Blade detached in flight - Fatal - ELA

Steve_UK

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The Polish PKBWL accident office recently published a report into a fatal ELA 07 accident that happened earlier in 2017 - two fatalities. The report identifies many concerns - among them are the fact that a rotor blade came off in flight. See report map below, with one blade ( nr 1 ) 350m away from main wreckage.

This was an American ASC registered gyrocopter flying in Poland, A12-DOB

The "instructor" was not a qualified instructor
The "student" didn't register ownership, no airworthiness, no insurance

Many concerns.

The report says the blades were attached at an improptu operating strip.

A report photo appears to show the blades stubs still bolted to the rotorhub.

Take Care
 

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AirCommandPilot

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I don't want to speculate, I hope we get more info on this. Could de-lamination of the rotor be a possibility? Obviously the rotors are still bolted to the hub, and the hub is still attached to the machine.
 

twistair

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Official report by PKBWL (Polish NTSB for aviation) only tells in the "Probable cause":
"The comission refuses to investigate this crash"

I didn't see anything about "improper strip" there nor any witness info.
 

Jazzenjohn

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Maybe a severe blade flap, then went flying without any damage inspection? I've never seen a ring gear separation either Alan.
 

Kevin_Richey

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Anyone know the rotorblade composition ELA uses in their machines? Alloy, and if extruded?

Quite possibly the exact thing predicted by a well-known rotorblade manufacturer commented about to me several years ago.
 

Vance

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Kevin_Richey;n1124616 said:
Anyone know the rotorblade composition ELA uses in their machines? Alloy, and if extruded?

Quite possibly the exact thing predicted by a well-known rotorblade manufacturer commented about to me several years ago.
In my opinion it looks like composite rotor blades in the picture.

ELA's web page lists the ELA Eclipse 10 as having a; "carbon fiber highly tuned rotor".

For the ELA 7 the page just says; "high energy ELA Rotor."

I feel there is not enough information to speculate as to the cause of the mishap in a meaningful way.
 

J.C.Casabuono

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Vance;n1124617 said:
In my opinion it looks like composite rotor blades in the picture.

ELA's web page lists the ELA Eclipse 10 as having a; "carbon fiber highly tuned rotor".

For the ELA 7 the page just says; "high energy ELA Rotor."

I feel there is not enough information to speculate as to the cause of the mishap in a meaningful way.
You can see the accident report in Polish, there is a picture of the broken blade, looks composite skin with aluminum spar to me.

http://mib.gov.pl/files/0/1797511/20170525RK.pdf
 

Kevin_Richey

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Courtesy of Google-translate: (You'll have to go to the PDF file to see the photos).

Some sobering facts revealed, such as prior damage to one rotorblade that was repaired, as well as the pilot not being legal to fly.

Page 1 of 7
NATIONAL AIRPORT INVESTIGATION COMMISSION
Event Information [report]
Event registration number: 525/17
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Date of event: March 26, 2017
Place of occurrence: Krzeczyn Wielki k / Lubin
Type, aircraft type: Ela 07S R-115 windmill
Recognition marks SP: A12DOB
Commander SP: Ultra light gull light pilot
Number of victims / type of damage:
Fatal Serious Light Without
injury
2 - - -
Supervisory supervisor: Mieczysław Wyszogrodzki
Examining entity: PKBWL
Composition of the research team:
Member of PKBWL Ryszard Rutkowski
Member of PKBWL Jacek Bogatko
Recommendations: No.
Recipient of recommendations: No.
End date of study: 27-04-2017
The course and circumstances of the event.
The windmill was purchased on September 6, 2013 by ORLEN LTD from o.
division in Poland in Olsztyn. On June 10, 2014 Petrozal Sp. with o.o.
registered in Warsaw, requested the Civil Aviation Authority
for obtaining a permanent residence permit for a foreign aircraft on the territory of the Republic of Poland. Office of Aviation
Civilian agreed and informed the owner that the aircraft type Ela 07S R-115
About A12DOB signatures, has been entered in the registry of the Civil Registry Department.


