The pilot had owned the gyrocopter for some time, but had flown it infrequently due to engine tuning problems. On previous flights, the pilot had flown from a larger strip near Innisfail. Since then, he had enhanced the engine instrument cluster to better monitor the performance of the turbocharged engine. The pilot's intention was to test the new instrument installation at the smaller Deeral strip before proceeding to the larger strip for further flying practice. He had planned to make six runs along the 500 metre long strip without becoming airborne, with a 15 knot crosswind. On the fifth run,the witness noticed that full power was applied for much longer than on the previous runs. The aircraft accelerated to flying speed and became airborne. At a height of about six feet above the strip, the pilot appeared to experience some difficulty with the cross-wind. The gyrocopter banked and yawed to the right, it then dived into the ground, and cartwheeled forward before coming to rest in a drain.