NTSB Identification: SEA07FA264B
Accident occurred Friday, September 14, 2007 in Reno, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: Tuttle Cassutt IIIM, registration: N11XR
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious,2 Minor.
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 pilots were participating in a low-level aerial race around pylon delineated course. Due to the wind conditions, the pilots departed in a scattered array, and then flew a teardrop pattern to begin the race. The Deluca-Owl airplane was in the lead as the group of airplanes reached the starting pylon. At the first pylon the Owl entered a left bank as the Cassutt airplane passed it on the outside and below. In this position, it would have been very difficult for the pilot of the Owl to see the Cassutt. The Cassutt was then ahead of the Owl as it continued to bank around the pylon. The Owl and the Cassutt collided at this point, and the Cassutt rolled and impacted the ground. The Owl pitched up and the pilot landed it on the side of a runway. According to race requirements, "An aircraft overtaken must not in any way impede or interfere with a faster overtaking plane. The overtaking pilot must keep the overtaken aircraft in sight at all times during the pass. An aircraft overtaking a slower aircraft will not pass between that aircraft and a pylon and will pass on the outside until the over taken aircraft is extremely wide and can be kept in sight at all times during the pass by the overtaking pilot." According to race personnel, there are no specifications for passing above or below a slower aircraft.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The failure of the pilots of both aircraft to maintain an adequate visual lookout and clearance from one another during a low altitude aerial race. Full narrative available
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