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The pilot had purchased the aircraft some 12 months previously but had carried out only limited and infrequent training. This training had not progressed to the stage where turns were performed, and was limited to straight and level hops along the strip. On the morning of the accident the pilot had performed several hops, taking off and landing into a light easterly breeze. On about the fifth flight the aircraft climbed to a height of about 85 feet, levelled off momentarily and then descended with reduced power as if for a normal landing. When the aircraft was about 50 feet above the ground and close to the end of the landing area, power was applied, a climb was made to about 200 feet and turns were made to position the aircraft on a downwind leg. Witnesses noted that the aircraft was under control until it suddenly adopted a nose-high attitude, followed by a rapid pitch-down which continued into a tumbling motion. Two in-flight impact noises were heard above the sound of the engine and shortly afterwards the aircraft struck the ground in a steep nose-down attitude while cartwheeling to the left. Wreckage examination showed that there had been two strikes on the tail fin and rudder by the rotor blades, causing the rudder to become detached from the aircraft in flight. It was considered that the pilot endeavoured to carry out a circuit of the strip after he perceived that there was insufficient distance remaining to safely land the aircraft. The reason for the sharp change of attitude on the downwind leg could not be positively established, but was probably due either to turbulence or an incorrect control input by the pilot. When the nose pitched down, the airflow through the rotor disc would have been significantly reduced. This would have led to a loss of rotor RPM and a consequent loss of performance of the rotor to the stage where control of the aircraft could not be regained.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 01 October 1984 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0915  
Location:Rylstone Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Loss of control 
Release date: 19 June 1985 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bensen Aircraft Corporation 
Aircraft model: Buffier Gyroplane 
Type of operation: Sports Aviation 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Rylstone, NSW
Departure time:0915
Destination:Rylstone, NSW
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Last update 13 May 2014