NTSB Identification: CEN11LA481
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 15, 2011 in Jackson, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/15/2012
Aircraft: Degraw Rhino II, registration: N122DG
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 witness, who was also the owner, builder, and designer of the gyroplane, reported that the gyroplane did a “mild jumpstart,” climbed to about 200 feet above ground level (agl), and was traveling about 20 to 25 mph when the wind changed to the opposite direction. The nose of the gyroplane pitched up, the airspeed dropped to about 5 mph, and the gyroplane yawed to the right about 80 degrees, pitched down, and yawed to the left. The witness reported that the pilot pulled up on the collective. The main rotor blades “started flapping,” and the gyroplane plunged to the ground from about 30 feet agl. It impacted the ground in about a 20-degree-nose-down and 10-degree-left-roll attitude. The witness reported that ballast was not placed in the front seat for the flight, which moved the center or gravity (CG) aft; however, the previous takeoff had been successful. The witness expressed his belief that the slower than normal takeoff speed, the wind reversal, and the aft CG were factors in the accident. He reported that there was no mechanical malfunction or failure of the gyroplane. The examination of the gyroplane revealed no preexisting anomalies to the engine or airframe. The reported surface wind about 10 miles from the accident site was variable at 5 knots.

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

The pilot did not maintain adequate airspeed during the initial climb, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

Full narrative available

Index for Jul2011 | Index of months