Sunday, July 16, 2017

Rotor Flight Dynamics Dominator Tandem, N41852: Fatal accident February 01, 2016 near Centralia Municipal Airport (KENL), Illinois

Raymond Z. Brown 
April 18, 1952 - February 1, 2016
Raymond served in the United States Army during Vietnam.



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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Springfield, Illinois

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms 

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Raymond Z. Brown: http://registry.faa.gov/N41852




NTSB Identification: CEN16LA096
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, February 01, 2016 in Centralia, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/23/2017
Aircraft: RAYMOND Z BROWN CONDOR, registration: N41852
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.

A witness observed the sport pilot departing in his experimental, amateur-built gyroplane when, about 300 ft above ground level, the gyroplane turned right and the rotor blades began to slow. The gyroplane then made a sharp left turn, descended, and abruptly pitched up before impacting a field. A postaccident examination of the gyroplane found that the belt driving the prerotator had broken and had become entangled in the engine timing belt, which would have resulted in a loss of engine power. No other anomalies were detected with the airframe and engine. An autopsy did not reveal any medical concerns with the pilot.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The failure of the prerotator belt, which impeded the engine's timing belt and resulted in a loss of engine power at low altitude.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On February 1, 2016, about 1435 central standard time, an amateur-built Condor gyroplane, N41852, impacted terrain near Centralia, Illinois. The sport pilot was fatally injured and the gyroplane was substantially damaged. The gyroplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The local flight originated from the Centralia Municipal Airport (KENL), Centralia, Illinois at an unknown time.

According to information obtained by the responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors, an instructor pilot rated eyewitness watched the gyroplane as it departed runway 36. Upon reaching 300 ft above ground level, the gyroplane began a right turn. During the climb, the gyroplane rotor blades began to slow down. Another witness reported that the engine lost power. The gyroplane made a "tight" left turn towards the airport. It then rolled wings level and began descending in a flat attitude. Prior to impact, the gyroplane pitched up abruptly and impact the ground. The accident occurred about 1 mile from the airport.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 63, held a sport pilot certificate issued on August 24, 2012. His log book was not located during the course of the investigation, and his flight experience could not be determined. He used a valid driver's license to exercise sport pilot privileges rather than possessing an FAA medical certificate.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The single-engine, two tandem seat gryoplane was manufactured in 2012 by the accident pilot. It was powered by a Subaru EJ22 engine driving a four-bladed composite Warp Drive propeller and equipped with Dragon Wings rotor blades. It was issued a Special Airworthiness Certificate as an experimental amateur build on December 22, 2012. The builder listed the gyroplane as a Condor and it followed the design of a Rotor Flight Dynamics Twin Dominator.

The gyroplane restraint system consisted of a single lap belt.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1435, an automated weather reporting station located at ENL reported a wind from 040 at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles, a clear sky, temperature 54° F, dew point 32° F, and a barometric pressure of 29.99 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The gyroplane came in rest on its left side in an open field. All major components were located at the accident site. There was an impact crater located next to where the wreckage had come to rest. The fuselage was slightly twisted and the main rotor blades were bent, but remained attached to the rotor mast.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

As of the writing of this report, an autopsy did not reveal any medical concerns with the pilot. The manner of death resides with the Marion County Coroner and is still undetermined.

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot. Results were negative for carbon monoxide, ethanol, and drugs.

SURVIVAL ASPECTS

The pilot was wearing a helmet similar to a Comtronics Aircraft Helmet. However, its make and model could not be verified.

TESTS AND RESEARCH


The gyroplane was recovered to a hanger and examined by the FAA inspector. They found that the belt driving the prerotator had broken and had become entangled in the timing belt. No other anomalies were detected with the airframe and engine. The gyroplane's prerotator had a freewheeling mechanism which would allow for free rotation of the rotor system. In addition, the prerotator would not have been engage during the accident.

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA096
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, February 01, 2016 in Centralia, IL
Aircraft: RAYMOND Z BROWN CONDOR, registration: N41852
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 February 1, 2016, about 1435 central standard time, an amateur-built Condor gyroplane, N41852, impacted terrain near Centralia, Illinois. The sport pilot was fatally injured and the gyroplane was substantially damaged. The gyroplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The local flight was departing from the Centralia Municipal Airport (KENL), Centralia, Illinois at the time of the accident.

According to information obtained by the responding Federal Aviation Administration inspectors, an eyewitness watched the gyroplane as it departed runway 36. During the climb out, the gyroplane began a right turn during which the witness perceived that the rotor blades began to slow. The gyroplane then made a sharp left turn and began descending. After the gyroplane did a quick flare, it descended out of view and rolled over. The witness ran to the accident site and called for assistance. The accident occurred about 1 mile from the airport.

The gyroplane was retained for further examination.

At 1435, an automated weather reporting station located at ENL reported a wind from 040 at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles, a clear sky, temperature 54° F, dew point 32° F, and an altimeter setting of 29.99 inches of mercury.

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