SEA01LA107
SEA01LA107

On May 30, 2001, approximately 0800 mountain daylight time, an experimental Herriford RAF 2000 gyrocopter, N2361S, collided with the terrain during an attempted takeoff at Gardiner Airport, Gardiner, Montana. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured, but the aircraft, which was owned and operated by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The local 14 CFR Part 91 recreational flight was taking place in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan had been filed.

According to the pilot, he inadvertently allowed the gyrocopter to remain on the ground too long during the takeoff roll by applying excessive forward cyclic. Because it was accelerating, the aircraft reached a speed greater than that at which it should have lifted off. When the pilot realized the aircraft's speed was such that it should have already lifted off, he rotated too rapidly, stalling the main rotor blades. The blades immediately flexed downwards, impacting the ground and severing the aircraft's tail.

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