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N179TC accident description

Maine map... Maine list
Crash location 44.709444°N, 69.859722°W
Nearest city Norridgewock, ME
44.709784°N, 69.811998°W
2.3 miles away
Tail number N179TC
Accident date 30 Jul 2009
Aircraft type Christopher John P CHR-1
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On July 30, 2009, about 1800 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built CHR-1, N179TC, was substantially damaged during a forced landing at Central Maine Airport (OWK), Norridgewock, Maine. The gyroplane was registered to a private individual. The certificated commercial pilot was not injured. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight originated at OWK at 1745.

The pilot stated that after takeoff, he climbed the gyroplane to pattern altitude, and while on downwind and abeam the runway numbers, he heard a “pop and then experienced a terrible, violent vibration, seemingly catastrophic in nature. There was no power, but the engine was still running.” He said that he was over a landfill, which was the closest site for an emergency landing. During the flare/touchdown, the right wheel caught on rough terrain damaging the mast, main rotor, right landing gear and the horizontal stabilizer.

The gyroplane was powered by a 66-horsepower Rotax 583 engine, with about 100 hours of operation since new.

An inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported that the gyrocopter’s last condition inspection was accomplished on May 23, 2009. The owner/pilot stated to the inspector that the engine was about 10 hours out of overhaul, which included new pistons. On scene examination of the airframe found fuel in the fuel tank, and fuel filters, with no contamination noted. Examination of the intake manifold found the number 2 intake with black oily residue around the area and no residue around the number 1 intake. Further examination by the owner/pilot revealed that the engine crankshaft was broken near the number 1 cylinder.

NTSB Probable Cause

A loss of engine power due to a broken crankshaft for undetermined reasons.

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