Saturday, July 22, 2017

Pitcairn PA-18, N12680: Accident occurred November 18, 2016 at Northeast Philadelphia Airport (KPNE), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA092
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, November 18, 2016 in Philadelphia, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/20/2017
Aircraft: PITCAIRN PA 18, registration: N12680
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.

According to the pilot of the tailwheel-equipped gyroplane, he landed on the right main landing gear. The gyroplane began rolling to the right, but the gyroplane’s heading was aligned to the left of the runway heading and continued in a left direction of travel. He attempted to correct the gyroplane’s right roll by moving the control stick to the left; however, the aileron movement did not subside the roll. He reported that in hindsight, opening the throttle and applying right rudder may have subsided the roll, “but my mental preparedness was biased to preventing a ground loop, not a dynamic rollover.” The gyroplane continued to roll right and impacted the ground. The gyroplane came to rest on the runway and sustained substantial damage to the main rotor system, right wing, and the empennage.

The pilot reported that his lack of experience in the gyroplane model contributed to the accident because the critical angle was exceeded in this gyroplane more quickly than in other gyroplanes that he was accustomed to flying.

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

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot’s failure to correct the gyroplane’s right roll during the landing, which resulted in the exceedance of its critical angle and a subsequent roll-over. Contributing to the accident were the pilot’s focus on preventing a potential ground loop instead of a roll-over and his lack of experience in the gyroplane model.

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