Miami's Chalk's Ocean Airways Amphibious Airplane Goes Down




Miami's Chalk's Ocean Airways Amphibious Airplane Goes Down

Bill Goldston



On December 19, 2005, about 2:39 PM, a Grumman Turbo Mallard (G-73T) amphibious airplane, N2969, operated by Flying Boat, Inc., doing business as Chalk's Ocean Airways flight 101, crashed into a shipping channel adjacent to the Port of Miami, Florida, shortly after takeoff from the Miami Seaplane Base (X44).

Flight 101 was a regularly scheduled passenger flight to Bimini, Bahamas, with 2 flight crewmembers and 18 passengers on board. The airplane's right wing separated during flight. All 20 people aboard the airplane were killed, and the airplane was destroyed. Flight 101 was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 on a visual flight rules flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.


On the day of the accident, the accident flight crew flew the airplane from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to X44 as Chalk's Ocean Airways flight 110. According to the flight log, the airplane departed FLL about 1305 and landed at X44 about 1321. 

The airplane departed X44 on the accident flight about 2:38 and crashed into the water about 1 minute later. Of about 15 witnesses interviewed, most reported that the airplane's right wing separated from the rest of the airplane in flight, that smoke or fire came from the wing or a fireball in the sky, and that the airplane subsequently descended into the water. About one-half of these witnesses reported that they heard an explosion associated with the wing separation. 

Most of the wreckage was located in about 30 feet of water. Lifeguards who patrolled Miami Beach on foot and on jet skis were the first to respond to the accident scene. Miami emergency dispatch notified the Miami Coast Guard and the Miami Beach Police Department by telephone about the accident. The Miami Coast Guard log showed that the Miami Coast Guard launched an HH-65 helicopter to the accident scene about 7 minutes after receiving notification of the accident and began recovery efforts about 6 minutes afterward.

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