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Double fatality in Gyrocopter crash into sea, Busselton, W.A.

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The ABC is reporting a double fatality (two males) in a gyrocopter crash into the sea, off Forrest Beach, North of Busselton, W.A., around 14.00hrs WST today. The crash site is closer to Capel than Busselton.

My sympathy to the deceased mens families. No names have been released yet.

 

Gyrocopter crashes into sea off Busselton, two killed

Edited by onetrack

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A mini helicopter? Hmmm. Both reports eventually noted it was known as Gyrocopter. Condolences to the families and friends of the deceased.

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Pics are not very clear but appears to be folding mast model

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I'm going out on a limb here - but from the little I can glean from the limited amount of photos, it appears that this machine is a Titanium Autogyro model.

 

If I am correct in my ID - of some concern, is the report from a previous Titanium Autogyro crash on Oct 31, 2018, at Spring Hill, NSW - which crash also resulted in a double fatality.

 

This gyrocopter crashed whilst doing training circuits, and touch and goes, at Orange regional airport, killing the instructor and the student pilot.

 

Investigation of this serious crash is currently being carried out by the ATSB - and investigation centres on structural failure of some of the (folding) rotor mast components, which appears to be the major reason for this crash.

 

Whether the failure is a design fault, or the components were overstressed in operation is something that the ATSB is no doubt pursuing.

 

ATSB Investigation AE-2018-073

 

I note that all Titanium Autogyros fitted with the folding mast option, were grounded shortly after this crash, by ASRA, after the release of an ASRA Safety Directive. That Safety Directive reads;

 

 "A preliminary investigation into the circumstances surrounding the (Oct 31, 2018) accident has been completed by Officers from the Australian Sport Rotorcraft Association (ASRA). The investigation is continuing. ASRA Officers completed an inspection of the accident gyroplane and reported that the gyroplane was fitted with an optional two (2) piece folding mast. There was evidence to support that the cheek plates locking the folding mast in the flight position, had failed. This possibility represents a major risk to flight safety. DIRECTIVE: With immediate effect, all Titanium Autogyro (TAG) gyroplanes that are fitted with a folding mast option are grounded until further notice."

 

I have no information as to whether the grounding has now been lifted on all affected Titanium machines, or if individual Titanium machines with the folding mast have been checked, and deemed safe to fly.

 

It is going to be interesting to find if;

 

1. This Busselton crash Gyro, actually was a Titanium model;

2. If it was fitted with the folding mast option;

3. If the crash was directly caused by a similar component failure, as in the Spring Hill crash Gyro.

Edited by onetrack
addendum
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Examination of one of the Busselton crash Gyro recovery photos, appears to show that the lower portion of the rotor mast is all that is left of the mast assembly.

 

Then, examination of the TAG website photos, showing the folding mast, gives one the impression that the cheek plates holding the folding section of the upper mast assembly, do indeed appear to have failed in the Busselton crash Gyro.

 

None of my conjecture is designed to interfere with, or encroach on, any properly-instituted crash inquiry, or predispose any person as regards fault in design or operation of the Gyro, nor is it designed to reflect adversely on the TAG company, or its owners or executives.

 

The recovery photo is courtesy of ABC (Australia) News.

 

Titanium Autogyro - features

 

GYRO-BUSSELTON.jpg

Edited by onetrack
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The names of the deceased have been released - they were Father and Son, Robert and James Waughman, from the Perth suburb of Kallaroo.

 

Busselton Gyrocopter crash victims named

 

Perth Now - gyrocopter crash victims named

 

Their gyrocopter has been positively identified as a Titanium Explorer model, G-565, S/N 036, camo green/brown/black - new, 09.2017.

 

Titanium Gyrocopter blogspot

Edited by onetrack
addendum

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The Channel 7 News video in the link below, gives good imaging of the damage to the top side of the Gyrocopter.

I've pulled off a couple of screen shots from the video, that are pretty telling, as regards the failure point on the rotor mast.

 

Tributes roll in for Gyrocopter crash victims

 

 

GYRO-CLOSEUP.jpg

GYRO-CLOSEUP-2.jpg

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Posts on the ASRA site say the Safety Directive is still in force and conclude from the photos that it had a folding mast.

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Sad accident , just on a side note I think the camo paint or wrap is a bad idea , bright or fluro colours  especially on small machine would be better, 

 

Condolence to family and friends

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1 hour ago, Old Koreelah said:

Agreed, Dean. Even gyros with "normal" paint jobs are very hard to see.  

Yes. For those that think microlights are hard to see, gyro's are like them, but without the "wing" .

So basically just a pod....

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 Camouflage is for a purpose . To make it hard to see. Hardly a good idea from  that aspect.  Nev

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It's certainly a very strange choice for a paint scheme, for a civvy arcraft. Make you wonder what the thought processes were behind it.

I note the family were into Paintball, I guess they were really right into war gaming, shooting, and military stuff, and really wanted to carry their obsession to the extreme.

 

The sad part of the whole disaster is that the son was an only child, so the widow has lost her whole family in one severe blow.

Edited by onetrack

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The father was a companyman for an offshore drilling rig I have been informed, as I work in this industry I did not actually know him but was told from a friend who worked on the same rig.

Such a tragedy for a wife and mother to lose the whole family in the blink of an eye.

Will be interesting to see if it was actually a folding mast model and if the grounding was still in place as this I would then be an accident that should never have happened if the rules were followed.

If it is the case it is reckless from the deceased meaning both of them which they have now paid the ultimate price.

i feel for the relatives left behind.

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I feel for the people who have to investigate these tragedies then advise the family of what happened, that must be hard.

The only winners out of this can be anyone else who has the same aircraft and this kicks them into gear to fix the problem before any more incidents.

A sad result for aviation 

 

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The more damage to the airframe the better as would have absorbed more of the impact that way. Helmets or not the amount of trauma caused to a persons body coming to a sudden stop can easily cause multiple organ failures as well as those caused by impact with parts of the airframe.

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Also they obviously hit the water, so any injuries may have stopped them getting out and then drowned.

 

Sad

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21 hours ago, kgwilson said:

The more damage to the airframe the better as would have absorbed more of the impact that way. Helmets or not the amount of trauma caused to a persons body coming to a sudden stop can easily cause multiple organ failures as well as those caused by impact with parts of the airframe.

For what it’s worth the general cause of death in these types of crash - ie minimal or no impact damage to the airframe-  is the internal organs keep travelling at descent speed while the “enclosing body”  ( muscles, skeleton etc ) stop suddenly. 

The organs rip off their attachments on the back to the internal chest and abdominal wall. These includes the heart and great vessels. 

 

I recall a few years back seeing a post-mortem report and photos of a couple who were in an R22 that got carb icing and the Pilot was too slow to react. Aircraft impacted upright and looked completely intact except for splayed skids. The crew were sitting upright in their seats, pilot hands on controls.  just like they’d decided to have a sleep. 

 

Anyway postmortem results were that all their internal organs were now compacted  into the pelvis and torn off stumps of arteries and trachea were hanging suspended in chests. 

 

Anatomically complete internal chaos despite a completely normal external appearance. 

Edited by Jaba-who
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