NTSB Identification: FTW02LA180.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 13, 2002 in Bastrop, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/06/2002
Aircraft: Frennance Twinstar, registration: N711FS
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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

While returning to the airport, the gyroplane started losing altitude and impacted trees approximately 1/2 mile from the airport's only runway. The pilot reported that due to a concussion, he does not recall the events surrounding the accident. The passenger reported that he recalled that they flew over town, were en route back to the airport, and could see the airport when the gyroplane started to lose altitude. As the gyroplane neared the trees, he heard the engine noise increase. Subsequently, the gyroplane impacted trees and came to rest upright. The passenger added that as he exited the gyroplane, fuel was leaking on him. A witness heard the engine at full throttle, heard the rotor blades impact trees, and then the engine noise stopped; however, the witness did not make visual contact with the gyroplane. The pilot held an airline transport certificate, a commercial pilot certificate, and a flight instructor certificate with various airplane ratings; however, he did not hold a rotorcraft-gyroplane category and class rating. The pilot was unaware that he was required to obtain this category and class rating. At the time of the accident, the pilot had accumulated a total of 3.0 hours in gyroplanes.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain altitude for an undetermined reason, which resulted in an in-flight collision with trees.

Full narrative available

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