On June 12, 1994, at 0950 eastern daylight time, an unregistered home built Falen Commander 503 gyroplane impacted terrain in Georgetown, Ohio, during an uncontrolled descent. The gyroplane was destroyed. The non-certificated pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The local flight departed from the Brown County Airport in Georgetown about 0915 and was conducted under 14 CFR 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to an FAA aviation safety inspector from Cincinnati, Ohio, the gyroplane approached the airport from the southeast and entered a right-hand base leg for a final approach to runway 35. According to several witnesses, the gyroplane suddenly entered a dive. One witness stated that he heard the gyroplane flying overhead; when he looked up, he saw it "... coming straight down out of the sky." Another witness stated that he thought the gyroplane would "... pull out and go back up." Instead, the gyroplane "... came down fast and hit the ground." This witness also stated "... the engine seemed to be running okay, because I could hear it before the crash." Another witness stated the gyroplane "... sounded like an aircraft going into a dive." The gyroplane impacted the level terrain about 1/4 mile from the approach threshold of runway 35.
According to FAA records, the pilot had never held an FAA airman certificate or medical certificate. A review of the pilot's logbook indicated that he had accumulated about 8 hours of flight time, all in type.
A review of the gyroplane's maintenance records revealed that it had been built by the pilot and first flown about one year prior to the accident. According to the records, the engine, a Rotax 503, and the airframe had accumulated about 8 hours of operation prior to the accident.
An examination of the wreckage was conducted by the FAA inspector at the accident site; his report is attached. According to the inspector, all aircraft components were accounted for within a 63-foot radius of the impact site. There was no evidence of fire. Fuel was found in the fuel lines and carburetors. Verification of flight control continuity was impossible due to impact damage.
According to the FAA inspector:
All three pusher prop blades were located. One was found to have separated from the shaft, one still totally intact but separated from the hub. The third was still attached to the hub and engine but badly damaged at the prop tip.
The propeller was made of a composite material. According to the FAA inspector's wreckage diagram (attached), pieces from the pusher propeller were found 15 feet from the engine.
An autopsy was performed on the pilot by Dr. David A. McMaken, M.D., of the Montgomery County Coroner's Office, Dayton, Ohio, on June 13, 1994. A toxicological analysis (attached) was performed on specimens taken from the pilot by the Montgomery County Coroner's Office.