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N528WM accident description

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Crash location 40.971111°N, 74.997500°W
Nearest city Blairstown, NJ
40.966764°N, 74.982951°W
0.8 miles away
Tail number N528WM
Accident date 17 Sep 2016
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

According to the solo student pilot, the experimental amateur built gyrocopter was positioned for takeoff on the runway, and stopped with the brakes set.

He recalled that he engaged the pre-rotor, increased the main rotor speed to 180 revolutions per minute (rpm), then disengaged the pre-rotator, released the brake, and applied full throttle.

He reported that, "this is where I made my mistake. At this point I should have brought the control stick all the way back, but did not." He recalled that the gyrocopter was moving forward rapidly, but the rotor rpm decreased, and he then pulled the control stick aft. He reported that the rotor blades were flapping, the control stick became uncontrollable, and the gyrocopter exited the runway to the left.

The student pilot reduced the throttle to idle, and during the runway excursion the left main and the nose landing gear separated from the gyrocopter. The main rotor blade struck the ground, the blade grip sustained substantial damage, and the rotor head partially separated from the frame.

The student pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with the airframe or the engine that would have prevented normal flight operation.

NTSB Probable Cause

The student pilot’s incorrect takeoff procedure, which resulted in a loss of main rotor rpm and the subsequent loss of directional control and runway excursion.

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