NTSB Identification: CHI08CA131.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 09, 2008 in Dickinson, ND
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2008
Aircraft: Kuntz Kuntz 2000 GTS EFI, registration: N610RD
Injuries: 1 Minor.
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 pilot reported that the ground visibility was about 4 miles at the time of his departure. The intended destination was the pilot's farm, located about 17 miles northwest of the departure airport. While en route, about 2 miles from the intended destination, the airplane encountered fog and the pilot decided to return to the departure airport. The pilot stated that he "lost direction" and performed a precautionary landing in a field. During the landing rollout the gyrocopter impacted a fence and nosed over. The vertical fin, rudder, horizontal stabilizer, rotor head, rotor blades, and propeller were damaged. The weather conditions at the departure airport were visibility 4 miles with mist, broken ceiling at 200 feet above ground level (agl), overcast ceiling at 2,800 feet agl, temperature 4 degrees Celsius, and dew point 3 degrees Celsius. The accident occurred at night, about 12 minutes after civil twilight had ended. The pilot noted that the accident could have been prevented if he had called a neighbor prior to departure to determine what the actual weather conditions were near his intended destination.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's inadequate preflight weather evaluation and the unsuitable terrain encountered during the precautionary landing at night. Contributing to the accident was the pilot becoming lost after inadvertently encountering fog while en route, the night lighting conditions, and the fence that the gyrocopter impacted during the landing rollout.
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