July 29, Oshkosh, Wisc. / Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair, Chance Vought F4U-5 Corsair and Grumman F8F-1 Bearcat


At 15:00 CDT, an F4U Corsair collided with a Grumman Bearcat on runway 18 at Wittman Regional Airport. The F4U-4 Corsair was destroyed and the pilot seriously injured. The Bearcat was substantially damaged but the pilot suffered no injuries. The pilot of the F4U-5 Corsair suffered minor injuries. At the time of the collision, the Bearcat was stationary on the runway about 1,400 feet from the departure end with its engine at idle power. The F4U-4 was at full power on takeoff roll and struck the Bearcat from behind. The F4U-5 was on takeoff roll in formation with the F4U-4. It sustained substantial damage when the pilot saw a second Grumman Bearcat on the runway in front of his aircraft and elected to steer his airplane off of the runway to avoid the other airplane. The airplanes were part of a formation demonstration flight of eight airplanes in four sections of two airplanes each that had been cleared to takeoff from runway 18 together during the AirVenture Air Show. Witnesses said the two Bearcats rolled down runway 18, turned toward the southwest and stopped, and the two Corsairs overran them.


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