NTSB Identification: CHI99FA266B
Accident occurred Thursday, July 29, 1999 in OSHKOSH, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Grumman F8F-1, registration: N14HP
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The three airplanes were part of a formation demonstration flight of eight World War II Navy fighters, divided into four sections of two airplanes each, that had been cleared to takeoff from runway 18 at Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, during the annual Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) convention, 'AirVenture 99'. Air traffic control clearance for the departing aircraft had been relinquished from the FAA tower to a local 'air boss'. The air boss had cleared all of the airplanes to takeoff as a flight. Witnesses saw the lead airplane, a Bearcat, N14HP, and his wingman, taxi down runway 18 approximately 1,400 feet, turn toward the southwest and stop. Approximately 4 seconds later, the lead airplane in the second section, a Corsair, N712RD, collided into N14HP severing the Corsair's left wing, and the Bearcat's right wing. The Corsair continued down the runway, rolling over on it's left side, came apart, and burst into flames. The remains of the Corsair came to rest in a field east of the runway, approximately 2,000 feet down. The Bearcat was turned approximately 180 degrees and came to rest on the runway's east edge. A second Corsair, the wingman of N712RD, veered off of the west side of runway 18, sustaining substantial damage to it's left wing. Examination of all three airplanes revealed no anomalies.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot of the other airplane not following the instructions briefed by the formation leader, and clearance not maintained by the pilot of the other airplane. A factor relating to this accident was the area of restricted visibility in front of the pilot of the other airplane when the airplane sits on its tailwheel.

Full narrative available

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