Amended Report Says Pilot Left Speaker On Top Of Plane… Which Hit Prop
Location: Duluth, MN Accident Number: CEN20LA207
Date & Time: 06/03/2020, 1630 CDT Registration: N838BA
Aircraft: Icon A5 Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power) Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation – Personal
E-I-C Note: Please note the additional data furnished below, also in italics. This may or may not explain how the prop failed, but we have a hard time believing that a speaker stayed on top of the aircraft so long, through startup, water-taxi, the turn into the wind, and the like. And then, there’s still the issue that arises from the fact that there have been a number of hull breaches and sinkings of Icon A5s… which create additional questions about the structural integrity of the airframe, the frequency at which these things have swamped or been sunk, and the composite construction employed in the airframe… more info to come.
From The NTSB: On June 3, 2020, about 1630 central daylight time, an ICON A5 amphibian airplane, N838BA, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near the Sky Harbor Airport (DYT), Duluth, Minnesota. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.
According to the pilot, he taxied downwind on the water for takeoff. When facing into the wind, he applied full power and about 5 seconds later, heard a “loud bang”. He shut down the engine, climbed out, looked back, and saw that all 3 propeller blades were missing. At this point, the airplane started to sink. He and his passenger donned life jackets and evacuated the airplane.
Substantial damage was noted to the airplane’s fuselage, including holes in the hull.
Several days later, the pilot recalled that before he taxied out, they washed the airplane. During the wash, he had placed a portable speaker on the top of the airplane to listen to some music while they worked. He did not recall putting the speaker away before departure. The pilot added, “that the speaker must have rolled over the engine compartment and into the propellers…”
During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board Investigator In Charge, the pilot stated that he has not since located the speaker.