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N806RB accident description

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Tail numberN806RB
Accident dateApril 19, 1998
Aircraft typeBoeing A-75N1
LocationKissimmee, FL
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 19, 1998, at about 1124 eastern daylight time, N806RB, a Boeing A-75N1, and N802RB, also a Boeing A-75N1, both registered to Schwan's Sales Enterprises Inc., doing business as Red Baron Stearman Squadron, were involved in a midair collision, while maneuvering during a 14 CFR Part 91 acrobatic flight in the vicinity of Kissimmee Municipal Airport, Kissimmee, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. Both airplanes were destroyed by a postcrash fire. The airline transport pilot and commercial pilot were fatally injured. The flight originated about 17 minutes before the accident.

The flight lead for the Red Baron Stearman Squadron (Bowman) stated he was flying N805RB. The number 2 pilot (Drake) and left wing was N806RB. The number 3 pilot (Regan) and right wing was N803RB. The number 4 pilot (Lovelace) and slot was N802RB. They had just completed an arrowhead formation, and the number 2 and number 3 airplane moved forward into the diamond formation. Then the flight completed the 5/8 loop portion of the 1/2 Cuban eight maneuver, set the 45-degree inverted downline, completed a 1/2 roll to the upright position, and was beginning the entry into the "clover" loop when the accident occurred. "Note: both the one-half Cuban eight maneuver and the hammerhead turn reverse the positions of the left and right wingman (#2 & #3)."

The number 3 pilot stated, "the flight proceeded normally except for large corrections being made for the strong on-crowd wind. The arrowhead loop came off normally as did the 5/8 loop portion of the 1/2 Cuban eight. When we set the 45-degree inverted downline, everyone appeared to be in the correct position. During the 1/2 roll to upright, something happened to change the shape of the formation. At the upright position, I was wider than normal and I could see that Randy (#2) was higher than normal. I had seen similar situations before which had always been rectified by Randy maneuvering back into position. As I was tightening up my position, I could see the other three aircraft, and Randy was closing in my peripheral vision. I had the impression that he had acquired lead and was moving back into position. A high closure rate caught my attention and as I shifted my focus in that direction, Randy's aircraft struck Sonny's from above. The impact occurred as we were pulling into the next maneuver and most of the closure was caused by Randy maintaining a fairly constant line while the rest of the formation pulled up. At impact I saw the wings come apart and the aircraft entangled."

Witnesses and video obtained from numerous TV stations revealed that the lead airplane, number 3 right wingman, and number 4 slot (N802RB), started pulling up out of the dive to initiate the diamond loop formation, when the number 2 airplane (N806RB) continued to descend and collided with N802RB.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Information pertaining to the pilot of N806RB and N802RB is contained in NTSB Form 6120.1/2 Pilot Information, and NTSB Form 6120.4 First Pilot Information.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Information pertaining to N806RB and N802RB is contained in Aircraft Information in NTSB Form 6120.4.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Weather information was provided by Air Bosses, working the 1998 "Air Show of the Stars," during a pilot briefing conducted prior to the acrobatic flight. A weather briefing was also obtained by flight lead from the St. Petersburg Automated Flight Service Station prior to departing MacDill Air Force Base for Kissimmee, Florida. The number 3 pilot stated, "the winds were stronger than during the performance of the day before but was not as strong or turbulent as some shows we had experienced in the past." Flight lead stated, "However, we were able to compensate for the cross-wind and to fly within the prescribed "aerobatic area." For additional information see NTSB Form 6120.4 Weather Information.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage of N806RB and N802RB was located in a grass field southeast of runway 24 adjacent to Kissimmee Aviation Services, Inc., on Kissimmee Municipal Airport, Kissimmee, Florida.

Examination of the crash site revealed the left wing of N806RB collided with the left wing and fuselage of N802RB. N802RB was in a right climbing turn and N806RB was in a descent. The upper and lower left wing of both airplanes failed upward, and the outboard upper 1/3 of N802RB's right wing separated. N806RB became entangled with N802RB in the vicinity of the cockpit area. Both aircraft rotated around their vertical axis to the left and collided with the ground separating N802RB's tail section, forward of the elevators. N806RB came to rest on top of N802RB on a heading of 290 degrees magnetic. N802RB came to rest on a heading of 250 degrees magnetic. The engine assembly from N806RB and N802RB were found separated from the firewall. N802RB's engine assembly was buried in the ground. Torsional twisting, "s" bending, and chordwise scarring were present on N806RB's propeller blades, and the propeller crankshaft was bent about 45 degrees to the right. N806RB's engine assembly sustained extensive fire damage. One propeller blade tip had separated 35 inches outboard of the propeller blade hub, and the other propeller blade tip separated 34 3/4 inches outboard of the propeller blade hub. Torsional twisting and "s" bending were present on both of N802RB's propeller blades, and the propeller crankshaft was bent to the left. One propeller blade was bent aft with evidence of chordwise scarring. N802RB engine assembly sustained fire damage. The fuel tanks of both airplanes were ruptured, and a postcrash fire ensued.

Examination of the airframe, flight control assemblies, and engine assemblies for N806RB and N802RB revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction. Continuity of the flight control systems were confirmed for pitch, roll, and yaw.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Postmortem examination of the pilot of N806RB was conducted by Dr. Sara H. Irrgan, Associate Medical Examiner, District Nine, Medical Examiner's Office, Orlando, Florida, on April 20, 1998. The cause of death was blunt trauma. Postmortem toxicology of specimens from the pilot was performed by the Forensic Toxicology Research Section, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. These studies were neutral for ethanol, basic, acidic, and neutral drugs.

Postmortem examination of the pilot of N802RB was conducted by Dr. William R. Anderson, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, District Nine, Medical Examiner's Office, Orlando, Florida, on April 20, 1998. The cause of death was blunt trauma. Postmortem toxicology of specimens from the pilot was performed by the Forensic Toxicology Research Section, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. These studies were negative for ethanol, basic, acidic, and neutral drugs.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The wreckage of N806RB and N802RB was released to Officer Scott Frank, Kissimmee Police Department, on April 19, 1998. The aircraft logbooks retrieved from the aircraft wreckage were released to Mr. Maynard Kruse, Director of Operations Squadron Clerk, Marshall, Minnesota, on April 29, 1998.

Same as narrative for MIA98FA135A.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.