NTSB Identification: CHI06FA077A
Accident occurred Sunday, February 05, 2006 in Watertown, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2008
Aircraft: Short Brothers SD-360-300, registration: N3735W
Injuries: 3 Fatal,1 Minor,2 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.

Prior to departure, both flight crews decided that they would join-up while in flight to take video and still pictures of each airplane. Both aircraft were Shorts Brothers SD-360-300 turboprop airplanes. While flying in formation, N3735W announced over the radio that they would turn right, toward N372AC, and descend. During the turn, N3735W's left wing impacted the left wing and engine of N372AC. After the collision, N372AC rolled to the left and pitched down significantly before the flight crew regained control of the airplane. After the collision, N372AC was losing hydraulic fluid and eventually had a complete hydraulic system failure. The airplane made an emergency landing at a nearby airport with its flaps retracted and its landing gear partially extended. The airplane overran the end of the runway, coming to rest about 100 feet from the departure threshold. White paint transfer markings and scrapes were observed on the left wing deice boot, the outboard side of the left engine cowling was crushed inboard, the left wing-strut leading edge was torn open and bent, and the lower fuselage skin, immediately forward of the landing gear wheel wells and stub wing, was torn from left to right, consistent with a propeller strike. N3735W impacted terrain and the airplane was destroyed during a subsequent ground fire. The flight crew and passenger were killed. The outboard three-quarters of the left wing was separated from the main wreckage and was not fire damaged. The upper wing surface had linear scrapes diagonally across the wing skin. The left aileron from N3735W was found on the runway where N372AC had landed.

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

The flight crew failed to maintain clearance from another aircraft as they turned to break formation flight while maneuvering. Contributing to the accident was the decision of both flight crews to fly in formation.

Full narrative available

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