ERA10CA270
ERA10CA270

According to the pilot, he was taking off from runway 26 on the second of two gyroplane test flights, following tracking adjustments to the main rotor blades. The first test flight was uneventful. During the takeoff roll on the second test flight, a gust of wind raised the gyroplane’s left wheel off the ground. With the rotors not yet up to speed, the pilot corrected with right cyclic to “force the wheel down,” and left pedal to “maintain straight ground track.” However, he “added too much pedal and [the gyroplane began] to swerve erratically on the runway.” The pilot cut engine power, but then the gyroplane encountered a second gust of wind, which resulted in another roll. The advancing main rotor blade struck the ground, “catapulting” the gyroplane off the runway. The gyroplane came to rest on its left side facing opposite the direction of travel, and the pilot sustained serious injuries. The gyroplane’s main rotor blades and empennage were substantially damaged. No mechanical malfunctions or failures were reported by the pilot. The pilot reported winds from 290 degrees true, at 7, gusting to 14 knots.

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