NTSB Identification: CEN10LA442
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 27, 2010 in Tell City, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2012
Aircraft: Lunceford Sparrowhawk II, registration: N91814
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 experimental amateur-built gyroplane was maneuvering in the traffic pattern when it descended into a heavily wooded area adjacent to the airport. There were no eyewitnesses to the final moments of the flight; however, several individuals reported hearing a sudden decrease in engine noise immediately before ground impact. There was limited damage to the dense overhead foliage at the accident site, consistent with a near-vertical descent path. The entire gyroplane was extensively damaged during a postaccident ground fire, which precluded the determination of any potential preimpact engine or flight control system malfunctions. Although the leading edge of the main rotor blades did not exhibit any appreciable impact damage, the damage to the engine propeller blades and nearby tree branches was consistent with engine rotation as the gyroplane descended vertically through the trees. The gyroplane's near-vertical descent through the trees and the minimal damage to the main rotor system was consistent with an aerodynamic stall.

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

The pilot's loss of control of the gyroplane for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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