NTSB Final Report: Rotorway 162F (A1); ELA ECLIPSE 10 (A2) (MidAir) | Aero-News Network
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Tue, May 21, 2024

NTSB Final Report: Rotorway 162F (A1); ELA ECLIPSE 10 (A2) (MidAir)

Event Coordinators Informed Pilots That 360° Turns In The Traffic Pattern Were Prohibited

Location: Oshkosh, Wisconsin Accident Number: CEN23FA333 Date & Time: July 29, 2023, 12:27 Local Registration: N193AZ (A1); N221EL (A2)
Aircraft: Rotorway 162F (A1); ELA ECLIPSE 10 (A2) Aircraft Damage: Destroyed (A1); Destroyed (A2)
Defining Event: Midair collision Injuries: 2 Fatal (A1); 2 Serious (A2)
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal (A1); Part 91: General aviation - Personal (A2)

Analysis: A gyroplane and helicopter collided midair while maneuvering for landing in day visual meteorological conditions. The aircraft were participating in a fly-in event that provided daily pilot briefings on flight operations and procedures. During the briefings, event coordinators informed pilots that 360° turns in the traffic pattern were prohibited. 

Flight track information, witness statements, videos, and damage to the aircraft indicated that the gyroplane impacted the left side of the helicopter while performing a prohibited 360° turn on the base leg of the visual approach. The helicopter impacted terrain, came to rest inverted, and a postaccident fire ensued. The gyroplane impacted an unoccupied airplane. The gyroplane pilot had no recollection of the accident flight. 

Postaccident examinations of both aircraft revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operations. The circumstances of the accident are consistent with the failure of the gyroplane pilot to see and avoid the helicopter while performing a prohibited maneuver in the traffic pattern, resulting in a collision with the helicopter.

Probable Cause and Findings: The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be -- The failure of the gyroplane pilot to see and avoid the helicopter while maneuvering in the traffic pattern. Contributing to the accident was the gyroplane pilot’s performance of a prohibited maneuver in the traffic pattern.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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