NTSB Identification: NYC99LA115.
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Accident occurred Thursday, May 20, 1999 in BLOOMSBURG, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/10/2000
Aircraft: Hammond TWINSTAR GYROPLANE, registration: N6364H
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot was attempting a takeoff in his gyroplane when the rotor rpm decreased. The pilot continued the takeoff roll to try to increase the rotor rpm. However, the rotor blades began flapping, and finally struck the ground to the left of the gyroplane, causing it to roll over to the left. Winds at the time were from the left, about 90 degrees, at 7 to 10 knots, with reported gusts in the area. The private pilot had 87 hours of flight time in model. He was rated in airplane category aircraft, but not in rotorcraft category aircraft. According to 49 CFR Part 61.31(k)(2)(i), a rotorcraft category rating and the gyroplane class rating were not required, even though a passenger was onboard, since the gyroplane was not type-certificated. In addition, the operating limitations for the gyroplane did not require the pilot to have an appropriate category or class rating, as well.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain sufficient takeoff rpm. Factors included crosswind gusts, and the FAA's lack of category and class rating requirements for pilots flying non-type-certificated experimental aircraft. Full narrative available
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