On February 3, 2005, at approximately 1000 Pacific standard time, a Smuz, RAF 2000 GTX SE, amateur-built gyroplane, N26AV, was substantially damaged when it rolled onto its right side during a hard landing at Pierce County-Thun Field, Puyallup, Washington. The airline transport pilot trainee, the sole occupant in the gyroplane, was not injured. Latah, Inc., was operating the gyroplane under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local, instructional-solo flight, that had originated approximately 15 minutes before the accident. No flight plan had been filed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot said that he had approximately 1,800 hours of flight experience in helicopters, and was a flight instructor for the army. He was adding the gyroplane rating. He had 13 hours of training, and this was his first solo flight. He said that on his third landing, he was performing a power off 180 degree landing. He said that he flared one to two feet higher than planned, and he added a little power to "smooth out" the touchdown. When the power came in, the engine torque rotated the nose of the gyroplane to the right. The right main gear hit the ground, and the aircraft bounced back and fourth on its main landing gear. Subsequently, the gyroplane rolled onto its right side bending its blades, mast, and horizontal and vertical stabilizer.