On 31 October 2018 a Titanium Explorer Autogyro, registered G-0014, collided with terrain approximately 1 km south‑east of Orange Airport, New South Wales. The pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries. The rotors and masthead were found some distance from the main wreckage, having separated at the cheek plates (Figure 1). The cheek plates sit on either side of the collapsible mast and are designed to secure the mast in the upright position during operation.
The Australian Sport Rotorcraft Association commenced an investigation into this accident and requested technical assistance from the ATSB to examine the cheek plates and their fracture surfaces. Specifically, the ATSB was requested to determine the direction of fracture progression through the plates and to identify any factors that may have contributed to their failure.
To facilitate this work, the ATSB initiated an external investigation under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.
The ATSB examination undertook physical, microscopic and chemical analysis of the cheek plates. These examinations found that the plates had failed due to ductile overstress, commencing at the leading edge and progressing to the trailing edge (when oriented in the direction of travel). The plate’s dimensions and chemical composition were in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications and there was no evidence of any pre-existing defects.
With the completion of the component examinations, the ATSB has concluded its involvement in the investigation of this accident. Any further enquiries in relation to the investigation should be directed to the Australian Sport Rotorcraft Association.
This report has been released in accordance with section 25 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.
|Date:||31 October 2018||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Time:||1209 EST||Investigation level:||Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels|
|Location:||Near Orange Airport||Investigation phase:||Final report: Dissemination|
|State:||New South Wales||Occurrence type:||Collision with terrain|
|Release date:||20 May 2019||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Report status:||Final||Highest injury level:||Fatal|
|Aircraft model||Tag Aviation, Titanium Explorer Autogyro|
|Type of operation||Sports Aviation|
|Sector||Sport and recreational|
|Damage to aircraft||Destroyed|
|Departure point||Orange, NSW|