Monday, 17 March 2014

Gyrocopter Accidents in Australia





Gyrocopters / Gyroplanes / Autogyros  / Gyros / Rotorcraft are administered by the Australian Sport Rotorcraft Association  - ASRA

Link to ASRA

It can be very difficult to find / research / read accident summary data relating to gyrocopters in Australia - the listing below is NOT full or complete - strangely accident summary data is not published online unlike in many other countries.

If you wish to learn more about gyrocopter accidents or gyrocopter safety in Australia you can make a request to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau  ATSB  or the Civil Aviation Safety Authority CASA.

ASRA are managed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority ( CASA ) - if you would like to see more openness from ASRA regarding gyro flight safety stats and accident summaries then please email CASA to raise your concern.

Ideally the information that is listed below should be published in the public domain by ASRA on the public part of the ASRA website rather than on this simple blog listing.

You will notice the very sparse details available in the public domain for most of these accidents.


Please Fly Safely




2014


16.3.14 - Brundee, near Nowra, New South Wales - G-511 - Advanced Kinetics Gyroz - Fatal - the gyrocopter crashed into a paddock killing the 65 year old pilot. A NSW Police force press release says
"" It appears the gyrocopter has struck the ground heavily causing substantial damage and the male pilot and only occupant was killed. The man is believed to be a 65-year-old from Nowra.""   On the 17.3.14 local media named the pilot as Ken Wilkinson.






News link with interviews re fatal gyro accident in NSW 16.3.14

News link to fatal gyrocopter accident at Brundee, NSW 16.3.14



6th January 2014 - Hughenden aerodrome, Queensland - Celier Aviation Xenon - During the approach to Hughenden aerodrome in Queensland, the Xenon gyrocopter lost speed and subsequently collided with trees. The aircraft was substantially damaged.


Source Australian ATSB



2013


21st December 2013 - Kinglake national park, Dixons Creek, Victoria - Fatal accident - a two seat gyrocopter ( possibly an MT-03 / MTOsport  - G-2347? ) crashed during a scenic flight having taken off from Dixons Creek. The pilot and tourist passenger were both killed in the crash in the high ground of Kingslake. The gyrocopter was operated by Yarra Valley Flightsports. Local media name the pilot as Reg Thaggard and the passenger as 18 year old Jordan Pang from Singapore.



Link to news report for fatal gyroplane accident in Victoria 21.12.13


Link to another news report for gyrocopter crash 21.12.13


Link to Yarra Valley Flightsports



15th December 2013 - RAF 2000 - near Kingaray, Queensland - During cruise, the gyrocopter developed severe airframe oscillations and the pilot conducted a precautionary landing on a road. The rotor head was overhauled - source ATSB



22nd September 2013 - Magni M22 gyrocopter - Montpelier airpark, near Townsville, Queensland - The Magni gyrocopter was hit by a wallaby during its take off roll  - the wallaby was killed, the gyrocopter was damaged as it hit a fence and rolled over - the pilot escaped unhurt.


ATSB ref 201309413



28th June 2013 - A Dominator gyrocopter crashed near Dakenba, Biloela in Western Queensland ( approx 130km from Gladstone ) - the pilot is described as in a critical condition after the gyro hit power cables.  Update - the pilot is out of hospital and back at work - see UPDATE October 2013 link below for more on this good news. The ATSB summary says during the approach beside powerlines the gyrocopter struck an unseen spur line before colliding with terrain. 



News link to accident at Dakenba QLD 28.6.13

Police press release re accident 28.6.13

UPDATE October 2013 - Good News - pilot back at work


ATSB ref 201306248



18th June 2013 - ELA 08 gyrocopter - The ATSB summary states that during the cruise the gyrocopter collided with terrain 25km south east of Townsville Queensland, resulting in substantial damage and serious injuries to the pilot. It was reported that as the pilot applied full power, the slipper clutch malfunctioned resulting in a loss of rotor RPM.


ATSB ref 201306820



16th June 2013 - Xenon gyrocopter take off incident at Gunnedah,  New South Wales - media reports mention a "cable malfunction" resulting in an emergency landing as the gyro departed from an airshow at Gunnedah.


Photo below shows the incident on 16.6.13 at Gunnedah NSW





11th June 2013 - Auto-Gyro MT-03 - The gyrocopter collided with terrain and was substantially damaged near Dimbulah, Queensland - source ATSB

ATSB ref 201305695


7th March 2013 - During cruise, the engine failed and the pilot conducted a forced landing into a paddock near Thorpdale, Victoria. The gyro flipped onto its side resulting in substantial damage - source ATSB.


ATSB ref 201302210






2012


24th August 2012 - 1 fatal - an RAF 2000 gyro collided with the ground and was destroyed by fire approx 100km East of Pormpuraaw, Cape York, Queensland. The pilot was killed.

