Wednesday, May 31, 2017

AutoGyro GmbH Cavalon, N721E: Accident occurred May 27, 2017 in Lakeside, Tarrant County, Texas

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA308
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 27, 2017 in Fort Worth, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/20/2017
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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.

The pilot of the gyrocopter reported that, after flying over his passenger’s house to take pictures, he headed back to the airport. He added that, while in level flight, he noticed that “the trees on the ground under [him were] rapidly getting closer.” He initially presumed something was wrong with the engine, so he reduced throttle and then successfully applied full throttle in an attempt to troubleshoot the situation. He made a left 180° turn, and the gyrocopter struck trees and impacted terrain.

The gyrocopter sustained substantial damage to the empennage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the gyrocopter that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot reported that he had presumed the terrain he was flying over was flat but later realized he had flown into rising terrain.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from terrain.

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