After departing from the airport where the pilot kept the Autogyro, he flew to his family farm near Crozet, Virginia, and landed without incident on a 1,500-foot-long grass polo field.
Later on, during an attempted takeoff from the same field, when the gyroplane was traveling at 25 to 30 knots and was about 150 feet into the takeoff roll, the gyroplane rose to a balanced position on its main wheels, but then began to bounce up and down violently.
The pilot then lost control of the gyroplane and it rolled over on its left side about 300 feet into the takeoff roll.
The pilot said there was nothing mechanically wrong with the gyroplane. He further advised that it was “pilot error” and that he had “over advanced” the blades by pushing the control stick too far forward and that the blades were not yet at speed (too low a rotor rpm) when he did it.
The pilot was not injured, but the gyroplane incurred damage to the rotor blades, the pusher propeller, the horizontal stabilizer, the vertical stabilizer, the rudder, the engine cowling, and the wheel pants.
Probable cause: The pilot’s improper control inputs which resulted in a loss of control and rollover during the takeoff roll.
NTSB Identification: ERA15CA121
This February 2015 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.