Thursday, December 17, 2020

SilverLight American Ranger AR-1, N261MD: Fatal accident occurred December 16, 2020 near Heber Valley Airport (KHCR), Wasatch County, Utah

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; Salt Lake City, Utah

Location: Heber City, UT 
Accident Number: WPR21LA070
Date & Time: December 16, 2020, 14:17 Local 
Registration: N261MD
Aircraft: SilverLight Aviation LLC AR-1 
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On December 16, 2020, about 1417 mountain standard time, a SilverLight Aviation LLC AR-1 gyroplane, N261MD, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Heber City, Utah. The pilot was fatally injured. The gyroplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to multiple witnesses and videos taken from the airport, the gyroplane lifted off from runway 22. About 10 seconds later, the gyroplane climbed quickly followed about 2 seconds later by a right turn. The gyroplane maneuvered momentarily then descended and pitched nose down towards the ground just before impact.

The gyroplane came to rest in a concrete drainage ditch, about 390 ft north of the airport. All major components, except for two sections of rotor blade and one propeller blade tip, were found in a small debris field of about 50 ft by 50 ft around the wreckage. The two main rotor pieces and the propeller tip were found at an undetermined distance away from the wreckage. The main rotor system and an upper section of mast had separated from the fuselage. The gyroplane was relocated to a secure location for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: SilverLight Aviation LLC 
Registration: N261MD
Model/Series: AR-1 
Aircraft Category: Gyroplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPVU,4497 ft msl 
Observation Time: 14:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 2°C /-7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 290°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.25 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Heber City, UT 
Destination: Heber City, UT

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 40.48581,-111.42531 (est)

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

Here is Mauro Dal Canto’s obituary. Please accept our sincere condolences.

It is always difficult saying goodbye to someone we love and cherish. Family and friends must say goodbye to their beloved Mauro Dal Canto (Salt Lake City, Utah), who passed away at the age of 76, on December 16, 2020.

He was predeceased by : his grandson Daniel. He is survived by his siblings, Cessna and Giuliana; his wife Fiora; and his sons, Richard (Pam) and Albert (Fauncy). He is also survived by four grandchildren.

A funeral service was held on Wednesday, December 23rd 2020 at 11:00 AM at the St. Vincent's Catholic Church (1375 Spring Ln, Holladay, UT 84117). Due to COVID restrictions, if you would like to attend in person, please contact the family.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to: The Jed Foundation or the 5P- Society in honor of his grandchildren.

KUTV — A 76-year-old man was killed Wednesday after his gyrocopter crashed near U.S. Route 189.

Mauro Carlo Dal Canto, of Park City, took off from the Heber Valley Airport just after 2:20 p.m. in an experimental aircraft, according to the Utah Department of Public Safety.

Witnesses said after the aircraft began gaining altitude, it suddenly veered to the right and momentarily hovered above U.S. 189, before crashing near the southbound shoulder of the roadway. U.S. 189, which runs from Provo, Utah, to Jackson, Wyoming, sits adjacent to the small airport.

After hitting the roadway shoulder, the gyrocopter went through a fence and came to rest in a concrete ditch. Dal Canto died as a result of the impact.

It's unknown what caused the aircraft to crash.

The State Bureau of Investigation is assisting the Utah Highway Patrol with the investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board will also conduct an investigation.

HEBER CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) — The pilot of a gyrocopter has died after a crash in Heber on Wednesday afternoon.

Officials say the aircraft crashed near of US 189 and 1200 South close to the Heber Valley Airport.

The Wasatch County Fire Department confirmed the details in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

Police said the pilot was a 76-year-old man from the Park City area who was considered to be an “experienced pilot”.

According to Lt. Randall Richey of the Utah Highway Patrol, the red gyrocopter took of from the Heber City Airport when “for an unknown reason”, the aircraft veered to the right and crashed in a drainage culvert alone Highway 189.

“We’re very fortunate that there was only one person involved, and that it did miss other traffic on the roadway,” Lt. Richey added

Heber Valley Airport is located 1 mile south of Heber City.

According to its website, the city acquired the land to build the airport in the fall of 1946, but the project came to a standstill in 1947 due to a lack of funding.

That changed when 6 men came together to form Heber Valley Flying Service Inc., which acquired a $100,000 loan to begin the construction of the airport.

Local farmer’s fences that surrounded the site of the future airport were removed, requiring the property to fenced again entirely by hand, according to the airport website.

This crash comes just 6 days after a pilot was injured in a plane crash near the Ogden-Hinckley airport in Ogden on December 10th.

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