NTSB Identification: CEN13LA147
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, January 28, 2013 in Gainsville, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/24/2014
Aircraft: WEBB WEBB 2, registration: N4844W
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 pilot was performing initial high-speed taxi tests of his experimental amateur-built gyroplane when it inadvertently became airborne. The pilot then initiated a climb above the runway and continued to fly the airplane to return for landing on the departure runway, which was contrary to the test plan. He did not want to fly past the airport boundary nor any of the hangars on the southeast side of the runway, so he initiated a left turn to crosswind. The gyroplane lost altitude faster than the pilot anticipated and became “low, slow, and behind the power curve” at too low of an altitude to recover. The lower tailboom touched down in a hard landing, which deformed the rudder and tailboom. The rotor was damaged when it contacted the ground.
The pilot stated that the accident could have been prevented if he had followed the test plan and landed that gyroplane when it first lifted off. The pilot also stated that a lack of experience in the make and model gyroplane contributed to the accident.

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

The pilot’s failure to follow his test plan and abort the takeoff after inadvertently lifting off during a high speed taxi test. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s lack of flight experience in the gyroplane.

Full narrative available

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