The private pilot reported that he was the second airplane in a flight of two and had been instructed by the air traffic controller to land on the orange dot on Runway 27 at the airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Dots are used to facilitate multiple landings for the annual fly-in.
During the descending turn from the base leg to the final leg, the pilot observed a third airplane. It appeared to be landing straight-in to Runway 27.
The air traffic controller instructed the flight of two to land further down the runway, on the green dot, to accommodate the third airplane.
As the pilot adjusted his engine power and descent rate for the new landing point, he noted that the closure rate with the lead airplane (in his flight of two) increased and the lead airplane decelerated quickly as it landed. The pilot increased the pitch of his Van’s RV-8 to overfly and avoid a collision with the lead airplane.
After he confirmed that he was past the lead airplane, he adjusted the pitch of the airplane and engine power to land, but landed hard. During the hard landing the airplane settled left wing down and veered to the left off the runway, and the left main landing gear collapsed.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage.
There were no mechanical anomalies with the airplane that would have precluded normal operations.
Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate spacing from the lead airplane while landing following revised landing instructions, which necessitated that the pilot conduct an improper landing flare and resulted in a hard landing.
This July 2019 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.