The Dragonfly gyroplane was in the traffic pattern at the airport in Anahuac, Texas, when witnesses saw the main rotor head separate in flight and the gyroplane subsequently hit terrain, killing the pilot.
The pilot’s friends and the mechanic who performed the last conditional inspection reported that the pilot/owner performed most of the maintenance on the gyroplane and that he had recently installed the main rotor head bearing block.
Examination of the wreckage revealed that the bearing block had been installed upside down and was being held in place solely by friction.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the incorrect installation by the pilot, who was not a certificated mechanic or repairman, of the main rotor head bearing block, which resulted in the in-flight separation of the rotor head.
NTSB Identification: CEN14LA056
This November 2013 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.