News link to Cape York gyro accident 24.8.12


ATSB ref 201208409





26th June 2012 - Gyro makes emergency landing onto mud flats near Ryhll, Phillip Island, Victoria after apparent engine failure - pilot walks away after gyro turns on its side in the mud - pilot Don Cowling. The gyro does not appear to display an ASRA gyro registration.


ATSB ref 201206025



 Photo credit ABC News

Video Link to interview with the pilot and wreckage for accident 26.6.12

News report for accident 26.6.12

ABC News link for gyro accident 26.6.12



12th May 2012 - RAF 2000 gyro - during landing at Hervey Bay aerodrome, Queensland, the gyrocopter veered sharply and roller over. The RAF 2000 was substantially damaged.


ATSB ref 201204250


6th May 2012 - Pilot killed in gyrocopter accident near Bollon, Queensland - believed helmet came loose and hit propeller - Fatal - can anyone provide a brief summary ?


1st April 2012 - an unknown gyro is reported to have struck an overhead powerline near Broken Hill aerodrome, New South Wales


ATSB ref 201203245


5th February 2012 - G-1010 AC10 Arrowcopter - propeller broke up during flight, the Arrow Copter is a very new type of gyro, debris hit tail, engine difficulties - forced emergency landing - no injuries - possibly in the Gundaroo area of NSW.

ASN Newsreport on incident 5.2.12



14th January 2012 - G-762 GT Kruza gyrocopter accident at Mangalore, VIC - 2 Fatal - this accident is currently under investigation by the Coroners Court of Victoria - the instructor pilot was Sam La Bruna, the student pilot was Robert Brockbank.




Photo credit Herald Sun


Herald Sun news link to Accident 14.1.12

Newspaper Link to Accident 14.1.12

NZ Newspaper Link to Accident 14.1.12

UPDATE OCTOBER 2012 - ASRA published online a link to the Interim Accident Report for Kruza G-762 produced by ASRA  

UPDATE DECEMBER 2012 - ASRA removed the link to the Interim Accident Report link   Please contact ASRA / ATSB / CASA and ask for access to this report and ask why a summary is not in the public domain.

UPDATE JANUARY 2013 - ASRA spokesman Alan Waddles ( Incident Registrar )  published the following brief summary on the Rotary Wing Forum

Report 01/2012. The gyro, with an instructor and student onboard, departed on a training flight that was expected to last one hour, which was normal. Approximately three hours later, a member of the public was driving past a paddock that normally grazed horses when he noticed a “pile of rubbish” in the paddock. He drove in to investigate and discovered the remains if what he deemed to be a helicopter. Further inspection revealed that deceased persons remained in the wreckage. He contacted Emergency Services who attended the scene and confirmed that the wreckage was that of a gyroplane and that the two occupants were deceased.

ASRA was notified and offered assistance with the investigation which was accepted. A team of 4 investigators attended the scene the next day and having eliminated weather conditions and pilot error as contributing factors, discovered a failure within the control system which did not appear to be the result of ground impact. On-site visual inspections revealed the characteristics of metal fatigue on a fracture within the control system. Critical components were removed from the wreckage and sent to the ATSB for closer examination. The results of these examinations are not available at this time. The final report on the accident will be forwarded to the Coroner via the Police when all evidence has been processed.



This accident has been discussed on the Rotary Wing Forum  - a lengthy thread can be found on the following web link

http://www.rotaryforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36158&highlight=kruza


UPDATE JULY 2013 - ATSB publish their finding into component failures, fracture in the rotor head torque tube.

Link to ATSB report for GT Kruz accident 14.1.12




2011


18th December 2011 - Gyrocopter accident on take off at East Beverley, Western Australia  - pilot injured. The ATSB summary says that the engine failed during the initial climb resulting in the gyrocopter hitting the ground.

TV Report Link to Accident 18.12.11


ATSB ref 201108776


30th October 2011 - An unknown gyrocopter is reported to have collided with the ground in the Bunbury area of Queensland.



ATSB ref 201107532




5th September 2011 - it appears a mechanical failure sent the gyrocopter nosediving into a field near the Ingham showground, north of Townsville. The 61 year old pilot escaped with minor injuries.

News link to gyrocopter accident near Ingham 5.9.11





7th June 2011 - An unknown gyrocopter is reported to have collided with the ground 19km south of Bundaberg airfield, Queensland.

ATSB ref 201104068




23rd April 2011 - Gyro accident crashed and burned approx 20km west of Coonamble, NSW - Fatal accident killing the pilot Keith Comensoli.

Newspaper link to gyro Accident 23.4.11

Another Newspaper Link to accident at Coonamble 23.4.11
 



9th March 2011 - Fatal - Ground accident at Farnham Plains, 30km west of Eulo, Queensland, on engine start up the unoccupied gyro moved forward with the propeller striking the pilot. The pilot was standing alongside the gyro when the engine was started. The engine immediately revved highly. The gyrocopter is described as an Owen Dull Newo registered G-241 and had been delivered secondhand to the pilot just the day before. The Coroners inquest report identifies the pilot as Sam Beresford. 





