Heard “A Swish Of Air Enter The Cabin” Followed By A Flash Of Fire

Location: West Palm Beach, FL Accident Number: ERA20LA285
Date & Time: 08/14/2020, 1718 EDT Registration: N2994P
Aircraft: Lake LA4 Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation – Personal

On August 14, 2020, about 1718 eastern daylight time, a Lake LA4, N2994P, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at North Palm Beach County General Aviation Airport (F45) West Palm Beach, Florida. One pilot/owner received minor injuries and another pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot/airplane owner, they departed F45 for a local flight. After about 1 hour and 20-minute flight, they returned to F45. During the landing rolling out on the runway the pilot opened the airplane’s gull-wing door and instantly heard “a swish of air enter the cabin” followed by a flash of fire that came from the rear cabin forward. Both occupants jumped out of the airplane as it continued down the runway and into the grass. After the airplane stopped the owner ran back to the cockpit and turned off the master switch and fuel selector valve.

Postaccident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the airplane came to rest upright in the grass next to runway 14 and a majority of the fuselage and engine were consumed by fire. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site.

The airplane and engine were recovered and retained for further examination.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov