NTSB Identification: ERA13CA122
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, January 29, 2013 in Westminster, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/23/2013
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.

According to the pilot of the gyroplane, he was practicing aborted takeoffs from a field that had power lines near the practice area and performing 180-degree turns to simulate a return to the runway. He successfully completed one practice maneuver, taking off to the south and making a 180-degree turn to the north. During the second practice maneuver, he took off to the north and began a 180-degree turn to the south. The pilot stated that, immediately after making the turn, the sun obscured his vision for several seconds. The gyroplane then struck a power line, and the pilot pushed the cyclic forward to land in the field. Subsequently, the gyroplane impacted the ground hard, which resulted in substantial damage to the airframe. At the time of the accident, the angle of the sun was low and directly in the flightpath during the turn. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the gyroplane that would have precluded normal operation.

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

Impact with power lines due to the pilot’s obscured vision due to the low angle of the sun, which prevented the pilot from seeing the lines.

Full narrative available

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