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NTSB Final Report: Granbury, TX

Location:

Granbury, Texas

Accident Number:

CEN23LA386

Date & Time:

August 20, 2023, 08:05 Local

Registration:

N57AR

Aircraft:

Silverlight AR-1

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Defining Event:

Loss of control in flight

Injuries:

1 Serious

Flight Conducted Under:

Part 91: General aviation - Personal

 

 

Analysis

According to two witnesses, the pilot of the gyroplane started his takeoff roll with the rotor in a horizontal position. Both witnesses stated that the gyroplane’s take off roll was longer than usual. When the pilot pitched the rotor up, the gyroplane pitched up, climbed about 30 to 40 ft above the ground, rolled to the left, and subsequently impacted the runway. The left main landing gear separated from the gyroplane after impacting the runway, and the gyroplane departed the runway to the left. The gyroplane came to rest about 1,400 ft from its departure point. The pilot was seriously injured. During the runway excursion, the gyroplane’s rotor impacted the ground resulting in substantial damage to the rotor, horizontal stabilizer, vertical stabilizer, and rudder.

The pilot stated via telephone that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot did not provide an NTSB Form 6120.1 Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report.

According to FAA-H-8083-21 Rotorcraft Flying Handbook, “The normal takeoff for most amateur-built gyroplanes is accomplished by prerotating to sufficient rotor r.p.m. to prevent blade flapping and tilting the rotor back with cyclic control. Using a speed of 20 to 30 m.p.h., allow the rotor to accelerate and begin producing lift. As lift increases, move the cyclic forward to decrease the pitch angle on the rotor disc.” It is likely the pilot did not position the rotor at the appropriate pitch angle to allow the main rotor to reach sufficient takeoff rpm before attempting to takeoff.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot’s improper takeoff procedure which resulted in a loss of control during takeoff.

Findings

Personnel issues: Aircraft control - Pilot

Aircraft: Climb capability - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff                                               Loss of control in flight (Defining event)

Takeoff                                               Abnormal runway contact

Takeoff                                               Landing gear collapse

Takeoff                                               Runway excursion

Takeoff                                               Dragged wing/rotor/float/other

Pilot Information

Certificate:

Private

Age:

72,Male

Airplane Rating(s):

Single-engine land

Seat Occupied:

Unknown

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

None

Restraint Used:

Unknown

Instrument Rating(s):

None

Second Pilot Present:

 

Instructor Rating(s):

None

Toxicology Performed:

 

Medical Certification:

None None

Last FAA Medical Exam:

 

Occupational Pilot:

UNK

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

 

Flight Time:

(Estimated) 260 hours (Total, all aircraft), 30 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

Silverlight

Registration:

N57AR

Model/Series:

AR-1

Aircraft Category:

Helicopter

Year of Manufacture:

2021

Amateur Built:

Yes

Airworthiness Certificate:

Experimental (Special)

Serial Number:

0057

Landing Gear Type:

Tricycle

Seats:

2

Date/Type of Last

 

Certified Max Gross Wt.:

1200 lbs

Inspection:

 

 

 

Time Since Last Inspection:

 

Engines:

1 Reciprocating

Airframe Total Time:

 

Engine Manufacturer:

Rotax

ELT:

 

Engine Model/Series:

912 ULS

Registered Owner:

DRAPER ALAN C

Rated Power:

 

Operator:

On file

Operating Certificate(s)

None

 

 

Held:

 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual (VMC)

Condition of Light:

Day

Observation Facility, Elevation:

KGDJ,778 ft msl

Distance from Accident Site:

9 Nautical Miles

Observation Time:

07:55 Local

Direction from Accident Site:

307°

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Clear

Visibility

10 miles

Lowest Ceiling:

None

Visibility (RVR):

 

Wind Speed/Gusts:

/

Turbulence Type

None / None

 

 

Forecast/Actual:

 

Wind Direction:

 

Turbulence Severity

N/A / N/A

 

 

Forecast/Actual:

 

Altimeter Setting:

30.07 inches Hg

Temperature/Dew Point:

27°C / 16°C

Precipitation and Obscuration:

No Obscuration; No Precipitation

 

Departure Point:

Granbury, TX

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

 

Destination:

 

Type of Clearance:

None

Departure Time:

 

Type of Airspace:

Class G

Airport Information

Airport:

PECAN PLANTATION 0TX1

Runway Surface Type:

Asphalt

Airport Elevation:

712 ft msl

Runway Surface Condition:

 

Runway Used:

1/19

IFR Approach:

None

Runway Length/Width:

3616 ft / 50 ft

VFR Approach/Landing:

 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 Serious

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Passenger

N/A

Aircraft Fire:

None

Injuries:

 

 

 

Ground Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

1 Serious

Latitude,

32.353689,-97.67615

 

 

Longitude:

 

Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Rutt, Brian

Additional Participating

Gary Watson; FAA North Texas FSDO

Persons:

 

 

Original Publish Date:

January 10, 2024

Investigation Class:

Class 4

Note:

The NTSB did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Investigation Docket:

https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket?ProjectID=192960

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Created 94 days ago
by Admin

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