NTSB Identification: LAX92LA408.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 48061.
Accident occurred Saturday, September 26, 1992 in EUREKA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/14/1993
Aircraft: AIR COMMAND, registration: NONE
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

FAA RECORDS REVEALED THAT NEITHER THE PILOT NOR THE PASSENGER HAD EVER HELD AN AIRMAN OR MEDICAL CERTIFICATE. THE EXPERIMENTAL GYROCOPTER WAS UNLICENSED AND UNREGISTERED. THE PILOT BOUGHT THE AIRCRAFT 20 DAYS PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT AND WAS GIVEN TWO HOURS OF INSTRUCTION BY THE DEALER. AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT HE WAS ESTIMATED TO HAVE FLOWN A TOTAL OF ABOUT 5 HOURS. ON THE DAY OF THE ACCIDENT THE PILOT AND HIS PASSENGER FLEW EARLIER IN THE MORNING TO PRACTICE TOUCH AND GO LANDINGS. ON THE ACCIDENT FLIGHT THEY REPORTEDLY WERE TO CONTINUE THE TOUCH AND GO PATTERN PRACTICE AND TWO SUCCESSFUL TOUCH AND GO'S WERE PERFORMED. ON THE THIRD APPROACH WHILE ON FINAL WITNESSES SAW THE AIRCRAFT SUDDENLY PITCH NOSE DOWN AND DIVE TO GROUND IMPACT ABOUT 100 YARDS FROM THE END OF THE RUNWAY. THE WITNESSES REPORTED HEARING STRONG ENGINE SOUNDS DURING THE FINAL DESCENT TO IMPACT. RESPONDING SHERIFF'S OFFICERS REPORTED DETECTING A STRONG ODOR OF FUEL IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF THE WRECKAGE AND FOUND THE FUEL TANK COMPROMISED. THE DEPUTY NOTED THAT HE EXAMINED THE ENGINE AREA AND OBSERVED 'NOTHING REMARKABLE.' THE MAIN ROTOR BLADES AND THE ENGINE PROPELLER WERE PRESENT AT THE IMPACT SITE.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

THE FAILURE OF THE UNQUALIFIED NON CERTIFICATED PILOT TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE GYROCOPTER. A FACTOR IN THE ACCIDENT WAS THE PILOT'S LACK OF TOTAL EXPERIENCE.

Index for Sep1992 | Index of months