On April 10, 1996, about 1715 eastern daylight time, a Snowbird gyroplane, N7047J, registered to a private owner, operating as a 14 CFR Part 91, personal, local flight, and crashed in the vicinity of Okeechobee, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The gyroplane was destroyed, and the commercial pilot and one passenger were fatally injured.

The pilot had been experiencing vibrations in the gyroplane. The passenger, a mechanic, went with the pilot on this flight to help determine the cause of the vibration. The flight was at a cruise altitude of about 900 feet above the ground, when the gyroplane was observed in a vertical descent until it impacted the ground.

Examination of the wreckage revealed that the main rotor, control connecting rod, was broken at the rotor gear. Further examination revealed that the rear roll/pitch anchor point bolt, for the control stick, had worked loose, and rendered the control stick unusable.

An autopsy was performed on the pilot, on, April 11, 1996, at the Medical Examiner's Office, in Fort Pierce, Florida, by Dr. Frederick P. Hobin.

Toxicological tests were conducted at the Medical Examiner's Office, in Fort Pierce, Florida, and revealed "no drugs or alcohol."

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