NTSB Identification: WPR09CA232
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 09, 2009 in South Prairie, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/2009
Aircraft: ATKINS JOHN RAF 2000 G, registration: N1435X
Injuries: 1 Minor,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 pilot reported that during takeoff initial climb from the uncontrolled airport, at 50 feet above ground level, he heard the sound of an airplane coming towards him from the left and saw a shadow of the airplane on the ground merging with his, and initiated an abrupt turn of 90 degrees to the right to avoid a collision. Upon completion of the turn, the pilot noticed that he had lost a significant amount of airspeed and was heading toward a residential structure. The pilot initiated a second turn to the right to miss the house and attempted to regain airspeed. Subsequently, the gyroplane impacted terrain adjacent to the runway. The pilot reported no mechanical anomalies with the flight control system or engine prior to the accident. A witness located adjacent to the accident site reported that another aircraft was apparently making a high-speed pass over the runway and overflew the gyroplane as it was taking off.

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

The pilot's abrupt maneuver to avoid a collision that resulted in an airspeed reduction and subsequent loss of lift provided by the rotor system. Contributing to the accident was the failure of both pilots to maintain an adequate visual lookout for other aircraft in the traffic pattern.

Full narrative available

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