NTSB Identification: MIA01LA134.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 21, 2001 in Troy, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/27/2001
Aircraft: David G. Holmes Bensen Gyrocopter, registration: N218DH
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The pilot stated that he performed a power-off approach to the 10th fairway but just before touchdown he elected to fly closer to the club house and pitched the nose up then added power but the engine did not respond. A high sink rate developed resulting in a hard landing. The gyrocopter then began to wobble resulting in main rotor blade contact with the grass fairway. The gyrocopter then rolled over and a postcrash fire damaged one of the main rotor blades, the main rotor pitch change assembly, and the carburetor. He further stated that there was no flight control preimpact failure or malfunction and he believes the engine quit during the approach due to "flooding", as it had happened before. He also stated that he should have added power before pitching up to air taxi.

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

The failure of the pilot to maintain airspeed during the approach resulting in a hard landing. A contributing factor in the accident was the loss of engine power during final approach due to undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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