Saturday, December 2, 2017

American Autogyro SparrowHawk, N481ZK: Fatal accident occurred December 02, 2017 in DeSoto County, Mississippi

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

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Jackson, Mississippi

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Hernando, MS
Accident Number: ERA18LA039
Date & Time: 12/02/2017, 1700 CST
Registration: N7481ZK
Aircraft: Kevin Leue Sparrow Hawk
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 2, 2017, about 1700 central standard time, an experimental amateur-built Sparrow Hawk gyroplane, N481ZK, impacted terrain near Eagles Ridge Airport (MS9), Hernando, Mississippi. The sport pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The gyroplane was destroyed by a postcrash fire, and was being operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a local personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the flight.

There were no known witnesses to the departure or accident. According to an individual who was hunting, about 1700, he heard a loud sound similar to a gunshot, but dismissed it as another hunter. He left the area about dusk, and while walking, spotted a grass fire. He walked to a nearby home to tell the homeowner to call 911 to report the fire. First responders who arrived to extinguish the fire subsequently observed the wreckage.

The wreckage was recovered from the accident site and retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: Kevin Leue
Registration: N7481ZK
Model/Series: Sparrow Hawk
Aircraft Category: Gyroplane
Amateur Built: Yes 
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: 
Observation Facility, Elevation: OLV, 402 ft msl
Observation Time: 1650 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 25000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting:  30.11 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Hernando, MS (MS9)
Destination: Hernando, MS (MS9)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: Unknown
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 34.796667, -89.920833

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

Richard House, left, and Wayne House were killed in a crash in Hernando, Mississippi 
(Courtesy of the House family).

Richard House
Southaven, MS

Richard House, 43, passed away Saturday, December 2, 2017 as the result of an aircraft accident which also claimed the life of his father, Wayne House. Richard was a member of Christ Presbyterian Church, a pilot for Delta Airlines and a former pilot for Pinnacle Airlines. A graduate of Delta State University, he was a former member of the Army Reserve and enjoyed motorcycles. The family will receive friends from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Wednesday at Christ Presbyterian Church in Olive Branch. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at Christ Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends following the service. Survivors include his wife, Patti House; daughters, Mikayla House and Carmen House, all of Southaven, parents, Ray and Kathy Swilley of Hattiesburg; sister, Robyn Whitehead (Todd) of Nacogdoches, TX.

Wayne House

Wayne House, 70, passed away Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 as the result of an aircraft accident which also claimed the life of his son, Richard House. He was a retired band director from Southaven High School and currently worked for Amro Music. He was a graduate of Ole Miss and enjoyed motorcycles and flying. The family will receive friends from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Wednesday at Christ Presbyterian Church in Olive Branch. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at Christ Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends following the service. Hernando Funeral Home has charge. Survivors include his daughter Robyn Whitehead (Todd) of Nacogdoches, Texas; daughter-in-law Patti House of Southaven; brother, Henry House of Clifton, Tenn.; grandchildren, Mikayla House, Carmen House, Emma Whitehead. He was preceded in death by his parents Henderson and Frances House and a sister Ellen Henderson. 

The two men who died in a weekend gyrocopter crash in DeSoto County were flying a small, hobbyist aircraft designed to make flight affordable for experienced enthusiasts, authorities said Monday.

Wayne House, 70, and his son, Richard House, 43, both of DeSoto County and originally from Hattiesburg, died when their aircraft crashed Saturday afternoon in the 4000 block of Malone Road in southeastern DeSoto County. They appeared to be bringing the craft in for landing, according to Deputy Alex Coker of the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department.

The victims were the only occupants of the two-seat craft, DeSoto County Coroner Jeffrey Pounders said. He said autopsies are being performed on the badly burned victims, who crashed in a wooded area. Initial reports were that there was a grass fire. 

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating. Coker said Monday there was no additional information pending the FAA findings.

It's unclear which man was piloting the gyrocopter, but Richard House was a commercial pilot. Pounders said House was a pilot for Delta Air Lines. House's Facebook page indicates he has been a Delta pilot since 2014. 

Coker said he wasn't sure if the pair were just flying around the county or were headed to a particular destination. 

A gyrocopter is a type of small aircraft also known as an autogyro, gyroplane or rotaplane. It uses an unpowered rotor for lift along with an engine-powered propeller for thrust. 

"They're usually a one- or two-seater," said Coker, an avid sky diver and co-host of the "Remote Survival" television show on the National Geographic Channel. "They're not commercial grade, by any means. It's more a hobbyist-type of smaller aircraft, something every person can own."

The Popular Rotorcraft Association says gyroplanes will not stall like airplanes, making them safer to fly at low speeds.

"Aerodynamically stable gyoplanes are much safer in turbulent winds," the association says on its website. "Landings are typically made at very low air speeds and can be made safetly in very short distances."

The association acknowledges that gyroplanes historically have a bad safety record because of pilots who taught themselves to fly in less stable designs.

"Today, pilots who fly more stable designs and earn they gyroplane pilot ratings with professional gyroplane flight instructors fly much safer," it added.

Original article  ➤

Two persons have died in the crash of an experimental gyrocopter in rural DeSoto County on Saturday evening, according to DeSoto County Coroner Jeff Pounders.

Pounders said Sunday that two individuals, one in his 40s and the other in his 70s, died when the light, experimental gyrocopter they were riding in crashed and burst into flames during impact.

The bodies of the two men were burned beyond recognition. Firefighters were alerted to what was first reported as a grass fire, believed to have been caused by the crash.

"We know who they are, we just can't make a positive identification," Pounders said. "They were flying one of those experimental gyrocopters — we don't know exactly what happened. The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) are both investigating the crash."

Pounders said according to the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department, the crash occurred around 5:30 p.m.

Emergency officials arrived on scene about 6:20 p.m. Pounders was called about 7:30 p.m.

The crash site is located near Cleveland and Malone Roads in a heavily wooded area.

The area has been cordoned off, due to the ongoing investigation.

Pounders said the bodies were burned so badly that a positive ID may be difficult and DNA as well as dental records may be instrumental in that identification.

Due to lack of positive identification, Pounders said he was not releasing the names of the two men, although family has been made aware of their demise.

As of Sunday afternoon, Pounders had still not talked with family members.

Although the DeSoto Times-Tribune has firsthand knowledge of the identities of the deceased, there is no official release of their names.

Out of respect for the families, the newspaper is not releasing the identities of the deceased at this time.

Pounders said he expects the names of the deceased will be released soon.

Original article can be found here ➤

Two men are dead after a gyrocopter crashed in DeSoto County Saturday. 

Wayne House, 70, and his son Richard House, 43, were both killed when the aircraft crashed coming in for a landing, according to DeSoto County Sheriff's Department spokesman Alex Coker. 

DeSoto County emergency responders were called to a grass fire around 5:30 p.m. Saturday. 

Love Volunteer Fire Chief Shawn Witt said his department responded to the area and had to hike to where the fire had spread.

"While checking the perimeter I saw a large fire and thought it was just some brush, but once I got closer I saw the propeller and one of victims," Witt said. "I immediately called (Federal Aviation Administration) and (National Transportation Safety Board) and checked for missing aircraft as this property was about 500 yards from Eagle Ridge airport/landing."

Around 6:20 p.m., the crashed experimental gyrocopter was found in the woods near the 4000 block of Malone Road, near Holly Springs Road and Cleveland Road.  Responders said the aircraft was a two-seater.  So far the cause of the crash has not been determined. Coker confirmed the FAA is involved in the investigation.

Original article can be found here ➤

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