Fatal Gyro Accident in Putnam County, Fl

loftus

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I am sorry to report that a gyro went down, apparently yesterday afternoon in Putnam County. The pilot was Anthony Mattioli of Lake Mary, Florida and South Carolina. I first saw this posted on Facebook that he was missing, then was sent this report a short while ago. I met him for the first time just a couple of weeks ago when he was preparing his beautiful gyro for a flight the next day. He had recently completed the build. He was hangared just across from me at KDED. No cause is yet established, my condolences to his family
 
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DavePA11

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Lotus - What was he flying? Condolence to family and friends. Very sad news.
 

fara

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Tony was an exceptionally nice guy and instrument rated private pilot airplane. He had finished his gyroplane sport pilot add on at Sebastian, FL and built and owned a great AR-1 (open) with Rotax 914. He had finished off his Phase-I flight portion to the best of my knowledge. Very sad news. The accident site is near San Mateo, about 43 miles straight line distance from Deland.

 
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fara

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Here is the ADSB Performance Report from FAA. About 1.5 hour flight from 1:50 pm to 3:23 pm it seems and no higher than 1200 feet
 

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DavePA11

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So it wasn’t a night flight, but only found the accident site the next morning? Sounds like no way to find out the cause?
 

fara

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So it wasn’t a night flight, but only found the accident site the next morning? Sounds like no way to find out the cause?

I am pretty sure a probable cause would be found. The gyroplane I am told has been taken to Jacksonville. I have not seen it but am told that it is surprisingly together. Have no idea what that means till I get to see it or at least see pictures.
 

GyrOZprey

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Very interesting that the gyro is relatively whole ..... sounded like an " as controlled a landing as possible" in forest terrain!
Having seen a high angle- terrain impact wreckage ...recently & also other hard impacts with 914 powered gyros ... fire with spilled fuel on the hot turbo seems to be high occurrence!
(My observation over the years ..is that 912 powered gyros ...do not seem to catch fire as often as 914's do!...????)
 

SSDriver

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@fara , I just assumed that since you are the manufacturer of the gyro, that they would welcome your expertise and extensive knowledge in determining if it was a mechanical failure of some type. But yes, it was in a heavily wooded area, but the sad thing is that there are a awful lot of farms in that general area that would have been perfect for an emergency landing, if he could have only reached one. Maybe a few hundred more feet in altitude would have been enough. But only he knows what the circumstances were at the time.
But it is sad news all around.
 

Greg Vos

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Does anyone know how many hours he had as a gyro pilot? Asking because with respect previous flight exp on other types of aircraft gives little seat in the pants knowledge apart from radio, airspace and aircraft instruments.... a gyroplane is not a FW nor is it a helicopter, that is why we in SA have a separate licence for gyroplane, it’s not a rating and in this we need a type rating for every gyroplane.
will be interesting to hear from his instructor and to get an idea of what type of person he was? not wanting to drag this thread into the gutter with personal opinions but just facts, in order that we all learn from it if we can.


RiP avi
 

loftus

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I believe he had under 100 hours in a gyro, but don’t know for sure. He hangared across from me. Seemed like a pretty careful guy, had been flying his Tecnam for a few years at least before he brought the gyro to Deland maybe a couple of months ago, and seen flying the gyro around the airport since. Nothing to indicate to me that he was not a cautious pilot, but your point is taken that a gyro is a different animal. Very nice and personable guy, offered to help me do some fuel injection mods I am planning on my Aircam. Very sad to arrive at the airport yesterday to see his car still parked outside his hangar.😪
 
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Vance

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It appears to me the FAA recognizes the differences in flying a gyroplane and has several separate certificates for gyroplanes.

Sport Pilot, Gyroplane.

Private Pilot, Rotorcraft-Gyroplane.

Commercial Pilot, Rotorcraft-Gyroplane.

A Sport Pilot, Gyroplane pilot may fly any gyroplane day visual flight rules that meets light sport limitations.

A Private Pilot, Rotorcraft-Gyroplane or a Commercial Pilot, Rotorcraft-Gyroplane may fly any gyroplane day or night if appropriately equipped.

Most flight instructors I know recommend transition training when transitioning to a different gyroplane.

Some people in the USA fly gyroplanes without the appropriate certificates.
 

fara

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Does anyone know how many hours he had as a gyro pilot? Asking because with respect previous flight exp on other types of aircraft gives little seat in the pants knowledge apart from radio, airspace and aircraft instruments.... a gyroplane is not a FW nor is it a helicopter, that is why we in SA have a separate licence for gyroplane, it’s not a rating and in this we need a type rating for every gyroplane.
will be interesting to hear from his instructor and to get an idea of what type of person he was? not wanting to drag this thread into the gutter with personal opinions but just facts, in order that we all learn from it if we can.


RiP avi

He has 65+ hours in gyroplanes. About 47 in this AR-1. He has a few hundred hours in airplanes and owns a Tecnam with the same engine (Rotax 914). He holds instrument rating in airplanes. I gave him 3 or 3.5 hours of training to familiarize him with AR-1 as his training and checkride for gyroplanes was mainly in an ELA. He isn't the type of guy who does funky maneuvers and I would have a very hard time believing an AR-1 just got out of control from him. AR-1 does what you tell it to do and I doubt he would ask it to do anything that risky maneuvering wise. We did several emergency engine out practices and he was confident, calm and executed them adequately. He was a very reasonable educated man and a very very nice guy.
 

fara

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I was able to talk to NTSB investigating agent and informed her that there is a flight log in the EFIS that records engine parameters every 2 seconds or so along with altitude and airspeed. If there was no fire, it would have data showing if engine was running or not. She said she does not believe there was any fire. I let her know about Rotax service station in Florida where they can get engine checked and offered help inspecting control continuity etc. along with FAA or their inspectors and offered assembly drawings of sub-assemblies if they wanted. Its up to them to ask what they would like from us.

Trying to find out more about weather at Palatka (28J) which was the closest airport to the site of the accident but their AWOS has been inoperable due to a lightning strike so they had no data recorded. City of Palatka weather record shows 3 mile visibility with mist around that time. By 6 pm onwards Palatka city was listed as fogged in. Keystone (42J) is other closer one and did have AWOS operable. Although not the closest I am trying to get weather there in early evening on the 12th.
 
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Greg Vos

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I see another AR down in Utah from the pic it looks like a new 915 unit? What the hell is going on? We profess and teach the safety of these things ...
 

XXavier

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I see another AR down in Utah from the pic it looks like a new 915 unit? What the hell is going on? We profess and teach the safety of these things ...

Well, when I'm asked if flying a gyro is safe, I always say that it's probably not as dangerous as driving a bike in city traffic, but safe it isn't...
 

Greg Vos

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Well, when I'm asked if flying a gyro is safe, I always say that it's probably not as dangerous as driving a bike in city traffic, but safe it isn't...
Well we need to find out why these accidents are happening? I find if we fly it within its envelope and we fly within our own ability and we follow the PoH on performance it’s safe? Unless it’s a catastrophic mechanical failure? then IMO gyroplane is safe provided too that the Pilot is correctly trained and appropriately rated.
 
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