ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 244827
 
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:12-NOV-2020
Time:12:55 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic CLON model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Rotorsport UK Cavalon
Owner/operator:Highland Aviation
Registration: G-CKYT
MSN: RSUK/CVLN/027
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Avoch, Black Isle, Ross & Cromarty -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Training
Departure airport:Inverness Airport (INV/EGPE)
Destination airport:
Narrative:
A gyrocopter crashed in a field in Avoch, Black Isle, Ross & Cromarty. The 67-year-old male pilot was pronounced dead at the scene.

On the first anniversary of the incident (12 November 2021), the AAIB published a statement which updated their progress into the investigation:

"This statement provides an update on the ongoing AAIB investigation into an accident involving a Rotorsport UK Cavalon, G-CKYT, near Avoch, Inverness-shire on 12 November 2020.

Whilst on a general handling flight with a solo student pilot onboard, the gyroplane was seen to descend rapidly from an altitude of approximately 1,500 ft with the rotor head and blades separate from the fuselage. The gyroplane subsequently crashed on farmland and caught fire, with the pilot receiving fatal injuries.

The main wreckage was largely destroyed in the fire, but analysis of the remaining evidence has been possible. The investigation is focused on understanding the circumstances which led to the rotor head separating in flight. Tests on the rotor head are on-going, along with analysis of the limited amount of data which has been recovered from a GPS unit mounted in the aircraft. Once the investigation has been completed, the AAIB will publish its investigation findings in a final report".

UPDATE; The BBC has reported the following, said to be based on the preliminary AAIB Report (see link #16):

Rotor head 'separated' from aircraft before fatal crash
A light aircraft was seen "descending rapidly" with its rotor head and blades separate from the rest of the machine moments before a fatal crash last year.

Paul Nichol, from Balloch, Inverness, died when his gyroplane came down in a field near Avoch on the Black Isle on 12 November" [2020]."The 67-year-old's aircraft caught fire after crashing. Investigators said they were trying to understand what led to the rotor head to separate while in flight.

In an update on its inquiry, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the aircraft was seen falling from 457 mtres (1,500ft). Mr Nichol was flying solo and was described as a student pilot. The AAIB said: "The main wreckage was largely destroyed in the fire, but analysis of the remaining evidence has been possible. The investigation is focused on understanding the circumstances which led to the rotor head separating in flight.

"Tests on the rotor head are on-going, along with analysis of the limited amount of data which has been recovered from a GPS unit mounted in the aircraft."

Emergency services were alerted to the crash at about 12:55 on the day of the crash and four fire appliances and two ambulances were sent to the scene. In a statement last year, Mr Nichol's family said flying gave him a sense of freedom and adventure. The family said: "Always keen to learn new things and be outside doing something, he was rarely still, always getting on with tasks and planning new projects and loving life.

"Life can never be the same without him. Words can't express how much I'll miss him, as will all his family, friends and past work colleagues. Nothing will ever get close to explaining the depth of pain and sadness we all feel".

Sources:

1. https://mipp.police.uk/operation/SCOT20S30-PO1 Police Scotland Operation MASONRY appeal for witnesses
2. https://www.scotsman.com/news/crime/black-isle-emergency-services-respond-light-aircraft-crash-scottish-highlands-3033940
3. https://www.inverness-courier.co.uk/news/breaking-news-light-aircraft-has-crashed-near-avoch-218159/
4. https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/plane-crash-black-isle-sparks-22999818
5. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/11/12/aircraft-came-highlands/
6. https://news.stv.tv/highlands-islands/helicopter-crashes-into-field-on-the-black-isle
7. https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/highlands/2643463/multi-agency-response-after-helicopter-incident-in-the-highlands
8. https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/highlands/2645137/highland-woman-describes-horror-moment-she-saw-tragic-helicopter-plummet-from-sky-a/
9. https://highlandaviation.com/pages/our-fleet
10. https://www.strathspey-herald.co.uk/news/witnesses-sought-to-highland-gyrocopter-tragedy-218293/
11. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-54930785
12. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-54993557
13. BFU Germany November 2020: https://www.bfu-web.de/DE/Publikationen/Bulletins/2020/Bulletin2020-11.pdf?__blob=publicationFile
14. AAIB 1st Anniversary Satement: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/rotorsport-uk-cavalon-g-ckyt-anniversary-statement
15. https://forums.flyer.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=120076
16. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-59260275

Location

Media:


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
12-Nov-2020 14:34 gerard57 Added
12-Nov-2020 14:36 gerard57 Updated [Source, Narrative]
12-Nov-2020 16:07 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Source, Embed code, Damage, Narrative]
12-Nov-2020 17:45 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Embed code]
12-Nov-2020 17:48 Aerossurance Updated [Total fatalities, Location, Source, Embed code, Narrative, Plane category]
12-Nov-2020 19:10 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Source, Narrative]
12-Nov-2020 22:17 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]
13-Nov-2020 15:44 Solicitorious Updated [Registration, Source]
13-Nov-2020 15:46 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Phase, Nature]
13-Nov-2020 16:46 Dr. John Smith Updated [Phase, Source, Embed code, Damage, Narrative]
13-Nov-2020 16:48 Dr. John Smith Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
13-Nov-2020 17:24 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
13-Nov-2020 18:37 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]
13-Nov-2020 18:37 Aerossurance Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
18-Nov-2020 17:28 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
26-Feb-2021 02:57 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
28-Jul-2021 15:22 Dr. John Smith Updated [Category]
12-Nov-2021 17:40 Dr. John Smith Updated [Total occupants, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
17-Nov-2021 12:28 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Total occupants, Source, Embed code, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2022 Flight Safety Foundation

701 N. Fairfax St., Ste. 250
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
www.FlightSafety.org