NTSB Identification: ATL93LA007
Accident occurred Saturday, October 10, 1992 in HOLLY RIDGE, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/14/1993
Aircraft: BENSEN B-8M, registration: N3777R
Injuries: 1 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.

ACCORDING TO THE PILOT'S FATHER, THE PURPOSE OF THE OPERATION WAS TO TEST AND BECOME FAMILIAR WITH THE GYROCOPTER'S FLIGHT CHARACTERISTICS AFTER THE MAIN ROTOR SYSTEM WAS INSTALLED. THE PILOT'S FATHER FOLLOWED THE AIRCRAFT ON THE LONG RUNWAY AND OBSERVED THE GROUND TEST AS THE PILOT MADE SEVERAL TOUCH AND GO TYPE MANEUVERS. AS HE APPROACHED THE END OF THE RUNWAY, THE PILOT ELECTED TO CONTINUE, AND THE AIRCRAFT BECAME AIRBORNE. THE AIRCRAFT INITIALLY CLIMBED OVER THE TREE LINE ON THE DEPARTURE END OF THE RUNWAY AND WAS LAST SEEN DESCENDING BELOW THE TREE TOPS. THE WRECKAGE EXAMINATION FAILED TO DISCLOSE A MECHANICAL PROBLEM WITH THE AIRCRAFT. THE PILOT HAD 917 HOURS OF HELICOPTER FLIGHT TIME, BUT THERE WAS NO RECORD OF GYROCOPTER FLIGHT TIME.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO OPERATE THE FLIGHT CONTROLS PROPERLY.

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