NTSB Identification: LAX00FA159.
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Accident occurred Monday, April 17, 2000 in PEARL HARBOR, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2001
Aircraft: Convair BT-13A, registration: N56336
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 pilot was flying a replica Japanese Val during the filming of 'Pearl Harbor' on Ford Island, Hawaii. The movie shot called for a low pass of three Val's over a movie set with 65-foot-tall palm trees. The number 2 and 3 wingmen were to stack up (above) on the flight leader number 1. At the completion of the pass, the number 3 wingman's left wing contacted a palm tree, severing about 18 feet of left wing. The airplane rolled twice and descended into the ground. The pilot was wearing a 5-point restraint system and survived with serious injuries. Video and film were viewed to determine whether or not smoke created by smoke generators for the movie shot were a factor affecting the pilot's view of the palm trees. The pilot reported the smoke was not an issue. The last thing he recalled was turbulence from the flight leader.

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

the pilot's failure to anticipate turbulence from the formation lead airplane. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane.

Full narrative available

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