NTSB Identification: NYC88DNE01.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44489.
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 04, 1987 in MERIDEN, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/10/1992
Aircraft: LAMB COMMANDER ELITE, registration: N501JL
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

SEVERAL WITNESSES OBSERVED THE PILOT PERFORMING REPEATED LOW LEVEL 'FAST TAXI' MANEUVERS IN HIS HOMEBUILT GYROCOPTER. THEY STATED THAT THE PILOT HOVER-TAXIED PARALLEL TO THE RUNWAY AT AN ESTIMATED 4 TO 5 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND. WITNESSES STATED THAT 'HE SEEMED TO BE HAVING TROUBLE...HE WOULD STOP, UNBUCKLE AND EXAMINE THE ROTOR HEAD, MAKE SOME ADJUSTMENTS...GET BACK IN AND TAXI (AGAIN).' DURING THE LAST ATTEMPT TO FAST TAXI, THE GYROCOPTER WAS OBSERVED FLYING AT ABOUT 5 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND, 'THEN WENT UP INTO THE AIR APPROXIMATELY 50 FEET, BUT IT WAS VERY ERRATIC...IT THEN DIVED...INTO THE GROUND.' ANOTHER WITNESS STATED THAT THE AIRCRAFT SWAYED FROM SIDE TO SIDE BEFORE IT 'PLUNGED TOWARDS THE GROUND AND CRASHED.' INSPECTION OF ENGINE AND AIRFRAME DID NOT SHOW ANY EVIDENCE OF A MALFUNCTION.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE HOMEBUILT GYROCOPTER WHILE PREFORMING LOW LEVEL 'FAST TAXI' MANEUVERS.

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