VPM M16 Tandem Trainer gyroplane, G-CVPM
The pilot had stopped at Halfpenny Green to refuel on a trip from Yorkshire to the pilot’s home base near Exeter. After refuelling, the aircraft was taxied to Runway 34 for departure. The pilot began pre-rotation of the rotor, but was unable to hold the aircraft stationary on the brakes. At about 110 rotor rpm the pilot moved the cyclic control aft. The rpm was less than desired, but the pilot thought it would be safe to do so and it would assist rotor rpm build up. With the rotor at less than normal flying speed, the gyroplane pitched nose-up and there was severe vibration through the cyclic control. The pilot pushed it forwards again and reduced power before taxiing back to the apron. Upon inspection, a section of the top of the gyroplane’s rudder was found to be missing, along with tips of the propeller blades. Photographs supplied by the pilot also showed damage to a rotor blade, consistent with the disc having flapped back into contact with the rudder and propeller.
Date of occurrence: 14 February 2012