NTSB Identification: CEN09CA504
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 05, 2009 in Mentone, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/19/2009
Aircraft: VANDERHOOF STEVE AIR COMMAN, registration: N8099P
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 local airport was hosting an annual rotorcraft convention. Prior to the flight, the pilot had participated in the pilot's briefing and had been cleared to fly at the event. After flying to a nearby airport for lunch, the pilot was returning to the airport hosting the convention when the accident occurred. The pilot had entered a left hand traffic pattern for landing on runway 36. The air boss cleared the pilot to land and the pilot noticed "there was a lot of other aircraft activity." The pilot elected to extend his intended landing spot "past the majority of the aircraft... ." The pilot reported that "I hit the runway very hard and bounced on one wheel which veered me to the right in the direction of the east grass beside the runway. I was still going to be OK and continued to try and land. Then I was in the slow speed where the nose wheel is not on the ground yet and you are not able to steer and the rudder is becoming ineffective because of the slow airspeed and forward speed. I saw a [unoccupied] gyro parked close to the edge of the runway and it looked like I would clear it by a small margin. I powered up to put some airflow across the rudder in effort to steer clear of the gyro. I thought I had it made and then our rotors impacted and locked together. It flipped me over and dragged [the] gyro with mine." Examination of the accident gyrocraft revealed the main rotor blades were destroyed. No mechanical anomalies were noted with the accident gyrocraft.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during the landing and subsequent impact with a parked aircraft.

Full narrative available

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