The Wheel Contacted The Water, And The Airplane’s Nose Immediately Went Into The Water

Location: Oak Island, MN Accident Number: CEN21LA244
Date & Time: May 22, 2021, 18:30 Local Registration: N218RD
Aircraft: DEHAVILLAND DHC-2 MK.I Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On May 22, 2021, about 1830 central daylight time, a de Havilland DHC-2, N218RD, sustained minor damage when it was involved in an accident near Oak Island, Minnesota. The pilot and one passenger were not injured, and one passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to local authorities who spoke with the pilot after the accident, prior to the flight, the pilot added hydraulic fluid to the reservoir due to a known leak in the amphibious float landing gear system. At some point during the flight, the left rear wheel extended and was protruding from the float. The pilot was unaware of the wheel position and attempted to land on the water near his residence. During the water landing, the wheel contacted the water, and the airplane’s nose immediately went into the water. The pilot and passengers exited the airplane, and the airplane subsequently flipped over.

The airplane was recovered to the shoreline, and the pilot noted the inside of the left float near the rear wheel was covered in hydraulic fluid. The pilot stated that an o-ring in the landing gear cylinder had failed.