NTSB Identification: NYC02LA049.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, January 22, 2002 in Danville, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2002
Aircraft: Stiles Choctaw, registration: N97CS
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Shortly after takeoff, a steady stream of dark gray smoke was seen emanating from the homebuilt gyrocopter. The gyrocopter then turned left, climbed, and appeared to be returning to the airport. However, it impacted a field about 1 mile south of the airport. An FAA inspector examined the engine. When he attempted to rotate the crankshaft by hand, a metal binding was heard. Further examination of the engine revealed that a connecting rod bearing had seized in the number one cylinder. The non-certificated engine had been removed from an automobile, and installed on the gyrocopter by the pilot.

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

Failure of a connecting rod bearing, which resulted in a loss of engine power during climb.

Full narrative available

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