During The Initial Takeoff The Airplane Stayed In Ground-Effect

Location: Spirit Lake, ID Accident Number: WPR21LA011
Date & Time: October 6, 2020, 15:33 Local Registration: N55893
Aircraft: RANS S-7 Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:

On October 06, 2020 at 1533 Pacific daylight time, a Rans S-7 Courier amphibian airplane, N55893, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Spirit Lake, Idaho. The pilot sustained fatal injuries and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot and pilot-rated passenger had flown from Ponderay Lake earlier in the day and landed at Treeport Airport to see an acquaintance. The passenger stated that they intended to fly to Timber Basin Airpark, Sagle, Idaho where the pilot was based. The pilot elected to depart runway 07 and during the initial takeoff the airplane stayed in ground-effect. The passenger thought the pilot was going to land and taxi back, but then the pilot pulled aft on the control stick. The airplane climbed above the trees at the end of the runway (about 40 ft tall) and at about 50 ft above ground level (agl), the airplane’s left wing stalled. The airplane impacted the ground nearly inverted.

The acquaintance’s son captured a video of the takeoff on his cell phone and witnessed the accident. A review of the video revealed that as the airplane departed runway 07 it became airborne about 1,100 ft down the grass runway. As the departure continued, the wings rocked as it slowly ascended and then it temporarily climbed above the tree line. The airplane turned left (to the north) and then descended below the tree line. The airplane came to rest about 900 ft north of the runway centerline.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov