On December 13, 2000, at 1700 central standard time, a Cartercopter Model-1 experimental prototype gyroplane, N121CC, registered to and operated by Cartercopter LLC of Wichita Falls, Texas, was substantially damaged during landing on runway 22 at the Olney Municipal Airport near Olney, Texas. The commercial pilot and his pilot rated passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 local test flight. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot reported that he was performing a short test flight from one end of the runway to the other end. After a low level, low airspeed, flight down the runway centerline, the pilot executed a run-on landing at 30 MPH about 300 feet from the departure end of the runway. The aircraft slowed to about 20 MPH as it rolled off of the runway surface, and onto a muddy field. Subsequently, the nose landing gear collapsed, allowing a 4-foot x 4-foot long section of nose boom to dig into the mud. The aircraft then pitched down about the nose as the main rotor impacted the ground. After main rotor impact, the aircraft rolled to the right, and the right wing impacted the ground.
Examination of the wreckage revealed structural damage to the right wing, rudder, and main rotor. Skid marks, found about 150 feet forward of the original touch down point, and correlating to the aircraft's landing gear/tires, were observed on the runway.
The operator, who is the designer and manufacturer of the prototype, reported that he was monitoring the entire flight with on board parameter recording devices. He stated that the pilot "failed to lower the collective after landing and so there was not enough weight on the wheels for the brakes to be effective."