On June 14, 1998, at 2006 central daylight time, a Moore B-8MJ gyroplane, N4874X, registered to and operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged when it collided with a hangar at the Pauls Valley Municipal Airport, Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. The non-certificated pilot, sole occupant, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 local test flight. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the prospective buyer of the gyroplane, the pilot was performing a test flight, which was part of a purchasing agreement.
Witnesses reported that they observed the pilot flying the aircraft around the airport at a "low altitude" for about 30-35 minutes, and then land. The pilot made adjustments to the rotor head trim and then took off again. The witnesses further reported that the pilot "did a lot of very low flying between hangars, [and] never got over 15-20 feet high."
During this second flight, the airport manager informed the witnesses (one witness was the prospective buyer) that the pilot must "comply with FAA regulations and fly the traffic pattern." The witnesses agreed to talk to the pilot when he landed.
A witness reported that the pilot "made another low pass over Paul and I, which was close to the north end of a hangar." The pilot "then flew down the NW runway and to the west, [and] we could not see him at this time."
The witnesses reported that when the aircraft came back from the west, it was about 10 to 12 feet agl. As the aircraft came around the hangar, a rotor blade struck the hangar door support, separating the rotor blade from the aircraft. The gyroplane came to rest inverted.
According to FAA records, the 51-year-old pilot did not possess a pilot or medical certificate. The gryroplane was registered with the FAA on June 14, 1984, by the original builder. The builder sold the aircraft to another individual. There were conflicting reports on who owned the aircraft at the time of the accident, and attempts to identify the owner were unsuccessful.
An autopsy was performed by Chai S. Choi, M.D., Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. There was no evidence found of any preexisting medical problems/issues that could have contributed to the accident.
Toxicology findings were positive for Lidocaine; however, according to Dr. Canfield, Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI), "the Lidocaine detected in blood was most likely administered as part of emergency treatment after the accident."
The pilot was wearing a helmet; however, the strap did not have a buckle.