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FIRE -Empire flight operations - FlightTest SeaDuck - Total loss 08-15-17 - FIRE

Started by Paul Lange, August 16, 2017, 10:27:05 am

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Paul Lange

At approximatley 7:05pm 08-15-17 Empire flight operations suffered total loss of the FlightTest SeaDuck water plane.

The left nacelle engine ESC was noted to have an unfamiliar squelch during differential thrust maneuvers while executing touch-n-go on the local waterway.  Upon landing safely on the waterway the aircrafts left nacelle motor ceased to rotate causing loss of taxi control back to shore.  Within seconds smoke began to proliferate at the top of the nacelle where the ESC motor control is located inside the wing.  A few seconds later the smoke turned bright white then commenced to poooof in a small flame.  Shortly after the fire began it spread to the entire wing and there began to engulf the entire aircraft while floating in the middle of the lake as the wind was prevailing straightway down the lake center.

Ducks and other water fowl were not present as they had began to settle down at the extreme north end of the lake.  Pedestrians, joggers, cyclist stopped by to offer condolences stating they had often watched the Empire Flight SeaDuck in operations on the lake and enjoyed each show.  Witnesses stated they saw nothing unusual about the second flight and landing shortly before the fire.

The Aircraft was paid final respects by a few spectators who stood by silently as the aircraft burned down to a very small island of trash in the middle of the lake until the last remnant of smoke completely dissipated.

The remains of the Empire Operations FlightTest SeaDuck were retrieved from the lake, bagged up and disposed at or near 9:00pm after the winds had blown the floating char within arms reach of the water stoneway bulkhead.

Empire Flight Operations is in the process of replacing the FlightTest SeaDuck aircraft and hopes to be back in full operations by the end of the year.

Paul H Lange
Best Regards - Paul H Lange

Sonny Coleman

A sad tale indeed.  :-[

Glad no women, children, local water fowl, or pedestrians were injured during the aircraft melt-down.

At least you were able to recover the charred remains unlike a sad Ex-ME109 owner I know of...

"The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it"<br />John Ruskin