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On October 4, 2000, at 1845 eastern daylight time, a Moseler RAF 2000 GTX SE Gyroplane, N1187Z, owned and operated by a private pilot was destroyed on impact with terrain and a post crash fire near Muskegon, Michigan. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was not on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The flight originated from the Muskegon County Airport, Muskegon, Michigan at 1828 and was en route to the pilot's private airstrip in Muskegon Michigan.
The aircraft builder/pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rotorcraft-gyroplane rating. He held a repairman certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the accident aircraft. The pilot also held a third class aviation medical certificate issued on June 20, 2000.
No pilot logbooks were recovered.
The weather reporting station located at the Muskegon County Airport, Muskegon, Michigan reported the weather at 1845 as:
Wind direction 340 degrees Wind Speed 8 knots Visibility 10 statute miles Sky Condition clear Temperature 12 degrees Celsius Dewpoint 5 degrees Celsius Altimeter Setting 30.08 inches of mercury
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The aircraft was an amateur-built enclosed-cabin gyroplane. A converted Subaru automobile engine of undetermined horsepower powered it. No aircraft logbooks were recovered.
FAA inspectors conducted an on-scene examination of the wreckage. The vertical stabilizer of the aircraft was found about 1 mile from the main wreckage site. There was evidence of a main rotor strike to the vertical stabilizer. The pre-rotator drive belts for the rotor system were found about 300 feet from the main wreckage. The tail boom was located about 75 feet from the main wreckage. A post-impact fire extensively damaged the main wreckage. No anomalies could be found that could be associated with a preexisting condition.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Sparrow Regional Laboratories, Lansing, Michigan, performed an autopsy of the pilot on October 05, 2000.
A Final Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report prepared by the FAA listed the following findings:
19(mg/dL, mg/hg) ETHANOL detected in muscle
The report states, "The ethanol found in this case is from postmortem ethanol formation and not from the ingestion of ethanol."