amphibious Cessna 206 from San Rafael. “This is a great place to meet other seaplane pilots and expose seaplane flying to the community. All it takes is showing one kid the inside of an airplane for them to catch the bug. That’s what happened to me at 8-years-old.”

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.record-bee.com

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