NTSB Identification: LAX06LA236.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, July 18, 2006 in Hilo, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2007
Aircraft: Hammack Air Command Elite, registration: N6111A
Injuries: 1 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.

The gyrocopter collided with terrain following an in-flight separation of a control system rod. While making a right turn about 500 feet above ground level (agl), the pilot experienced a loss of control and the gyrocopter continued to roll to the right. The pilot attempted to regain control by correcting for the increasing rate of turn and descent of the gyrocopter, but he was not able to. He attempted to perform a forced landing and subsequently collided with terrain adjacent to the destination airport. The gyrocopter was constructed by and regularly maintained by the pilot. A post accident examination of the wreckage revealed that a bolt attaching a control rod in the cyclic system was missing. The bolt and its respective nut were never located. The gyrocopter manual states that during a preflight inspection, the pilot should verify the integrity of the nylon locking nut by twisting it in a counterclockwise direction. If the nut moves during this check, it should be replaced before the gyrocopter is flown.

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

an in-flight separation of a control rod joint assembly, which resulted in the pilot's loss of control. The underlying reason for the separation could not be determined.

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