Page 2 of 7

The Commission has determined that from the time of the purchase of the gyroplane until March 2016 the gyrocomb was
hangar at Olsztyn-Dajtki airport. In 2015, when the gyrocommerce was in use
to damage one of the rotor blades. The Commission failed to determine when and where
The damage has been repaired. It's not clear what happened to gyrocomb
between March 2016 and January 2017. Then, in February 2017 gyrocomb
He was transported on a tow truck to Podgórze (landing area) near Niemstów.
He was transported on a tow truck to Podgórze (landing area) near Niemstów.
Probably the new owner of the grenadine was a resident of Lubin (there is no such thing
relevant documents confirming who was the owner on the day of the accident. At the landing field
The rotor blades were mounted and the gyrocomb was prepared for flight (no documents
Confirming the performance of assembly work as well as review documents
przedlotowym).
The testimony of witnesses shows that the alleged owner without the right to pilot
gyrocomers began flying with a colleague from Wroclaw, holding the required credentials
piloting gyrocommers. In February they made several flights on the said landing. Due
Low temperature flights were interrupted (open cabin). On March 26, 2017 the flights were
resumed. The crew from Podgórze Landing took off around 2:30 pm LMT1.


probably made two flights around the circle and then a flight in the area of ​​Lubin. About an hour
15.30 Coordinator of the Air Rescue Service communicated information to the Service Body
FIS Poznan Air Information about the incident that occurred
in Krzeczyn Wielki near Lubin. Around 16.15 the wrecker's wreck was
Found in the vicinity of Krzeczyn Wielki, as the LPR coordinator informed FIS
Poznan. The place of the accident was secured by the local service until arrival
Research Team of the State Commission for Aircraft Accident Investigation and the Public Prosecutor.

1 LMT-Local mean time. All times in this document are expressed in LMT.


Page 3 of 7
Fig.1. A12DOB A12DOB signature windmill during take off
Olsztyn-Dajtki Airport (photo: Google Earth).
Fig.2.Szkic place of events in the area of ​​Krzeczyn Wielki on the background of the map
Google Earth (Figure PKBWL).


Page 4 of 7
Damage to the aircraft.
Fig. 3. Windmill at the accident site (photo: PKBWL).
Figure 4. The gyroscope engine after separation from its construction (photo: PKBWL).


Page 5 of 7
Fig.5. Destruction of the rotor head (photo: PKBWL).
Figure 6. Destruction of the rotor blades, view from
head side (photo: PKBWL).


Page 6 of 7
Information about the crew.
Pilot, 47-year-old man in the front seat, having:
permission to fly on a paraglider PP;
Passenger / Tandem;
entitlement to fly on a PPGG motorboat;
The pilot had an aviation medical certificate valid until 20-03-2019.
Pilot, 47 year old man in the back seat, having:
permission to fly on a paraglider PP;
permission to operate a paraglider powered by PPG;
Passenger / Tandem;
the right to pilot a lightweight UAP (L) landplane;
gurney-american pilot license No. 12/2009;
UAG (L) ultra light cruise liner, valid for
March 11, 2020;
radiotelephone rights, authorized to correspond
radiotelephone in Polish;
The pilot had a medical certificate valid until October 23, 2017.
Meteorological information.
On the day of the incident, witnessed good weather conditions:
clear sky, visibility over 10 kilometers, poor wind from west.
Meteorological conditions had no effect on the occurrence of an air event.
Onboard recorders.
Lack.
Medical and pathological information.
As a result of the crash, the crew was killed.
Fire.
There was no.
Factors of survival.
Under stated circumstances, the crew had no chance of survival.


