NTSB Identification: LAX89LA320.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39615.
Accident occurred Friday, September 22, 1989 in PALO ALTO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1991
Aircraft: AIR & SPACE 18A, registration: N6101S
Injuries: 1 Minor,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 CERTIFIED FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR (CFI) REPORTED THAT HIS STUDENT HAD JUST ATTEMPTED A TAKE OFF AT PALO ALTO AIRPORT ON RUNWAY 30. THE STUDENT WAS UNABLE TO MAINTAIN DIRECTIONAL CONTROL, AND THE GYROPLANE WENT OFF THE RUNWAY ONTO A NEARBY SERVICE ROAD WITHOUT BECOMING AIRBORNE. THE INSTRUCTOR THEN DECIDED TO MAKE THE TAKE OFF HIMSELF FROM THE SERVICE ROAD. HE SAID THAT HE ACCELERATED THE ROTOR SPEED TO 350 RPM BEFORE DEPRESSING THE TAKE OFF BUTTON, & ONCE THE TAKE OFF BUTTON WAS DEPRESSED, THE GYROPLANE BECAME AIRBORNE. REPORTEDLY IT REACHED AN ALTITUDE OF TWO TO THREE FEET, THEN SETTLED BACK TO THE GROUND & ENTERED GROUND RESONANCE. THE INSTRUCTOR SAID HE WAS UNABLE TO MAINTAIN CONTROL, AND THAT THEY WERE THEN 'ALONG FOR THE RIDE.'

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

IMPROPER PLANNING/DECISION BY THE INSTRUCTOR PILOT (CFI), WHICH RESULTED IN A LOSS OF CONTROL AS THE GYROPLANE WENT INTO GROUND RESONANCE.

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