The report raises many concerns relating to training, paperwork, flight instruction, mustering operations and the relationship between CASA, ASRA, ATSB, local Police and Health and Safety officers and how the accident was subsequently investigated.  A PDF of the Coroners report can be accessed via

Link to official Coroners inquest report for fatal gyroplane accident in Queensland 9.3.11




2011 - Gyrocopter take off accident on waterlogged ground - gyro veered left and rolled over





2010


30th December 2010 - Gyrocopter accident near Blyth, South Australia - pilot dislocated his shoulder - more summary details please

News link to gyro accident at Blyth SA 30.12.10




23rd December 2010 - Gyrocopter crash whilst mustering cattle at the Neutral Junction Station 90km north of Ti Tree, Northern Territory






Photo courtesy of NT Police



Newspaper link to accident 23.12.10 at Neutral Junction Station



21st December 2010 - During landing the gyrocopter encountered a wind gust and overturned on landing at Caboolture, Queensland.

ATSB ref 201008936



21st August 2010 - Gyrocopter crash accident at Elimbah, 4km from Caboolture, Queensland  - pilot survived

Newspaper report to Caboolture accident August 2010

ATSB ref 201006008



2nd May 2010 - 1 Fatal - G-102 single seat open gyrocopter crash near Lameroo, South Australia - Fatal


Photo credit ABC News

Link to ABC Riverland News report 2.5.10

Newspaper Link to Accident 2.5.10


ATSB ref 201003193



March 2010 - G-090 ? Gyrocopter accident east of Weipa Queensland - pilot Sean Anthony survived over 24 hours in the bush before walking to safety.




Newspaper report to Weipa accident March 2010

News report with photos of wreck for accident March 2010


23rd January 2010 - G-255 Rosco gyrocopter accident near Jindabyne, NSW Snowy Mountains area - Fatal


Newspaper report to Jindabyne accident 23.1.10



2009


29th December 2009 - Gyro crashed near Purnong, Mannum, South Australia - Fatal.  "Terry Arnold, aged in his 50s, was the sole occupant of the small helicopter when it crashed in a paddock in Purnong, near Mannum, about 1pm."  The ATSB summary says the gyrocopter was reported to have hit a cliff and then in an inverted attitude lower terrain too.

Newspaper Link to Accident 29.12.09

ATSB ref 200908256



6th April 2009 - Monarch gyro crashed into the Tamar river at Clarence Point, near George Town,  Tasmania from a height of approx 100m - pilot Alan Wardill  rescued from the water. The ATSB summary says the pilot lost pitch control during cruise before crashing into the river and sinking.

Newspaper Link to Accident 6.4.09

Another Newspaper Link to Accident 6.4.09

ATSB ref 200902105


20th February 2009 - G-049 Magni M-22 accident at Home Hill, QLD  - Fatal.  "Well-known Burdekin resident Michael Howard, 59, died doing what he loved when his imported Magni gyrocopter crashed shortly after take-off yesterday morning."

Photo credit Townsville Bulletin


Townsville Bulletin link to Accident 20.2.09

Newspaper Link to Accident 20.2.09


2008


20th April 2008 - Burdekin beach, Groper Creek, near Townsville, QLD - Magni M22 - The gyrocopter rolled onto its side just prior to touchdown on a sand-bar at Burdekin beach Queensland. The pilot and passenger received minor injuries  - the rotorblades on the gyro were broken.


News link to Queensland gyrocopter accident 20.4.08



2007


8th November 2007 - Firebird type gyrocopter accident near Echuca - 1 Fatal and 1 with major burns ( Paul Bruty ).

Newspaper Link to Accident 8.11.07

Another Newspaper Link to Accident 8.11.07


23rd July 20071Fatal  -  gyrocopter accident at the Applethorpe airstrip near Stanthorpe, Queensland - Fatal


Newspaper link to rotorcraft fatal accident near Stanthorpe 23.7.07


ATSB ref 200704920



1st July 2007 - RAF gyrocopter accident near Cranbourne, Tasmania - 2 Fatal

News report to Cranbourne accident 8.11.07


2006

16th October 2006 - Fatal accident - G-2223 ? UFO Helithruster  - gyrocopter crash near Lockwood South, Bendigo Victoria - The gyro was flown by Christopher Williams, 47, with his wife Jennifer, 46 a passenger, when it crashed about 10am today on a property in McGlashans Lane at Lockwood South, near Bendigo - the gyro hit a boundary fence. The pilot Chris Williams was killed.

