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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: ERA15CA121
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 04, 2015 in Crozet, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/11/2015
Aircraft: AUTOGYRO GMBH CALIDUS, registration: N595X
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After departing from the airport where the pilot kept the gyroplane, he flew to his family farm and landed without incident on a 1,500-foot-long grass polo field. Later on, during an attempted takeoff from the same field, when the gyroplane was traveling at 25 to 30 knots and was about 150 feet into the takeoff roll, the gyroplane rose to a balanced position on its main wheels, but then began to bounce up and down violently. The pilot then lost control of the gyroplane and it rolled over on its left side about 300 feet into the takeoff roll. The pilot advised that there was nothing mechanically wrong with the gyroplane. He further advised that it was "pilot error" and that he had "over advanced" the blades by pushing the control stick too far forward and that the blades were not yet at speed (too low a rotor rpm) when he did it. The pilot was not injured, but the gyroplane incurred damage to the rotor blades, the pusher propeller, the horizontal stabilizer, the vertical stabilizer, the rudder, the engine cowling, and the wheel pants.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's improper control inputs which resulted in a loss of control and rollover during the takeoff roll.