Boat Vs. Airplane, both lose

The boat was stand-on even if it was two boats and the airplane was give-way even if it was two airplanes, but the boat sure did not seem to take any action at all to avoid the collision. The pilot of the airplane has poor visibility down and to starboard, especially nose-high getting on step.
They are all lucky no one died.

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There’s an ATC tower on the south shore of the harbor that controls floatplane and helicopter traffic below 2500 feet.

Might want to check the colregs.

Seaplanes shall, in general, maintain clear of all vessels. I suspect there is probably more to this story though.

Both at fault regardless.

They had no comms with the boat though.

True, different frequencies. There are no floats marking boundaries but air traffic does follow predictable patterns. With any degree of situational awareness, hard to miss a Beaver taking off with a CBDR. Not assigning blame. I flew a 180 on floats a handful of times up the river in Coquitlam but never braved the harbor.

Using maritime standards of blame they would both be blamed, the seaplane for not giving way and the boat for not avoiding a collision. They had to be looking at anything else but where they were going!

There’s a recording of the controller calling out the boat traffic but evidently the pilot didn’t hear him. He didn’t acknowledge it and on the recording I didn’t hear the controller follow up to confirm that he received it.

I was more thinking of the skipper of the boat, the airplane had to be pretty freaking obvious!

(e) A seaplane on the water shall, in general, keep well clear of all vessels and avoid impeding their navigation. In circumstances, however, where risk of collision exists, she shall comply with the Rules of this Part.

Right from the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR PArt 91):

Sec. 91.115

Right-of-way rules: Water operations.

(a) General. Each person operating an aircraft on the water shall, insofar as possible, keep clear of all vessels and avoid impeding their navigation, and shall give way to any vessel or other aircraft that is given the right-of-way by any rule of this section.
(b) Crossing. When aircraft, or an aircraft and a vessel, are on crossing courses, the aircraft or vessel to the other’s right has the right-of-way.
(c) Approaching head-on. When aircraft, or an aircraft and a vessel, are approaching head-on, or nearly so, each shall alter its course to the right to keep well clear.
(d) Overtaking. Each aircraft or vessel that is being overtaken has the right-of-way, and the one overtaking shall alter course to keep well clear.
(e) Special circumstances. When aircraft, or an aircraft and a vessel, approach so as to involve risk of collision, each aircraft or vessel shall proceed with careful regard to existing circumstances, including the limitations of the respective craft.

However, the seaplane was operating within a designated landing area, right?

Boaters aren’t prohibited from operating where seaplanes take off and land, they are advised to exercise caution. Visibility forward with that huge engine in a Beaver seaplane on a take off run is restricted until it gets up on the step so it’s possible he didn’t see the boat until it was too late to abort.

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Likely both the boat operator and pilot were distracted and/or too narrowly focused on tasks other than lookout.

COLREGs are useful for determining legal fault after the fact but for someone out on a boat for pleasure why put yourself and passengers in a ‘risk of collision’ situation in the first place?

Had the boater seen the plane early the move here is for the boat operator to slow or turn such that there is a clear intention to pass the aircraft astern. Before there is risk of collision.

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Taking off in a floatplane is similar to taking off on land in a taildragger in terms of forward visibility which is why it’s necessary to zig zag and look out the side when taxiing. On the takeoff run, once the speed is sufficient to create lift and raise the tail, forward visibility improves. A similar situation occurs on floats when there is enough lift to raise the tail and reduce drag which is called getting on the step.
In this incident, it appears as if the pilot reaches that stage 3 or 4 hundred feet or so from the boat but the pilot is committed and doesn’t have the option of changing course. Pulling the power back would still have him crash into the boat. At the collision point it looks like he is trying to will the plane to fly but doesn’t have quite enough lift to clear the boat.

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I had read that the boat owner was drunk and arrested for BWI according to Qualifed Captain, but none of the stories I can find actually say this; however most news stories i see on the toppic look AI generated.

I got the impression getting run over by the airplane was the first clue anyone on the boat had that it was there.
Isn’t there a video like that somewhere where a powerboat who is stand-on but clueless drives right into the side of a ferry while the passengers filmed it?

In that case instead of turning to a course to pass astern the boat operator should have drunkenly swerved the boat so as to pass astern.

Either way it should be done before risk of collision.