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N70216 accident description

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Tail numberN70216
Accident dateJuly 05, 1995
Aircraft typeBensen B-8M
LocationSiler City, NC
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On July 5, 1995, at 1018 eastern daylight time, Bensen Gyrocopter, B-8M, N70216, broke up in flight shortly after takeoff from a private airstrip near Siler City, North Carolina. The personal flight operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The aircraft was destroyed, and the pilot received fatal injuries. The accident occurred during the initial takeoff attempt from Siler City.

The pilot taxied to runway 04 for a takeoff. According to witnesses, the takeoff attempt used about 2500 feet of the runway surface. The aircraft bounced several times on the runway surface before becoming airborne. After liftoff, the aircraft climbed to 200 feet and the pilot made a right climbing turn. As the aircraft reached the midway point of the runway on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, witnesses observed the aircraft start a series of pitching oscillations, which culminated in the aircraft flipping inverted. One witness observed the aircraft as it came apart in flight, and fell to the ground.

Examination of the aircraft wreckage and accident site disclosed that wreckage debris was scattered over an area 900 feet long. Examination of the wreckage revealed main rotor and rudder control surface contact in flight. Further examination of the main rotor system disclosed that both rotor blades were deformed upward. The flight control examination also failed to disclose a mechanical problem. The propeller wood propeller blades were broken at both tips. An examination of the engine assembly failed to disclose a mechanical problem. The magneto assembly produced an ignition spark during the functional check.

A review of the pilot's qualifications indicated that he was not helicopter nor gyrocopter rated. The review of the pilot's flight log indicated that he had received several hours of dual helicopter instruction, but there was no record of a helicopter nor gyrocopter pilot flight check.

The postmortem examination of the pilot was conducted by Dr. Robert L. Thompson on July 6, 1995 at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The toxicological examination was negative for alcohol, and drugs.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.