NTSB Identification: ERA12CA124
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, December 26, 2011 in Simsbury, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/27/2012
Aircraft: CHAPEL ROBERT B AERIAL, registration: N435AB
Injuries: 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.
During run-up, high-speed taxi, and pre-spin of the rotor, the pilot/owner noted no anomalies with the recently certificated experimental amateur-built gyroplane. Although the pilot/owner was not rated in rotorcraft, he had a student endorsement that limited his flights to in-ground-effect only and with no more than 10 knots of wind. The pilot chose to perform a normal takeoff with a 14-knot tailwind that gusted to 24 knots. At 200 feet above the runway, the pilot determined that the rotor rpm was decaying and that the gyroplane would not climb due to the tailwind. He performed a forced landing off the departure end of the runway, and the gyroplane came to rest on its side, which resulted in substantial damage to the airframe. The pilot/owner reported that there were no mechanical deficiencies with the gyroplane.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's decision to operate the gyroplane outside his endorsement limitations and to depart with a tailwind, which resulted in a forced landing to unsuitable terrain. Full narrative available
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