Saturday, September 3, 2016

Bensen B-8M: Fatal accident occurred September 03, 2016 near Saline County Regional Airport (KSUZ), Arkansas

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Aviation Accident Factual Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items -  National Transportation Safety Board:   http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA347 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 03, 2016 in Bryant, AR
Aircraft: Haggenmacher Bensen, registration: NONE
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 3, 2016, about 1500 central daylight time (CDT), a Benson B-8M gyroplane, no registration number, impacted terrain about ¼ mile from the Saline County Airport (SUZ), Bryant, Arkansas. The pilot, the sole occupant on board, was fatally injured. The gyroplane was destroyed. The gyroplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from SUZ moments before the accident.

In a telephone interview with the investigating Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, a witness, an experienced gyroplane pilot, stated that the accident pilot did a high speed flyby heading south and was turning east onto a left base leg for runway 2 when it began to "porpoise." It pitched up, nosed over, and entered a "power push-over" attitude, summersaulted, and impacted terrain.

The witness stated that the pilot had not flown for some time and lacked sufficient proficiency and skills to operate a gyroplane of this type. The witness said the pilot was inexperienced, low time, and was not rated in the gyroplane. He said the pilot had a "macho attitude" and could not be told anything. He said most of the gyroplane pilots had landed because of air turbulence in and around the airport vicinity. He tried to talk the pilot into not flying because of the air turbulence, but the pilot went ahead and flew anyway.

PERSONNEL (CREW) INFORMATION

The 76-year-old pilot held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. He also held a third class airman medical certificate, dated April 20, 2016, containing the following restrictions: "Must wear corrective lenses for near and distant vision. Not valid for any class after April 20, 2017." When the pilot applied for this medical certification, he estimated his total flight time to be 1,150 hours.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records do not show the pilot held a gyroplane rating.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The gyroplane was manufactured by the Bensen Aircraft Corporation, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Kits were sold by Wag Aero, Lyons, Wisconsin, and the accident aircraft was assembled by C.W. Haggenmacher, Lake City, Arkansas. It was powered by a Subaru engine.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The following METAR (Meteorological Terminal Aviation Routine Weather Report) was recorded at 1453 at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport/Adams Field (LIT), Little Rock, Arkansas, located 15 miles northeast of KSUZ:

Wind, 090° at 9 knots; visibility, 10 miles; sky condition, 4,000 feet scattered, 25,000 feet scattered; temperature, 31° Celsius (C.); dew point, 14°C.; altimeter setting, 30.02 inches of mercury.

AERODROME INFORMATION

Runway 02-20 at SUZ, elevation 390 feet msl (above mean sea level), is 5,001 feet x 100 feet, asphalt. The runway was dry and in good condition.


WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage of the gyroplane was located in a field ¼ mile southwest of SUZ. It lay on its left side. There were no ground scars, only the impact crater, consistent with no forward velocity. The main rotor blade remained attached to the mast. One of the three pusher propeller blades had snapped off. The landing gear was bent aft.


MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory on September 6, 2016. According to its report, death was attributed to "multiple traumatic injuries."

Toxicological screening was performed by FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. According to CAMI's report, no carbon monoxide was detected in cavity blood, and no ethanol was detected in vitreous. Cyanide tests were not performed.
Amlodipine was detected in liver tissue and cavity blood. According to FAA's Forensic Toxicology web page, amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker heart medication used in the treatment of hypertension. Losartan was also detected in liver tissue and cavity blood, and is used in the treatment of hypertension. Sildenafil (Viagra®) was detected in liver tissue and cavity blood, and is used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). Desmethylsildenafil was detected in liver tissue and cavity blood, and is the predominant and active metabolite of Sildenfil with similar properties.

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA347 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 03, 2016 in Bryant, AR
Aircraft: Haggenmacher Bensen, registration: NONE
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 3, 2016, about 1500 central daylight time, a Bensen B-8M gyroplane, no registration number, impacted terrain about ¼ mile from the Saline County Airport (SUZ), Bryant, Arkansas. The pilot, the sole occupant on board, was fatally injured. The gyroplane was destroyed. The gyroplane was being operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from SUZ moments before the accident.

Two witnesses, both experienced gyroplane pilots, stated the accident pilot did a high speed flyby heading south and was turning onto a left base leg for runway 2. The gyroplane began to "porpoise," then pitched up, nosed over, and entered a "power push-over" situation, causing the gyroplane to summersault and impact terrain.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.

A 76-year-old Little Rock man has been identified as the pilot who died Saturday in a gyrocopter crash near the Saline County Regional Airport.


The Bryant Police Department on Tuesday identified the pilot as Jack Payne Sr.

The cause of the crash has not been determined, and the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

Police were called at 4:34 p.m. Saturday about a small aircraft that had crashed near the airport, police said. Bryant police officers and firefighters responded and located the pilot and the gyrocopter.


A gyrocopter is a rotary-wing aircraft that is often single-seated.

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