The pilots of two biplanes involved in a collision on a runway during landing reported they were landing after competing in a National Championship Biplane Gold Race in Reno.
The pilot of the Mong reported he had seen the Pitts biplane ahead of him in the pattern, followed him through his base and final approach legs, and witnessed the Pitts land on the runway. He added his biplane had bounced during his initial touchdown on the runway and he added power to correct for the discrepancy and to land in a three-point attitude.
He lost sight of the Pitts during the landing and did not see it again until the impact.
The Mong’s right wing struck the Pitt’s left wing. The Mong spun 180° and slid backwards for 100 yards, during which time the tailwheel snapped in half. The Pitts also spun around on the runway.
The pilot of the Pitts biplane reported that he had landed and started a right turn off of the runway onto the taxiway when his airplane was struck from behind on its left wing.
Both biplanes received substantial damage.
The Mong pilot also reported that he never heard a call on the radio to go around due to the spacing between the two landing biplanes.
The race organizers are looking into a revised recovery procedure to ensure that runways are declared clear before subsequent aircraft touchdown on the runway surface.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate separation and visual lookout during landing, which resulted in his airplane colliding with the airplane ahead of it on the runway.
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA517A
This September 2016 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.