ASN Aircraft accident Grumman HU-16E Albatross N7029C between Santa Barbara, CA and Kahului, HI
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Tuesday 18 June 1991
Time:19:10 PDT
Type:Silhouette image of generic U16 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Grumman HU-16E Albatross
Operator:Pacific Flying Fish
Registration: N7029C
MSN: G-288
First flight: 1953
Engines: 2 Wright R-1820-76D/C
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:between Santa Barbara, CA and Kahului, HI (   Pacific Ocean)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Departure airport:Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, CA (SBA/KSBA), United States of America
Destination airport:Kahului Airport, HI (OGG/PHOG), United States of America
During cruise flight the accident flying boat lost oil pressure in the number 2 engine. Flight could not be sustained using the remaining engine. According to the pilot, the remaining engine would overheat when power was applied. The crew descended to just above the water and tried to fly the aircraft in ground effect, but to no avail. They elected to ditch the aircraft. During the landing, the aircraft received substantial damage and was almost immediately flooded, causing the aircraft to sink. The crew escaped, but did not have time to retrieve emergency gear. They were rescued after about 20 hours in the water. Evidence revealed that the pilot did not have a pilot's certificate. No evidence could be found to indicate that the pilot had any experience in the accident aircraft or with any sea plane. Since the aircraft sank, a cause for the engine problems could not be determined.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Improper touchdown in the water causing substantial damage. Loss of power on the number 2 engine and the pilot's lack of qualifications were factors in the accident."



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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, CA to Kahului Airport, HI as the crow flies is 3853 km (2408 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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