NTSB Identification: NYC97LA125B
Accident occurred Sunday, June 22, 1997 in W.HAMPTON BEACH, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/31/1998
Aircraft: Smith SONERAI-I, registration: N77TY
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
Four homebuilt, low wing airplanes, were being used to participate in an air race, conducted by the Formula V Air Racing Association. After crossing the finish line, while banking left at the first set of pylons, the number two and number three airplanes collided. Race procedures were for the pilots to maintain power and airspeed, while climbing to enter a landing traffic pattern. According to the fourth place pilot, the number two airplane, a Smith Sonerai-I, N77TY, decelerated, pitched nose up, and collided with the number three airplane, a Shafer Sonerai-I, N20CS. During deceleration, the number two airplane was below number three, and it entered the 'blind area' of number three. The number three pilot did not maneuver to maintain visual contact with number two. The design of the FAA approved race course included a 500 foot safety zone between the flight path of the airplanes and the spectators. Wreckage of both airplanes came to rest outside the safety zone, where spectators could have positioned themselves.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: failure of the number two pilot (N77TY) to follow race procedures, and failure of the number three pilot (N20CS) to turn and avoid the number two airplane, when it decelerated into the number three pilot's blind spot. Full narrative available
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