NTSB Identification: NYC05FA117A
Accident occurred Sunday, July 10, 2005 in Lewes, DE
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/03/2006
Aircraft: Carlstrom Long EZ, registration: N78LC
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 accident airplanes were part of a group of six experimental airplanes practicing a formation flight routine for an upcoming airshow. The airplanes had just completed a "six ship opposing" maneuver, in which the airplanes flew towards each other in two groups of three airplanes. The group containing the accident airplanes was assembled with a lead airplane in front (the RV-8 airplane) and two additional airplanes aligned behind and to each side of the lead (in a "triangle" formation). The Long EZ was the airplane behind and to the right of the RV-8. The "six ship opposing" maneuver was performed without any abnormality, and approximately 3 seconds later, the Long EZ and lead RV-8 collided. Both aircraft subsequently impacted the water beneath them. Examination of several videotapes and a digital photograph revealed that the Long EZ airplane was above the RV-8 and out of position in the moments prior to the collision. No pre-impact mechanical deficiencies were noted with either airplane.

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

The Long EZ pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the RV-8 airplane, which resulted in a mid-air collision during a formation flight.

Full narrative available

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