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N15LU accident description

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Crash location 36.210556°N, 115.194444°W
Nearest city North Las Vegas, NV
36.198859°N, 115.117501°W
4.4 miles away
Tail number N15LU
Accident date 17 Dec 2017
Aircraft type Halley Kft Apollo
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

According to the pilot in the experimental amateur-built gyroplane, he landed on a taxiway and taxied to the runway intersection. The intersection was on the right side of runway 30R. The ramp where the pilot wanted to park, was across both runways, on the left side of runway 30L.

Unfamiliar with the capabilities of the gyroplane, the tower asked the pilot to air taxi to the ramp. The pilot informed the tower that he could either ground taxi, or takeoff and land on runway 30L, then taxi to the ramp. Tower and the pilot agreed to the latter.

He further reported that in anticipation of taxiing to parking, he had allowed the Gyroplane's rotor speed to decrease, and when he turned the gyroplane back onto the taxiway in the gusting wind, the main rotor struck the empennage and the pusher-propeller.

The gyroplane sustained substantial damage to the empennage and rotor system.

The METAR at the accident airport reported that about the time of the accident, the wind was from 330° at 14kts and gusting to 19kts.

Per the National Transportation Safety Board's Pilot Aircraft Accident Report, the pilot identified in the Owner Safety Recommendation section, that this accident could have been prevented if he had waited for the rotor blades to stop completely before repositioning the gyroplane for taxi.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the gyroplane that would have precluded normal operation.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot’s failure to stop the main rotor rotation before taxiing the gyroplane in gusting wind conditions, resulting in the main rotor striking the empennage.

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