Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Lake LA-4-200 Buccaneer, N5023L: Accident occurred December 15, 2020 in Orlando, Florida

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.  

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

Island Hoppers Seaplanes 2 LLC

Location: Orlando, FL 
Accident Number: ERA21LA078
Date & Time: December 15, 2020, 21:45 UTC 
Registration: N5023L
Aircraft: Lake LA-4-200 
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Lake 
Registration: N5023L
Model/Series: LA-4-200 Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: 
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Visibility:
Altimeter Setting: 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 28.528496,-81.481477 (est)

ORLANDO, Florida - A man was taken to the hospital, Tuesday, after a plane crash.

The incident happened near the Lake Hiawassee seaplane base. Neighbors caught the crash on video.

The pilot was able to get out of the plane shortly after the crash, according to neighbors. Then a neighbor said he jumped on his paddleboard and paddled out to the pilot, who then held on to the paddleboard as he was towed to shore.

Orange County Fire Rescue officials said the pilot was the only person on board. They said he was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

ORANGE COUNTY, Florida – A pilot was able to escape from a plane that went down in a body of water in Orange County, according to fire rescue crews. 

Orange County Fire Rescue officials said the plane went down Tuesday afternoon into Lake Hiawassee at 1147 Edgewood Ranch Road.

According to a tweet from fire rescue crews, the pilot made it to shore safely and was the only occupant of the aircraft. Rescue crews said the pilot will be taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Crews are now working to remove the plane from the water, according to the tweet.

Officials have not said what may have caused the plane to go down in the first place.

The pilot of a small plane that crashed into Lake Hiawassee Tuesday afternoon was rescued from the wreckage with minor injuries, according to Orange County Fire Rescue.

OCFR received reports of the crash on the 1100 block of Edgewood Ranch Road near Lake Hiawassee around 4:15 p.m., agency spokeswoman Ashley Gipson said.

According to a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration, the Lake LA-4 Buccaneer made a hard landing on Lake Hiawassee before flipping over and becoming submerged in the lake.

Responders said the plane’s sole occupant, its pilot, made it onto the lake’s shore safely. The pilot is being taken to a local hospital for treatment.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is working with the FAA to retrieve the fully submerged plane from the lake, Gipson said.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. An NTSB spokesperson did not immediately provide additional information on the crash Tuesday afternoon.


  1. Hard landing? Was it an emergency dead engine landing? Intentional landing that was botched or another gear down water landing causing it to flip? Surely there was home surveillance video on that lake that caught this. That is not a big lake for amphibian ops like other larger Orlando area lakes are. Also he crashed into a cove off the main 1,800' north-south length of the lake to the west where Edgewood Road runs by. This is just a few miles from my sister's house in Windermere where we routinely see sea planes. Definitely will be interesting to see what the preliminary is on this.

  2. My mother-in-law was thinking about moving there. Don’t know how hard landing was or if emergency. Nice looking area though.

    1. Added pictures shows one with an apparent touch down splash while the aircraft is still airborne. Definite bounce on that first hit. Where is the video? I wonder if there was a medical condition.

      Oh, and yes, that entire region is awesome and actually affordable (Florida has no state income tax which is why it is such a haven for retirees).