Inspiring imagination and evoking a sense of wonder, seaplanes capture the spirit of barnstorming aviation with the ability to land on water, traverse islands, and connect remote communities.
While highly capable and uniquely suited for a wide variety of operations, seaplane flying is not without risk. From 2008 through 2022 seaplane accidents numbered 406. The majority (329) were non-fatal, with 77 ending in a fatality. For reference, general aviation (GA) averages around 200 fatal accidents a year. Considering that the seaplane fleet makeup is less than five percent of all GA aircraft, the values in understanding these types of accidents is beneficial for this active and passionate community.
This report offers a detailed analysis of these accidents, including accident causes and findings. It concludes with a training and prevention discussion and recommendations to reduce seaplane accidents.
Made possible by the generous support of the Hall-Halliburton Foundation, Inc. and the Seaplane Pilots Association.