Wednesday, August 12, 2020

MTOSport 2017, N615MW: Accident occurred August 11, 2020 at Springfield Robertson County Airport (M91), Tennessee

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. 

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Nashville, Tennessee

Location: Springfield, TN
Accident Number: ERA20LA284
Date & Time: 08/11/2020, 0815 CDT
Registration: N615MW
Aircraft: ROTORSPORT UK LTD MTOsport 2017
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On August 11, 2020, about 0815 central daylight time, a Rotorsport UK LTD MTOsport 2017 gyroplane, N615MW, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Springfield, Tennessee. The pilot and his passenger were not injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot was interviewed by Federal Aviation Administration aviation safety inspectors, and provided a comprehensive written statement that included charts, diagrams, and photographs. According to the pilot, the gyroplane was loaded 6 pounds below its maximum allowable gross weight when he taxied it for an intersection takeoff from runway 4 at Springfield-Robertson County Airport (M91), Springfield, Tennessee. From that takeoff point, about 2,300 ft. of runway remained available for the takeoff rather than the 5,505 ft. available full-length. At 45 knots, the pilot lifted the nose, and accelerated "in ground effect" for his planned climb speed of 55 knots, but the gyroplane would not accelerate past 48 knots. He further stated, "with the throttle fully advanced, and there was no indication of any engine malfunction."

Because of the published best-angle-of-climb speeds (45-50 knots) the pilot chose to continue the takeoff. As the gyrocopter approached the airport boundary, it had "only climbed to probably 50 [ft]" and was not accelerating. The pilot surveyed the highway that ran perpendicular to the takeoff runway off its departure end, and the powerlines on the far side of the road and chose to perform a forced landing between the airport boundary fence and the road. The gyroplane was substantially damaged during the landing.

The pilot provided performance planning information based on the gyroplane's weight and the atmospheric conditions at the time of takeoff. He then plotted the predicted performance in both plan view and overhead view over graphs and images of the takeoff runway. A review of surveillance video that captured the accident flight revealed that the gyroplane was perhaps 10 feet above the runway surface at the point where it should have been in a steady-state climb and clearing a 50-ft obstacle. From that point, approximately 400 ft of runway and 1,200 ft. of turf runway overrun remained.

The gyroplane was examined by the FAA aviation safety inspectors at the scene and flight control continuity was confirmed. An engine start was attempted on the airframe using the gyroplane's own battery and fuel system. The engine started immediately, accelerated smoothly, and ran continuously without interruption. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N615MW
Model/Series: MTOsport 2017
Aircraft Category: Gyroplane
Amateur Built:No 
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: M91, 700 ft msl
Observation Time: 1315 UTC
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 5000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:None 
Departure Point: Springfield, TN (M91)
Destination: Nashville, TN (JWN)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion:None 
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 36.536667, -86.921111 (est)

SPRINGFIELD TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) – We are expanding this report after learning about a second emergency landing in Robertson County on Friday.

On Tuesday, a gyrocopter crashed on take-off just outside the Robertson County Airport.

According to the Robertson County Emergency Management Agency, the crash occurred just after 8 am.

Officials tell Smokey Barn News that, after refueling, the MTOSport 2017 in a Northerly takeoff with one passenger onboard, seemed to lack sufficient airspeed for flight causing the gyrocopter to crash or hard land at the end of the runway just outside the airport fence.

The gyrocopter set down feet from Hwy 41 N. The FAA is investigating the crash. The Robertson County Emergency Management Agency is asking the public to stay clear of the wreckage.

The Nashville based pilot, known to frequent the Springfield/Robertson hub, was not injured in the crash. A passenger was also uninjured.

The pilot of the downed gyrocopter was picked up at the scene by another helicopter, officials said.


The second (or technically the first crash/forced emergency landing) occurred back on Friday when another aircraft (a PA-24-400 Piper Comanche) lost engine power and had to make an emergency landing in a bean field off Dortch Rd near Glen Raven.

According to the Robertson County Emergency Management Agency, the accident occurred just before 5 pm Friday afternoon when the engine lost power and oil sprayed out forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing.

Like the first incident, the pilot was able to successfully land the craft without injury to the pilot or passenger.

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