NTSB Identification: FTW00LA045.
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Accident occurred Thursday, December 16, 1999 in OLNEY, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/06/2001
Aircraft: Cartercopters CARTERCOPTER, registration: N121CC
Injuries: 2 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.

For the first test flight of the day, the gyroplane's rotor was pre-rotated to 450 rpm, instead of the normal 550 rpm. As the takeoff was initiated, the collective was raised in a 'normal' manner and liftoff was accomplished. According to the pilot, 'within a few seconds into the climb, the control forces began to build, and stick shake began.' The pilot had to use both hands to apply forward cyclic pressure to 'counter' the nose pitching up. The pilot stated that he momentarily removed one hand from the cyclic to reduce power [collective]. At this time, the nose pitched up and power was reapplied to cushion the touchdown. The pilot reported that, 'application of power was not smooth and resulted in a hard landing, causing the blades to hit the rudders.' The pilot reported that after reviewing the flight data, it 'became apparent that had the collective been lowered shortly after liftoff, the rotor RPM would not have dissipated so rapidly, causing the high control forces and blade flapping.'

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

The pilot's failure to maintain rotor rpm during takeoff, which resulted in a hard landing following the aborted takeoff.

Full narrative available

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