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The pilot of the float-equipped De Havilland DHC 2 reported that, during the initial climb after a water takeoff, about 200 feet, he turned right, and the engine lost power.
He immediately switched fuel tanks and attempted to restart the engine, but to no avail.
The plane descended and hit trees, and the right wing hit terrain in Igiugig, Alaska. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing.
The pilot reported to the FAA inspector that, during the initial climb and after the engine lost power, he noticed that the center tank, which was selected for takeoff, was empty.
He added that passengers stated the engine did regain power after switching tanks, but the airplane had already hit trees.
The pilot reported as a recommendation to more closely follow checklists.
Probable cause: The pilot’s selection of an empty fuel tank for takeoff, which resulted in fuel starvation and the subsequent total loss of engine power.
This September 2018 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
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