NTSB Identification: LAX07CA262.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 01, 2007 in Mesa, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2007
Aircraft: Wessel Vortex, registration: N546SW
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The gyrocopter collided with high vegetation and rough terrain during a forced autorotation following the in-flight separation of a propeller blade. The pilot reported that the muffler's mounting strap broke during cruise flight, which caused one composite pusher propeller blade to separate. The pilot autorotated to a forced landing in a ravine. During touchdown the gyrocopter rolled over upon impacting 5-foot-high bushes.

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

Failure of the muffler's mounting strap and subsequent loss of engine power due to propeller blade separation during cruise flight. A contributing factor was the unsuitable terrain for a forced landing.

Full narrative available

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