Pilots Both Took Evasive Action

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The maneuver began with Franklin's Waco "chasing" LeRoy parallel with the crowd before climbing and turning toward Younkin, who was in a descending turn. But the report says Younkin was a few seconds late with his part of the maneuver and that eliminated visual contact between the two. Both pilots realized the maneuver had gone sour and broke off, trying to avoid the crash. The report says that if either pilot had continued the maneuver and the other took evasive action, the collision would have been avoided. "The actions of each performer negated the actions of the other, and neither pilot took positive action to regain visual contact," the report says. The report also says that air show pilots involved in maneuvers such as this establish "contracts" with one another to determine which pilot was responsible for ensuring visual contact was maintained. It also sets the prescribed actions to disengage from a maneuver that isn't going as scripted. "The maneuvers immediately before the collision indicated that the performers had not established a clearly understood contract for the revised maneuver," the report says.