Seawind Incident Log

Early builders had some problems with nose gear collapse. As a result, the nose gear design was eventually beefed up. See the summary table.

This page contains information extracted from several sources including ISPA member experiences and records of the NTSB. Some of this information may be based on hearsay, and just by nature, it is controversial. It is Safety related. The sole purpose for putting this information here is so that our members can glean the lessons learned from these occurrences. This information is sensitive, especially to the owners and others who have sustained tragic losses. Do not misconstrue or use this information in a negative way.*

In general, the Seawind design is now very robust. Many have survived incidents which would have been fatal in other airplanes. If fact, some of the incidents, such as the crash of the first prototype in a lake near Halliburton Canada have been spectacular, but the occupants survived. There have been similar incidents (as related by John Borman and others) where Seawinds have survived hard water landings, even been mostly submerged, and both the plane and passengers survived unscathed! The safety record, even at this relatively still early stage (as aircraft designs go) is remarkable. In general, almost all serious accidents have been caused by pilot error, not by failure of the airframe. You draw you own conclusions from the data below.

Being the highest performance single engine amphibian in the world, and having a high centerline thrust (among other things) the Seawind requires some specialized piloting skills. Pilots who's bulk of experience comes from flying single engine Pipers or Cessnas around the patch on weekends, will require instruction, and hours of practice in a Seawind before they are safe.

Take a good hard look at this photo and put yourself in the owner's place for a few minutes. Think about this before every water landing or water operation of any kind. The ISPA extends our thanks to ISPA member Philip de Ridder for providing this terrific photo.

This page is a work in progress. We would like to thank Dave Nery (and others) for suggesting this page, submitting the data, and assisting with the formatting detail. Please note, we would like to expand this page by entering more information here about Seawind incidents that may not be included in the NTSB reports. If you have information about incidents with your Seawind or others that we may learn from, and you would be willing to share, please email it to me. Thank you.

Incident Log Index

This page has several parts. NTSB reports and some other accidents are summarized right on this page, and are indexed chronologically and by N-number in the bookmark list immediately below this paragraph. Detailed reports of some incidents, as well as a summary table that indexes and categorizes some of the recurring incidents, are on separate pages and are linked to this page through the buttons further below.

NTSB Identification: NYC02LA185

Accident occurred Saturday, September 07, 2002 at Bloomingburg, OH Aircraft: Reiley Seawind 3000, registration: N278ER Injuries: 1 Serious. 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.

On September 7, 2002, about 0910 eastern daylight time, a homebuilt Seawind 3000, N278ER, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Bloomingburg, Ohio. The certificated private pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. According to the pilot, he had been experiencing high engine oil temperatures on previous flights, and was attempting to determine the cause. After departing the Fayette Bounty Airport (I23), Washington Court House, Ohio, the oil temperature began to rise, and the pilot elected to return to the airport. While proceeding to the airport, the pilot decided to open the cowl flaps to see if the temperature would decrease, but mistakenly, pulled the fuel shutoff lever. The engine lost total power, and after unsuccessful attempts to restart the engine, the pilot initiated a forced landing to a grass field. Unable to make the grass field, the pilot touched down in a cornfield, struck utility lines, and nosed over, coming to rest inverted NTSB Identification: ATL01LA004. The docket is stored in the (offline) NTSB Imaging System.

May 23, 2002. Forced landing of N711AT. A complete account at "Tanzman Report" elsewhere on the ISPA site.

December 16, 2001. N711AT. Death of Arnie Tanzman from oxygen deficient atmosphere in the tail of his Seawind. A complete account at "Tanzman Report" elsewhere on the ISPA site.

December 16, 2001. N711AT.

Death of Arnie Tanzman from oxygen deficient atmosphere in the tail of his Seawind. A complete account at "Tanzman Report" elsewhere on the ISPA site.

Accident occurred Tuesday, October 03, 2000 at CHAPIN, SC Aircraft: Joseph A. Grimaud SEAWIND 3000, registration: N98GG Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

Shortly after takeoff, the pilot initiated a fuel management procedure that resulted in the transfer of fuel to the main tanks. As the airplane climbed through 3000 feet, the engine lost power and subsequently quit. The pilot selected a pasture for an emergency landing. During the final approach to land, the airplane collided with a stand of trees short of the pasture. The post-crash examination of the fuel system showed that the fuel tanks were ruptured and the exact amount of fuel at the time of the accident was not determined. Examination of the engine also failed to disclose a mechanical malfunction. A successful functional run of the engine was accomplished. The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows. A total loss of engine power for undetermined reasons. A factor was the trees. Full narrative available NTSB Identification: IAD00LA021 . The docket is stored in the (offline) NTSB Imaging System.

Accident occurred Friday, February 11, 2000 at CUMBERLAND GAP, VA Aircraft: Wood SEAWIND 3000, registration: N94WB Injuries: 2 Fatal.

