NTSB Identification: FTW01LA086.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 25, 2001 in Olney, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/27/2001
Aircraft: Cartercopters Cartercopter, registration: N121CC
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

A design change was made to the main rotor pitch system of the experimental prototype gyroplane prior to the accident flight. The change incorporated an increase to the main rotor pitch with the collective in the down position. The flight was to takeoff from the runway, climb to 50 feet, fly along the runway, and land on the departure end of the runway. After lift off from the runway, about 5 feet, "a severe out of track condition" was noted and the fuselage rolled left. The pilot immediately reduced the throttle to abort the takeoff and attempted to level the aircraft. In order to level the aircraft prior to touchdown, the pilot had to increase the collective to keep the aircraft airborne until the roll could be corrected. The airspeed had increased to 60 mph, "which was too high [an] airspeed for the collective position and rotor rpm." The rotor exceeded the flapping limits and struck the tail and pusher propeller on landing. The pilot stated that the accident could have been prevented by "improved and more visible rotor rpm and blade flapping indication."

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

the pilot's failure to maintain rotor rpm, which resuted in the main rotor contacting the tail during landing.

Full narrative available

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