A recently released NTSB accident report discloses another “lucky to be alive” story. The August 27, 2006 accident involved an Aviat Husky that flipped over when it attempted to land. Apparently the emergency brake was set when the main landing gear touched down. However, the fact that the emergency brake was set at landing is not what makes this case interesting.
What is interesting about the accident, and indicative of a lack of good judgment on the part of the pilot, is the reason the emergency brake was set prior to landing: the pilot was “waterskiing” with the aircraft. According to the report, the pilot completed 3-4 “water ski runs”, in which the pilot set the aircraft’s parking brake, touched down on a reservoir, and then skiied on the main landing gear tires on the water. After completing his “runs”, the pilot then transitioned to the airport at which the accident occurred.
Although the aircraft was substantially damaged when it flipped over upon landing, fortunately, the pilot only suffered minor injuries. However, since the FAA investigated the accident on behalf of the NTSB, I would not be surprised if the pilot is facing enforcement action for violating a number of FARs, likely including, but probably not limited to, FAR 91.119(minimum safe altitudes) and FAR 91.13 (careless and reckless). The pilot may also face a 709 Request for Re-examination. That would be an interesting case to defend!