Monday, September 18, 2017

Van's RV-8, N248DF and Trudel GP-4, C-GTPX: Accident occurred September 17, 2017 at Reno Stead Airport (KRTS), Washoe County, Nevada

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA209B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 17, 2017 in Reno, NV
Aircraft: FARNSWORTH RV-8, registration: N248DF
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 17, 2017, about 0820 Pacific daylight time, a Trudel GP 4, C-GTPX and a Farnsworth RV-8, N248DF, collided in midair about 1 mile southeast of the Reno Stead Airport (RTS), Reno, Nevada. The GP 4's airline transport pilot and the RV-8's airline transport pilot were not injured. The GP 4 sustained minor damage to the propeller; the RV-8 sustained substantial damage to the right wing and aileron. The GP 4 was registered to a private individual and was operated as Race 96. The RV-8 was registered to the pilot and was operated as Race 26. Both airplanes were operated by the pilots under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an air race flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for either flight, which originated from RTS about 5 minutes prior to the accident.

The pilot of the RV-8 reported that he was positioned in the number 7 slot of a line abreast formation during the start sequence for the sport medallion race. As the flight was descending toward the race course, prior to the pace airplane pilot releasing the formation to start the race, he heard a loud noise followed by an immediate roll to the left. The pilot stated that he was able to level the airplane and landed uneventfully on runway 32.

The pilot of the GP 4 reported that he was positioned in the number 8 slot of the formation, located to the right of the RV-8. As the flight descended toward the race course, he saw the RV-8 "pop down quickly" and he attempted to "rudder right" while reducing power to avoid the RV-8 and another airplane to his right. The pilot stated that shortly after, his airplane collided with the RV-8. Following the collision, he pitched upward and rolled to the right to avoid the surrounding airplanes. Subsequently, the pilot landed uneventfully on runway 26.

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