NTSB Identification: CEN11LA591
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 20, 2011 in Delaware, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/15/2012
Aircraft: American Autogyro Sparrowhawk, registration: N2631B
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 noncertificated pilot stated that, during initial climb about 20 to 30 feet above the ground, he noticed that the gyroplane's airspeed was lower than intended and that the gyroplane began to drift to the right. He attempted to increase airspeed by lowering pitch, but the gyroplane landed hard and rolled over onto its side. A witness reported seeing the gyroplane in a steep ascent after liftoff before it entered a descending right turn. A postaccident examination did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation of the gyroplane. Rotational damage sustained to the propeller blades was consistent with engine operation at the time of impact. The pilot reported that he had been receiving instruction toward a pilot certificate but had not obtained a student pilot certificate. He further noted that, although he had a pilot-rated passenger onboard, he was still acting as pilot-in-command and was flying the gyroplane when the accident occurred.

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

The noncertificated pilot did not maintain adequate airspeed and aircraft control during initial climb.

Full narrative available

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