NTSB Identification: FTW99FA256.
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Accident occurred Sunday, September 12, 1999 in CONROE, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/06/2001
Aircraft: SPAGNOLETTI AIR COMMAND 582, registration: N813AC
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During the takeoff/initial climb at 250 feet agl, the gyroplane was observed in a nose high attitude, banked right, when the main rotor blade at the 6 o'clock position appeared to stop moving and the main rotor blade at the 12 o'clock position appeared to fold back on itself. The gyroplane, under full power, nose dived onto a taxiway and continued into the adjacent grassy area before coming to rest. Prior to the accident flight, the builder/owner found no discrepancies with the gyroplane during his preflight and flight. He further stated that the 'gyroplane was 100 percent perfect for flight.' The builder/owner stated that the accident pilot 'unloaded the blades, the blades flapped, and with the engine at full power, the gyroplane entered a somersault.' Examination of the main rotor blades and hub revealed damage consistent with severe instability in the main rotor system. The pilot had accumulated 10 hours in gyroplanes and had not flown the accident gyroplane in a year.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during the takeoff/initial climb. A factor was the pilot's lack of recent experience in the type of aircraft.

Full narrative available

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