Sunday, April 24, 2016

Maule M-7-235B Super Rocket, N367FS: Accident occurred April 24, 2016 on Lake Gaston, Littleton, Halifax County, North Carolina


NTSB Identification: ERA16LA181
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, April 24, 2016 in Littleton, NC
Aircraft: MAULE M 7-235B, registration: N367FS
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 24, 2016, about 1500 eastern daylight time, an amphibious Maule M7 235-B, N367FS, while attempting to land on a lake near Littleton, North Carolina. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the aerial observation flight, which departed the lake around 1445. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot/owner and the flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, he owned the airplane for three weeks, and had performed about 30 water landings. He performed a preflight inspection, noted the tiedown ropes were tight, but did not find any other anomalies with the airplane. During the takeoff, the pilot noticed that the airplane was veering "severely" to the left; however, he continued the takeoff. The flight was unremarkable, and the pilot returned to the lake to land the airplane. The pilot performed a "normal" landing, however, when the airplane touched down, it veered to the left, nosed over, and came to rest in the water. The pilot and passengers egressed without incident.

According to a passenger, the airplane departed the lake and it was a "smooth" flight. When they returned to the lake to land, the "rear of the floats touched [the water] followed by a small hop."

A postaccident examination of the airframe revealed that the bottom of the left float skin was partially separated along a rivet line. In addition, the left float was bent in a positive direction, about 20 degrees. The wings, rudder, and fuselage were substantially damaged in the accident sequence.

GASTON LAKE — A small plane with three people onboard rolled three times while trying to land on Lake Gaston Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

Officials said the aircraft—a 2005 Maule 235 single engine plane—was piloted by Paul Heaton Jr. Authorities said Heaton regularly lands the aircraft on Gaston Lake without incident. 

Heaton Jr. and two passengers onboard were not hurt in the accident, officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash. No additional information has been released.

Original article can be found here:

LITTLETON, N.C. (WTVD) --  A small plane with three people on board flipped over after landing on Lake Gaston in Littleton on Sunday, according to the FAA.

It was a float plane and it happened around 3:30 p.m. Highway Patrol said Paul Heaton of Roanoke Rapids was piloting the aircraft.

Heaton says he and the other two passengers are doing fine. They were flying locally to take scenic pictures. He says the landing was normal but there appeared to be a failure with the left pontoon.

The plane rolled over 3 times, according to troopers.

Heaton is still working with the FAA to figure out what happened.

The plane was removed from the lake and the the FAA is investigating.

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