Llewella Evans, from the Australian Sport Rotorcraft Association, said it was rare for gyrocopters to be involved in crashes. She said unlike helicopters, gyrocopters usually glided down to earth if they got into trouble.

Photo credit Sydney Morning Herald


Sydney Morning Herald news link to accident 16.10.06



27th March 2006 - gyrocopter malfunction whilst engine running on the ground, the gyro set off across the airfield near Kurri Kurri before hitting a tree.


News link to gyrocopter incident 27.3.06





2005


18th June 2005 - G-095 Butterfly gyrocopter crashed through boundary fences during take off - Non fatal


2004

13th October 2004 - Gyrocopter accident during mustering operations at Norley Station, QLD - main rotor hub bar failure - Fatal - see ATSB Australian Transport Safety Bureau report on the link below

ATSB Gyrocopter Hub Bar failure report

Coroners Report on Norley accident 13.10.04


4th April 2004 - Gyrocopter ( built by Owen Dull ) broke up in mid air near Esk, Queensland during its delivery flight - Fatal - see Coroners report about this accident on the link below 

Coroners Report accident 4.4.04



2003

19th March 2003 - Fatal accident in a single seat gyrocopter, pilot killed near Emu Park, Rockhampton, Queensland


News link to gyrocopter accident 19.3.03




2002

17th June 2002 - gyrocopter crashed while practising touch and gos around the circuit at an airfield near Singleton, NSW


News link to gyrocopter crash 17.6.02



2001

21st January 2001 - Fatal gyro accident at Ross Glen near Kew, New South Wales killing the pilot - "A police spokeswoman said the 62-year-old man was flying a gyrocopter when, according to witnesses, the engine stalled and his aircraft plunged nearly 70m to the ground. "

News link to fatal gyrocopter accident 21.1.01


2000

26th November 2000 - two treated after a gyrocopter crashed at Theresa Park, Camden, NSW - the pilot and passenger were released after being treated at the scene

News link to accident 26.11.00



1999


11th May 1999 - Fatal accident at Ullina airstrip near Creswick, Victoria.  The pilot Craig Huxley a local police officer was under instruction from the ground


News link to fatal gyro accident 11.5.09


Please note that accidents pre 1996 are listed on the ATSB website in summary form and are available for viewing today.  In 1996 the responsibility for publishing gyrocopter accident summary data passed to ASRA - ASRA have chosen not to place any accident summary information in the public domain.





1996


19th February 1996 - G-5537 - The pilot had been carrying out flights in his gyrocopter which was later found to have crashed, the pilot receiving fatal injuries. The propeller appears to have separated from the engine and passed up through the rotor system - near Orroroo, South Australia - Fatal.

ATSB Report for accident 19.2.96



1995


......1995 - Tocumwal, NSW - fatal gyrocopter accident - the local town history website states " Andrew Broadway of Tocumwal Ultralights was killed when his gyrocopter crashed just east of the aerodrome."
No further details known.


Link to Tocumwal website





28th April 1995 - It was reported that the rotorcraft took off and climbed to about 150 ft. It then entered what appeared to be shallow dive at full power. The descent continued until the rotorcraft collided with the ground. The wreckage was spread out over about 50 metres. It was reported that the pilot had modified the engine installation prior to the flight and he may have recently changed the main rotor blades. The circumstances that led to the loss of control were not be determined - near Thylungra, QLD - Fatal.

ATSB Report for accident 28.4.95



1993

19th November 1993 - The gyroplane crashed 230 metres from the property airstrip whilst the pilot was returning from a sheep mustering flight. The tail separated from the aircraft in flight following being struck by the rotors. Weather conditions were poor with a strong gusting wind and blowing dust - near Nangunyah, NSW - Fatal

ATSB Report for accident 19.11.93


1992


6th September 1992 - Bensen type gyro - Aircraft collided with a tree while flying low over residential areas - near Primbee, NSW - Fatal.


ATSB Report for accident 6.9.92


1990


3rd November 1990 - Homebuilt gyrocopter - The pilot took off to the west and climbed straight ahead for approximately one kilometre. At about 150 feet above the ground the complete main rotor assembly suddenly separated from the gyroplane. The gyroplane then plummetted to the ground - near Bridgwater, Victoria -  Fatal


ATSB Report for accident 3.11.90


10th July 1990 - The first circuit appeared to proceed smoothly at an altitude of about 250 feet above the ground until the turn onto final approach. When that turn was started the aircraft assumed a reasonably steep nose down attitude. Engine noise remained constant until the aircraft hit the ground tracking about 15 degrees to the left of the landing direction. A detailed wreckage inspection did not reveal any pre-existing defect that may have contributed to the accident - near Redwood 20 km NE of Traralgon, Victoria - Fatal

ATSB Report for accident 10.7.90



1989

19th November 1989 - Fatal gyrocopter accident near Euston, New South Wales

News link to accident 19.11.89