Sunday, August 04, 2019

Abrupt Maneuver: Tercel, N557AT; accident occurred August 09, 2018 at Spanish Fork-Springville Airport (KSPK), Utah County, Utah

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Spanish Fork, UT
Accident Number: GAA18CA484
Date & Time: 08/09/2018, 1130 MDT
Registration: N557AT
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Abrupt maneuver
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 


The solo student pilot of the gyroplane reported that, during takeoff, he pulled the stick back and advanced the throttle to full. He accelerated and noticed "there was no tendency for the nose to rise," so he applied back pressure, and the gyroplane immediately turned left, rolled onto its side, and skidded off the runway to the left.

The gyroplane sustained substantial damage to the main rotor, fuselage, and empennage.

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

The flight instructor provided a video of the student pilot's accident takeoff. The video showed the gyroplane accelerating down the runway, rapidly pitching up, and immediately rotating to the left before impacting the runway.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The student pilot's failure to maintain pitch and yaw control during takeoff.


Pitch control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Yaw control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Student pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Abrupt maneuver (Defining event)
Runway excursion

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 59, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Sport Pilot
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 27 hours (Total, all aircraft), 10 hours (Total, this make and model), 10 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N557AT
Model/Series: TERCEL
Aircraft Category: Gyroplane
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: T&S F26817S
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/21/2018, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 189 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 912
Registered Owner: Airgyro Aviation Llc
Rated Power: 135 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: KPVU, 4497 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1733 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 329°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 2.5 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 110°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: Moderate - Smoke; Moderate - Haze; No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Spanish Fork, UT (SPK)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Spanish Fork, UT (SPK)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1130 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 4529 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 30
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 6500 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  40.141667, -111.662778 (est)

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