Fatal Crash Followed Makeshift Repair

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The widow of a New Zealand pilot says the 2005 crash of their Seawind kit-built amphibian on Lake Taupo had nothing to do with the “sticky tape” repair job her husband did on the front landing gear doors and baggage hatch hours before the accident. Bormanm, 60, died of his injuries a day after the Seawind flipped while taking off. His wife Noeleene suffered only minor injuries and told the New Zealand Herald that the accident occurred because the plane hit a boat wake just after lifting off. But investigators with the Civil Aviation Authority say the aircraft was “technically and legally unserviceable” when the accident occurred and that Borman’s apparent mindset in attempting the flight was also a factor. In an earlier encounter with a boat wake, the CAA said the front gear doors, part of the gear retraction assembly and the nose baggage hatch were damaged. The agency further said Borman used tape and a plastic “Danger” sign liberated from a construction site to seal up the gear doors and also taped the baggage hatch back on. He apparently ignored the advice of other pilots to get the aircraft properly repaired before flying it, according to the CAA. Investigators noted that if the baggage door had let go in flight, it likely would have hit the propeller, which is above and behind the cockpit. The report said Borman, an experienced and respected pilot, might have had his judgment clouded by a desire to get home that day.