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NZ - UFO Helithruster - Coroner

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New Zealand coroners court sitting today into the 2009 fatal crash of gyrocopter UFO Helithruster ZK-RAZ


A NZCAA spokesman said ".....inherent instability in the aircraft".


more here on todays news link below




You can read the official NZCAA report here ( published earlier )




Not the most successful gyro type.







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Still getting made...........i'm not so sure about that......maybe.


Getting certified to LEGALLY fly in Oz............that's going to be a hard task for them, without MAJOR redesigning and engineering. Very doable if the will and funds permit.


It's "the cabin shape" that draws folks in, it does look dead mean.


These machines have since day one, struggled to get any runs on the board, re supply, hrs of flying, supplier backup,etc etc........not one out of the box machine has sucessfully flown, yet sales blurb keeps flowing out.


Some yrs back, i approached them re buying one, they were keen as........then i indicated i had some gyro experience ( 20+ yrs ) and i was coming over to NZ to actually fly one before i parted with my money...........that's when they went dead quiet. Yea it's all smoke and mirrors stuff............beware.


( side note.......2 fatalities, 1 being their test pilot ) that i am aware of. And that's the only 2 machines that have actually got airborne into a circuit pattern scinareo.



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""The report doesn't attribute blame to the aircraft.""


The report identifies shortcomings with the gyro, not airworthy, the licence of the PIC in terms of instructing, and failure to comply with CAA rules


considered airworthy


Here are the conclusions from the report


3. Conclusions


3.1 The possibility of any pre-existing airframe or engine defect that could have


contributed to the accident was eliminated as far as practicable by the safety




3.2 The carriage of a container of sand in the nose of the aircraft invalidated the Flight




3.3 There were no records that would indicate a test flight program had been properly


performed or completed. As a consequence the gyrocopter could not be


considered airworthy and a passenger should not have been carried until 10 hours


of test flying had been completed and recorded.


3.4 The pilot in command was type rated on the type of aircraft but not as an


instructor. The flight therefore, should not have been conducted for the purpose


of flight instruction.


3.5 The owner suffered a recent TIA and had a heart-related medical history. This


history increased the likelihood of the owner suffering an incapacitating medical


event such as another heart attack or TIA.


3.6 A handling error by the owner probably resulted in a bunt-over/PPO from which


the gyrocopter could not be recovered. The handling error could have been


caused by the owner suffering a medical event.


3.7 The bunt-over/PPO would have resulted in the gyrocopter’s rotor disc being


subjected to zero or negative G, directly contributing to departure from controlled




3.8 The aircraft’s impact with the ground was not survivable.


3.9 It is considered that if Civil Aviation Rules had been complied with, the accident


would not have occurred.





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Steve, The report doesn't attribute blame to the aircraft. Not sure why you put my comments in your post. What short comings are mentioned about the aircraft? I don't know the aircraft from a bar of soap but the report address's the likely hood of poor airmanship and breaking of numerous rules leading to the most likely cause of the accident.





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Hi Jim,


Your comments were at the start of my post as this was the part of this thread I was replying to.


You ask about shortcomings of this aircraft - the major one being it was not airworthy


3.3 There were no records that would indicate a test flight program had been properly


performed or completed. As a consequence the gyrocopter could not be


considered airworthy......................


An aircraft that could not be considered airworthy should remain on the ground, it is by definition not fit to fly.


Few UFO's have been built but several have had fatal accidents.







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