CEN14TA116
CEN14TA116

On January 16, 2014, about 1140 central standard time, an AutoGyro MTOsport gyroplane, N250TX, sustained substantial damage during landing roll when it veered off the runway and rolled over after its main rotor struck the runway at the David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport (DWH), Spring, Texas. The pilot and one passenger received minor injuries. The gyroplane was registered to and operated by the City of Tomball, Texas, as a public use aircraft. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The gyroplane departed DWH at 1030 on a local flight.

The pilot stated that the control tower reported the wind was 210 degrees at 11 knots gusting to 19 knots as he attempted to land on runway 17L (3,987 feet by 35 feet, asphalt). He performed a go-around due to the wind gusts blowing the gyrocopter off course, and he was cleared to land on runway 17R (7,009 feet by 100 feet, asphalt).

The pilot reported a quartering crosswind as he flew the approach to 17R; however, he landed the gyroplane without incident. He reported that as he was reaching forward to change the pneumatic mode selector button from "Flight" to "Brake," a strong gust of wind from the west lifted the gyrocopter. The right wheel came off the ground allowing the main rotor blade to strike the runway surface. The pilot attempted to straighten the gyroplane, but it veered off the runway and rolled onto its right side, resulting in substantial damage to the empennage and main rotor. The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the gyroplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The flight manual for the gyroplane state that the maximum crosswind component for take-off and landings is 20 knots. The maximum tailwind component for take-off and landing is 5 knots. The maximum wind speed or gust intensity is 40 knots. The calculated crosswind component during the landing was about 10 knots.

The flight manual for the gyroplane lists the following "After Landing" procedures:

1. Control stick full forward to level-off rotor disc, at latest when rotor speed leaves green arc! Be prepared for reduced rotor drag!

2. Use lateral control into wind to maintain rotor disc in level attitude. Adjust lateral control input as rotor speed decays.

3. Bring pneumatic mode selector to BRAKE position and return to wheel brake with left hand.


4. Apply rotor brake pressure by using AFT TRIM. Monitor pressure gauge.

5. Taxi carefully, preferably not above walking speed and mind high center of gravity when taking turns.

6. Do not vacate gyroplane until engine and rotor is at a complete stop.

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