Ponsford Bensen B8MR (modified), G-BIGU - Re-issued Bulletin Report
The accident occurred on the first unsupervised flight following the pilot’s completion of his Private Pilot’s Licence (Gyroplanes) course. It resulted from the rotor blades striking the rudder, which rendered the gyroplane uncontrollable. Witness accounts indicated that G-BIGU was flying straight and level at a reasonable speed just before this event, although there were reports of possible ‘over-controlling’ during the flight. The specific reason for the rotor blades striking the rudder could not be determined but a pilot induced oscillation appeared to be the probable cause. An examination of the aircraft, and subsequent computer modelling by the University of Glasgow indicated that the aircraft could have poor longitudinal stability characteristics. The investigation also highlighted the poor safety record of gyroplanes in general compared to other types of recreational aircraft. Accordingly, recommendations have been made concerning the approval of gyroplanes and the training and licensing of gyroplane pilots.
Date of occurrence: 29 June 2003