Page 7 of 7
Statements and findings of the PKBWL Research Team.
The windmill on the day of the accident did not have any supporting documents
its airworthiness and compulsory insurance against civil liability for damages
Caused in connection with the operation of the aircraft.
The windmill was not operated in accordance with the rules for the operation of ships
aerial, pursuant to Article 135 of the Law of July 3, 2002, Aeronautical Law:
lack of certificate of airworthiness of aircraft;
lack of proof of civil liability insurance for
damage caused by the operation of the aircraft;
Informal "training" outside of the air training center certified by
ULC;
Informal "training" by a pilot without the instructor's authority.
Cause of the incident:
The Commission waives the investigation of an aircraft accident.
Preventive actions taken by the user:
There was no.
Safety Recommendations:
The Commission has not formulated safety recommendations.
End
Signature Name
Supervisory supervisor: Mieczysław Wyszogrodzki
 

Kevin_Richey

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All this time I thought I was flying one of those gyrocopter, or gyroplane contraptions.

I should be calling it a "Windmill", according to this Polish report.

George Townson's book, Autogyro: "The Story of the Windmill Plane" is correctly named!
 
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shaybrennan

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When at the Ela factory a few years ago we saw the rotors being made.
The Ela rotors have an alloy D-Bar inside the leading edge and a composite skin over the rest of the rotor.
Alloy at the Hub as well.
Shay
 

XXavier

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Is there any evidence that a blade detached in flight...? Yes, I see that the blades (both) are broken at the roots, but that can be the result of a violent crash due to other causes...
 

Jazzenjohn

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They believe the blade separated inflight because it was found 350 meters from the crash site Xavier.
 

XXavier

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Jazzenjohn;n1124644 said:
They believe the blade separated inflight because it was found 350 meters from the crash site Xavier.
Yes, now I see that in the pictures, but no mention of that important fact is made at all in the translated text...
 

Jazzenjohn

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I think there should be a little more about what damage was done to the blades, how they were damaged, and what was done to "fix" them.
 

Kevin_Richey

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Chuck Beaty or others: Possibly in the many years of gyroplane flying, has anyone recalled a gyro crash that was witnessed where one rotorblade departed from the aircraft in flight, and then the gyro had crashed?

If so, what was the condition of the remaining rotorblade at the scene w/ regards to still being attached to, or separate from, the hub bar?

Also, in such a case, has the pilot survived (say they were just off the ground to do so) to relate to others the forces generated that must have shook the machine like a dog to a rat that it has captured.
 
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Mike G

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I was recently in Poland doing some balancing training and people were talking about this accident. I didn't catch much of the conversation but did understand that they were also talking about another ELA (I assume in Poland) that had cracks in a blade just outboard of the last retaining bolt. I shall be inspecting my ELA blades very closely from now on.

It's interesting to understand more of the story thro the translation, thanks Steve and Kevin for the link and translation.

I fear the problem will be that because this was being flown illegally (no paperwork) there will not be an official investigation and we'll not learn any more. One would hope that, if the Polish authorities do nothing, ELA would try to pick up the pieces to find out what happend just to satisfy themselves that this isn't a problem with their design.

Mike G
 

Mike G

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Regarding the detached ring gear, like others I was a bit surprised to see that. Difficult to image what force scenario could cause that, although if they lost a blade in flight the forces must have been enormous and the movement of the rotor head pretty chaotic.

A point to note is that ELA weld their ring gear to the disc, they used to rivet them like Tom Milton's Wunderlich (spelling???) but now they weld them. I'm currently trying to fix a problem with mine so I've become a bit of an expert:frown:.
Photo showing the two sytems.

[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/i738.photobucket.com\/albums\/xx29\/Mike_Gyro\/Ring%20gear%201_zps2xmepvze.jpg"}[/IMG2]

Mike G
 
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Steve_UK

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Hi Mike - the only other ELA accident that I am aware of at the moment in Poland happened on 16th January 2015 - ELA 07 registration SP-XREY - crashed into woods, outside air temperature zero.

I do keep an eye on the PKBWL reports so if I see another I'll let you know.

If anyone is interested I did add three more incidents to my Blog earlier today - just scroll down to the following dates on the Blog

3rd July 17
17th June 17
8th May 17


see

https://gyroaccidents.blogspot.co.uk/
 
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