NTSB Identification: CHI05LA163.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 04, 2005 in Gladwin, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2006
Aircraft: Becker RAF 2000, registration: N481KB
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.
The amateur built gyrocopter collided with the terrain following a loss of control while on the downwind leg of a traffic pattern. The accident occurred on the third traffic circuit of the flight. A witness reported seeing the gyrocopter in a tight traffic pattern at an altitude of about 150 feet above the ground. He stated the gyrocopter then entered a 25 to 30 degree nose down attitude which it maintained for 3 to 4 seconds prior to entering a 45 degree nose down attitude. The witness stated the gyrocopter lost about one-third of its altitude prior to the main rotor blades folding up and over the gyrocopter, possibly striking the propeller blades. He stated the nose of the gyrocopter then rose and it flipped over backwards. He stated the gyrocopter spun backward and sideways until it impacted the ground. The accident occurred during the pilot's first solo flight in the gyrocopter. Inspection of the wreckage did not reveal any mechanical failure/malfunction which would have resulted in the loss of control.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain control of the gyrocopter while in the traffic pattern. A factor associated with the accident was the pilot's lack of gyrocopter experience. Full narrative available
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