The pilot departed Florida destined for Michigan, and made an en route stop in Georgia. About 2 1/2-hours after departing Georgia, witnesses observed the airplane flying in the vicinity of Cumberland Gap National Park, located in the southwestern tip of Virginia. The airplane was observed flying into a cloud layer headed toward the highest peak in the park. Shortly after, the sound of timber breaking and silence was heard. The weather was described as foggy and windy. Prior to departing Florida, the pilot obtained a weather briefing from the AFSS. The AFSS briefer reported that he could only get the pilot as far as Tennessee in VFR conditions before the weather became MVFR to IFR. During the en route stop in Georgia, the pilot received another weather briefing from a different AFSS. The AFSS briefer did not provide synopsis, terminal conditions expected, the AIRMET series for IFR conditions and mountain obscuration along the route, but did provide AIRMET Zulu for icing conditions over Michigan. Examination of the wreckage revealed there were no mechanical deficiencies with the airplane, engine, or related systems. The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows. The pilot's continued flight from visual flight rules into instrument meteorological conditions. Full narrative available NTSB Identification: NYC99LA141 . The docket is stored in the (offline) NTSB Imaging System.

Accident occurred Monday, June 14, 1999 at MARTINSBURG, WV Aircraft: Prendergast SEAWIND, registration: N8190J Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

The airplane's engine started on the first attempt, and ran 'smoothly.' The pilot then taxied the airplane short of the runway, and completed the run-up checks. No anomalies were noted. He then taxied onto the runway, advanced the throttle, and scanned the engine instruments. No deficiencies were observed, so the pilot executed the takeoff. After retracting the flaps, and reaching about 500 feet agl, the pilot executed a left turn to stay within glided distance of the airport. Approximately 30 degrees through the turn, the airplane experienced a loss in power. The propeller continued to windmill, but the engine did not responded to throttle movements. With insufficient altitude to reach the runway the pilot executed a forced landing to a field. Examination of the engine revealed that the inner liner of the air-intake had separated from the outer liner, blocking airflow to the fuel servo. The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows. The air-intake's inner liner separating from its outer liner, which blocked airflow to the fuel servo, resulting in a loss of engine power. A factor in the accident was the owner/builder's inadequate inspection of the airplane. Full narrative available NTSB Identification: MIA99LA079 . The docket is stored in the (offline) NTSB Imaging System.

Accident occurred Thursday, February 11, 1999 at BRADENTON, FL Aircraft: Wolf Seawind 3000, registration: N76SW Injuries: 1 Minor. The pilot reported that during departure climb at 400 feet agl, his engine lost power and rpm decayed rapidly. His first inclination was to turn the amphibian toward a lake, but the power decay was too rapid, and he chose a golf course, instead. He was forced to make a late correction to his intended touchdown point due to golfers, and made a gear and flaps up, hard touchdown sustaining damage to the airplane. Subsequent examination of the engine revealed No. 2 piston had a hole burned completely through its skirt and top, and the nose crankshaft seal was blown out, allowing lubricating oil to escape overboard. The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows. Total loss of engine power due to a burned piston for undetermined reasons resulting in a forced landing to unsuitable terrain and the subsequent crash landing onto a golf course. Full narrative available NTSB Identification: NYC93LA067 . The docket is stored in the (offline) NTSB Imaging System.

Accident occurred Saturday, April 03, 1993 at COATESVILLE, PA Aircraft: SILVA SEAWIND 3000, registration: N46SW Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 Uninjured.

The kit plane was on a test flight with a Hartzell limited production/constant speed/non-feathering/full reversing prop. The pilot stated that in the 1st power-off glide, he set the throttle to idle & the prop to low pitch; about 10 to 15 sec later, the engine raced & the prop appeared to go to zero pitch. He said movement of the prop control & throttle had no effect; the passenger said the throttle was advanced & rpm oversped even more. Altitude could not be maintained & a forced landing was made on rough terrain. An investigation revealed the prop blade angle limits were within the prescribed -15 to +26.2 deg limits. The low pitch blade angle was set for 3.7 deg, but specifications for typical Hartzell & lycoming engine combinations had low pitch blade angles ranging from 12 to 13.5 deg. Testing of the propeller disclosed that the centrifugal low pitch start locks would not engage, if the governor oil pressure remained at or above 120 psi after start lock disengagement. The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows. Improper adjustment setting of the propeller pitch change mechanism and/or propeller governor output pressure, which resulted in a loss of positive thrust and a forced landing. Full narrative available.

*The ISPA makes no implied or stated guarantee about the accuracy of any of this information.

Much of the information on this site has come at enormous expense to our members. Don't take it lightly. Our best thank you will be to learn from their experience. Also thank them by telling them whenever you get a chance.

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