NTSB Identification: NYC99LA237.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 25, 1999 in AUBURN, ME
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/30/2000
Aircraft: Pratt DOMINATOR, registration: N4449N
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 practicing a 180 degree turn with 0 airspeed to a downwind condition at 100 feet agl in his homebuilt gyroplane. He had successfully completed the maneuver once, and was attempting it for a second time. During the second attempt, the pilot slowed the gyroplane until reaching approximately 0 airspeed, then applied pedal to execute the turn. The gyroplane entered a rapid descent. The pilot advanced the throttle, and lowered the nose of the gyroplane to gain airspeed. Recognizing the impending impact, the pilot leveled the rotor's tip-path-plane, and the gyroplane impacted the ground level with forward airspeed. The landing gear collapsed, and the rotor contacted the ground on both sides. In addition, the rotor contacted the engine driven propeller, shearing off all three blades. The gyroplane bounced back into the air, and then impacted the ground for a second time. During the second impact, the gyroplane was level, but rolled right after ground contact, and slid 20 to 30 feet on its side before coming to a stop. According to the kit manufacturer, at 0 airspeed the gyroplane would descend at 1,000 to 1,500 feet per minute.

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

The pilot's improper decision to execute a 0 airspeed pedal turn at 100 feet agl.

Full narrative available

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