This April 2009 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Aircraft: RV-8. Injuries: 1 Serious. Location: Angleton, Texas. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The ATP-rated was taking part in a formation flight. His plane was number three in a flight of four for takeoff. The pilot of the first airplane did a roll during climb-out. The second airplane climbed out normally. The accident pilot took off and also began a roll, but did not have sufficient altitude to clear trees near the runway and the plane went into the trees. The pilot was able to get out of the airplane unassisted, but was later airlifted to a hospital. No mechanical issues were found during the investigation. Due to the pilot’s injuries, he could not be interviewed by investigators or submit an accident report form.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from trees.
For more information: NTSB.gov