NTSB Identification: NYC01LA108.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 27, 2001 in Watertown, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/17/2001
Aircraft: Bensen Aircraft Corp. Gyroplane, registration: N8184
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

The owner and pilot transported the homebuilt gyroplane to the practice area. The pilot preflighted the gyroplane, started the engine, and then taxied to an open field to conduct some taxi work for about an hour. Once comfortable with the taxi characteristics of the gyroplane, the pilot did about 20 short flights. The flights were straight ahead and approximately 2 feet in altitude. The pilot then reported to the owner that he was happy with the gyroplane's performance, and was going to attempt some longer flights. On the first flight, the gyroplane reached an altitude of about 4 feet, and traveled approximately 100 yards straight ahead. The gyroplane touched down, made a left turn, and then taxied back for another flight. On the second flight, the gyroplane reached an altitude of about 4 feet, but after traveling approximately 100 yards, it entered a left bank. The main-rotor contacted the ground, the pilot was ejected, and the gyroplane came to rest. During the examination of the wreckage, flight control continuity was confirmed. The pilot had no prior rotorcraft experience. In addition, he did not have a rotorcraft rating, nor was he required to.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control. A factor in the accident was the pilot's lack of experience in rotary wing aircraft.

Full narrative available

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