Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sportcopter II, N767LW: Accident occurred January 29, 2018 at Van Nuys Airport (KVNY), California

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California

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


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


http://registry.faa.gov/N767LW


Analysis 

According to the pilot of the experimental amateur-built gyroplane, during the takeoff roll on runway 34 in gusting wind conditions, the pilot did not allow the rotor rpm to adequately increase. He advanced the throttle and the nose pitched up. The gyroplane exited the left side of the runway and the rotor blades struck the propeller.

The gyroplane sustained substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer.

The METAR at the airport reported that about the time of the accident, the wind was from 350° at 17kts gusting to 22kts.

The pilot reported that this accident could have been prevented if he had confirmed the proper rotor rpm.

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's decision to takeoff in gusting wind conditions with insufficient rotor rpm.

Findings

Aircraft
Prop/rotor parameters - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Gusts - Effect on operation (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff
Other weather encounter
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Runway excursion
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Location: Van Nuys, CA
Accident Number: GAA18CA114
Date & Time: 01/29/2018, 1100 PST
Registration: N767LW
Aircraft: WAYNE MILLER SPORT COPTER II
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

According to the pilot in the experimental amateur-built gyroplane, during the takeoff roll on runway 34 in gusting wind conditions, the pilot did not allow the rotor revolutions per minute (RPM) to adequately increase. He advanced the throttle and the nose pitched up. The gyroplane exited the left side of the runway and the rotor blades struck the propeller.

The gyroplane sustained substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer.

The METAR at the airport reported that about the time of the accident, the wind was from 350° at 17kts gusting to 22kts.

Per the National Transportation Safety Board's Pilot Aircraft Accident Report, the pilot reported in the Safety Recommendation section that, this accident could have been prevented if he had confirmed the proper rotor RPM.

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 55, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Gyroplane; Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/04/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/04/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 15000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 23 hours (Total, this make and model), 3400 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 235 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 78 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: WAYNE MILLER
Registration: N767LW
Model/Series: SPORT COPTER II NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Gyroplane
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: SC009
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/19/2018, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1800 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 43 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Ly-Con
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO- 360-SCI
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 220 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KVNY, 770 ft msl
Observation Time: 1851 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 71°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / -2°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 17 knots/ 22 knots, 350°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.15 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Van Nuys, CA (VNY)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Van Nuys, CA (VNY)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1100 PST
Type of Airspace: Class D 

Airport Information

Airport: VAN NUYS (VNY)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 802 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 34R
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4013 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  34.209722, -118.490000 (est)

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