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"Going For a Swim"

by John M. White |

Aviation has always produced interesting and unusual incidents and accidents, and last September another pilot proved it is still true. Anthony Bencivenga, aged 67 of Port St. Lucie, FL was practicing touch and go landings on Lake Okeechobee in his light experimental amphibian aircraft, an Aventura II, when he turned his aircraft into the wind, the nose rose, he over corrected, the abrupt movement jolted his hand on the throttle causing full power to be applied to the engine.  The aircraft made a sharp turn to the left and threw him out of the right side of the aircraft and into the lake.  Somehow his safety harness released and Bencivenga found himself in the water sans life jacket and glasses. Aventuraii A fisherman on the lake came to his rescue while the aircraft took off, leveled itself, flew pilotless for about a mile before landing on the water and flipping over.  In its normal dry language the NTSB said that the probable cause of the accident was the pilot's failure to maintain directional control of the aircraft during landing causing the pilot to being inadvertently ejected from the aircraft. Duhh!!! The moral of the story is when flying aerial machines stay focused on the task at hand. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7

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