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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 213078
Last updated: 26 November 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic CDUS model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
AutoGyro Calidus
Registration: N623AG
C/n / msn: US-C00491
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Tacoma Narrows Airport (KTIW), Tacoma, WA -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Tacoma Narrows Airport, WA (TIW/KTIW)
Destination airport:Tacoma Narrows Airport, WA (TIW/KTIW)
Investigating agency: NTSB
While preparing for takeoff in the gyrocopter, the commercial pilot had difficulty getting the prerotator to engage with the rotor ring gear, so he aborted the takeoff attempt. He then taxied off the runway to a run-up area and successfully engaged the prerotator to the rotor ring gear. The pilot then taxied onto the runway, and the rotor reached 200 rpm, after which he began the second takeoff attempt. The pilot stated that he recalled pulling the control stick aft while the gyrocopter was accelerating down the runway. Subsequently, the gyrocopter suddenly began climbing and shaking violently. The pilot then lost control of the gyrocopter, and it descended, struck the runway, skidded about 100 ft, exited the left side of the runway, and then came to rest on its left side. A witness reported that the gyrocopter began the takeoff roll with the rotor level with the runway.
During an interview with the flight instructor who trained the pilot in the gyrocopter, she stated that, when engaging the prerotator for takeoff, it is essential to keep the control stick fully forward to protect the airframe from the slow-spinning rotor. A fully forward control stick would place the rotor level with the ground, as described by the witness. The rotor then needs to achieve 200 rpm, followed by the control stick being moved fully aft for the takeoff roll, tilting the rotor. Further, the Airplane Owner's Manual contained a warning stating that "Prior to releasing the wheel brake, make sure that the control stick is fully aft…A takeoff run with a flat rotor system may have fatal consequences."
Given the pilot and witness statements and that the gyrocopter skidded 100 ft after impacting the runway, it is likely that the pilot did not pull the control stick fully aft after prerotating the rotor to 200 rpm and conducted the second takeoff attempt with the control stick not fully aft and with the rotor level with the ground. The pilot’s failure to properly configure the gyrocopter for takeoff resulted in it developing high speed during the takeoff roll and the subsequent loss of control. 

Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to properly configure the gyrocopter for takeoff, which resulted in it developing high speed and led to a subsequent loss of control.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 9 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

08-Jul-2018 14:22 Geno Added
13-Feb-2019 07:42 harro Updated [Time, Registration, Cn, Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
01-May-2019 09:18 ASN Update Bot Updated [Source, Narrative, Plane category, Accident report, ]

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