National Transportation Safety Board
Aviation Accident Final Report
New Braunfels, TX
Date & Time:
11/11/2005, 1705 CST
Flight Conducted Under:
Part 91: General Aviation - Personal
The 700-hour private pilot/builder/owner was approaching Runway 13 when a gust of wind turned the gyrocopter sideways. The gyrocopter subsequently flipped inverted and impacted the runway. Examination of the gyrocopter did not reveal any mechanical deficiencies. The winds at the airport were reported from 150 degrees at 12 knots near the time of the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain control while landing. A contributing factor was the high winds.
Occurrence #1: LOSS OF CONTROL - IN FLIGHT
On November 11, 2005, about 1705 central standard time, an experimental Rehler gyrocopter, N100KR, was substantially damaged following a loss of control while on approach to Runway 13 at the New Braunfels Municipal Airport, near New Braunfels, Texas. The private pilot/builder/owner, sole occupant of the gyroplane, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The local flight originated at the New Braunfels Airport at an undetermined time.
Several witnesses observed the gyrocopter as it descended and approached the runway. When the gyrocopter was about 30 feet above the ground, a gust of wind turned the aircraft sideways, and the gyrocopter "flipped inverted and impacted the runway on its main rotor system." Some of the witnesses reported hearing the engine make a power change before ground impact.
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector performed an on-scene examination of the wreckage. The inspector established flight and engine control continuity and found fuel in the fuel tank. No mechanical deficiencies or anomalies were noted.
The pilot designed and constructed the gyrocopter. According to his website, he described his gyrocopter as a single-place, experimental aircraft powered by a 100 HP, four-cylinder, four- cycle Rotax engine. The gyrocopter featured a 27-foot-diameter main rotor system, with a three-bladed, 68-inch-diameter propeller installed in the pusher configuration. The gyrocopter was reported to be capable to cruise between 35 and 95 miles per hour.
The pilot's last FAA third class medical was issued on June 9, 2004. At that time, the pilot reported a total of 700 flight hours. Toxicological testing was performed by the FAA's Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Weather reported at the airport at 1751 was wind from 150 degrees at 12 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, broken clouds at 6,000 feet, overcast clouds at 7,000 feet, temperature 81 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 62 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure setting of 29.97 inches of Mercury.
Other Aircraft Rating(s):
Seatbelt, Shoulder harness
Second Pilot Present:
Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
700 hours (Total, all aircraft)
Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information
Year of Manufacture:
Landing Gear Type:
Date/Type of Last Inspection:
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Airframe Total Time:
Operating Certificate(s) Held:
Meteorological Information and Flight Plan
Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation:
BAZ, 651 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site:
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Broken / 6000 ft agl
12 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
29.97 inches Hg
27°C / 17°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
No Obscuration; No Precipitation
New Braunfels, TX (BAZ)
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Type of Clearance:
Type of Airspace:
New Braunfels Municipal (BAZ)
Runway Surface Type:
Runway Surface Condition:
5352 ft / 100 ft
Wreckage and Impact Information
Investigator In Charge (IIC):
Leah D Yeager
Additional Participating Persons:
Harry Keifer; FAA/FSDO; San Antonio, TX
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