Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Collision with Terrain/Object (non-CFIT): Aviation AR-1, N159WT; accident occurred June 29, 2021 at Lakeside Municipal Airport (9S3), Coos County, Oregon

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Oregon 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Chaplains of Industry

Location: Lakeside, Oregon
Accident Number: WPR21LA252
Date and Time: June 29, 2021, 11:30 Local 
Registration: N159WT
Aircraft: SilverLight Aviation AR-1
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Aerial observation


The pilot reported that he departed from runway 33, which was composed of grass; there was no wind. During the takeoff roll, he was unable to get to an appropriate takeoff velocity. As he neared the end of the runway, he realized the gyrocopter would not clear the trees and at an altitude of about 20 ft agl, he attempted a left 180° turn back to the runway. The gyrocopter collided with the terrain still configured in the left turn. The forward fuselage of the gyrocopter was substantially damaged. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot opined that he did not properly compensate for the drag from the grass and was not able to get enough airspeed to make an adequate takeoff.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s inadequate decision to continue the takeoff after sufficient airspeed was not attained and his failure to maintain aircraft control while maneuvering to avoid obstructions, which resulted in a collision with the ground. 


Personnel issues Decision making/judgment - Pilot
Aircraft Airspeed - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Sport Pilot 
Age: 70, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Gyroplane
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Sport pilot None 
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: October 27, 2020
Flight Time: (Estimated) 239 hours (Total, all aircraft), 225197 hours (Total, this make and model), 161 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: SilverLight Aviation 
Registration: N159WT
Model/Series: AR-1
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2017 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental (Special) 
Serial Number: 0008
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: May 1, 2021 100 hour 
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 13 Hrs
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 203 Hrs 
Engine Manufacturer: ROTAX
ELT: Not installed 
Engine Model/Series: 912ULS
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 100 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KOTH,17 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 11:56 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 195°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 2200 ft AGL
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 220° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.86 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 14°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Lakeside, OR
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Lakeside, OR
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 20 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 15/33 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2150 ft / 100 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 43.58317,-124.18039 (est)

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