Originally Posted by I_FLY_LOW
"The apparent cause of the accident, shortly before 2 p.m., was a strong gust of wind that apparently pushed the Beaver hard to the left; the pilot couldn't climb out of it before hitting ground next to a Lake Hood canal, said Howard Plagens, the NTSB investigator
Sad it happened, but glad everyone made it out ok...
The wind sock and the riverbank foliage show very little wind and no strong gusts through out the takeoff run. Gusts are readily visible on the water surface as every floatplane pilot knows and watches for. The windsock shows a crosswind from his right however. Starting at 0:33 the plane has a pronounced nose high attitude when it should be almost level at that point in the takeoff. The "sweet spot" must be held until liftoff.
My guess is that the pilot panicked when his step turn wasn't going well and when he realized he was headed towards the shore he tried to horse it off before it was ready. The crosswind was from his right, but it wasn't enough to counteract the powerful engine torque which makes the plane turn left unless heavy right rudder is held. I don't buy the gust storey. I wonder how much experience the pilot had.