Fatal Gyro Accident in Putnam County, Fl

fara

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Since we are quoting figures dug out the log book. Accepted a Citation V in Wichita with EFIS on 10th Dec 1989 to fly to Saudi Arabia and at the time had 12,600hrs. So around 4,400hrs of various other types of EFIS in various other a/c types, flying globally over the next 14 years. Am acquainted with various types of EFIS and what they offer.

Flying since I retired, much simpler, either basic 6 pack, or, just ALT, ASI, compass and slip string, which regretfully leaves me entirely unacquainted with the recent developments with Ipads, Foreflight, Sky Demon, Garmin Pilot, Jeppesen Mobile, Air Nav Pro, Direct To, Uncle Tom Cobly and the rest.

I chose MGL and will see how I fare. The Eclipse and AR1 I last flew with Greg both I think had Extreme which I felt was too small for an open gyro hence the Explorer. Yes, setting it up has not been my forte. It may well be overkill, but if, when, I get the chance to finish, I am hoping it will give me some information that will be useful, and I can use.

The point I am making isn’t for you or a professional pilot who is now retired. I am making a general point. I find people with less than 1000 hours of total flying, very few if any hours with flying with an EFIS still want an EFIS for recreational Gyroplane flying in Kansas, Iowa or such places. There isn’t any LA airspace there. My personal preference is to simplify solutions as much asI can. When your cruise speed os100 mph and you are flying for fun why would you kill the fun by using a complex solution when it’s not needed. That’s my take on life in general.
 

Resasi

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Good point Fara.

I would only say that here in UK with low time pilots, fixed wing trike, glider, or gyro they are generally pretty poor with situational/geographical awareness.

If nothing else, the moving map display with their location, and ability to have a 'go to’ function, is a big advantage and confidence booster.

The traffic function also giving awareness of what is around is v good, as most are so tied up with staying right side up, that they are oblivious to anything or anyone not connected to the moment.
 
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Steve_UK

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an update - NTSB Preliminary now available

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.National Transportation Safety BoardAviation
Accident Preliminary ReportLocation:San Mateo, FL
Accident Number:ERA21LA071Date & Time:December 12, 2020, 15:25 Local
Registration:N11TGAircraft:Anthony Mattioli AR-1Injuries:1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:part 91: General aviation - Personal

On December 12, 2020, about 1525 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built American Ranger-1 gyroplane, N11TG, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near San Mateo, Florida. The private pilot was fatally injured. The gyroplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.According to preliminary Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ADS-B data, the gyroplane departed Deland Municipal Airport – Sidney H. Taylor Field (DED), Deland, Florida, about 1350. The pilot performed two circuits in the traffic pattern before departing the traffic pattern around 1400. After departing the area, the pilot maneuvered north of the DED for the remainder of the flight and the gyroplane remained below 1,200 ft mean sea level (msl). At 1523:23, the ADS-B data ended about 1 nautical mile south of the accident site. For the final two minutes of the data, the gyroplane flew between 950 ft msl and 725 ft msl. In addition, the groundspeed of the gyroplane increased from 58 knots to 76 knots for the last two minutes of data. According to the kit manufacturer, the gyroplane’s “general cruise” speed was 47 to 86 knots (55 to 100 mph). Concerned family members contacted the FAA and an Alert Notice (ALNOT) was issued about 2130 for the missing gyroplane. It was located the following morning, around 0855 in a heavily wooded state forest. A review of photographs taken by first responders revealed that the gyroplane came to rest in a densely wooded area on the left side of the fuselage. The empennage remained attached to the fuselage. First responders reported that there was no odor of fuel at the accident site, and during recovery, they noted the fuel tank remained intact and contained an undetermined amount of fuel. There was no evidence of fire at the accident site.The gyroplane was recovered and retained for further examination.
 

fara

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an update - NTSB Preliminary now available

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.National Transportation Safety BoardAviation
Accident Preliminary ReportLocation:San Mateo, FL
Accident Number:ERA21LA071Date & Time:December 12, 2020, 15:25 Local
Registration:N11TGAircraft:Anthony Mattioli AR-1Injuries:1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:part 91: General aviation - Personal

On December 12, 2020, about 1525 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built American Ranger-1 gyroplane, N11TG, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near San Mateo, Florida. The private pilot was fatally injured. The gyroplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.According to preliminary Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ADS-B data, the gyroplane departed Deland Municipal Airport – Sidney H. Taylor Field (DED), Deland, Florida, about 1350. The pilot performed two circuits in the traffic pattern before departing the traffic pattern around 1400. After departing the area, the pilot maneuvered north of the DED for the remainder of the flight and the gyroplane remained below 1,200 ft mean sea level (msl). At 1523:23, the ADS-B data ended about 1 nautical mile south of the accident site. For the final two minutes of the data, the gyroplane flew between 950 ft msl and 725 ft msl. In addition, the groundspeed of the gyroplane increased from 58 knots to 76 knots for the last two minutes of data. According to the kit manufacturer, the gyroplane’s “general cruise” speed was 47 to 86 knots (55 to 100 mph). Concerned family members contacted the FAA and an Alert Notice (ALNOT) was issued about 2130 for the missing gyroplane. It was located the following morning, around 0855 in a heavily wooded state forest. A review of photographs taken by first responders revealed that the gyroplane came to rest in a densely wooded area on the left side of the fuselage. The empennage remained attached to the fuselage. First responders reported that there was no odor of fuel at the accident site, and during recovery, they noted the fuel tank remained intact and contained an undetermined amount of fuel. There was no evidence of fire at the accident site.The gyroplane was recovered and retained for further examination.

725 ft msl. That's only about 600+ feet AGL and over a swamp and this was one mile before the accident site as ADSB could not get the signal in the last mile to record data? No way Tony was the kind of guy who would fly that low. Period. And absolutely would not do that over a swamp. We flew (He flew his gyro and I flew another AR-1 at around 75 to 80 knots speed) from Zephyrhills to Deland and we went over the green swamp. 1500 MSL or higher is what he maintained in that flight and we tried our best to go from a field to field instead of a straight line to try and keep glide to a landing spot as much as humanly possible. Something seems odd about this. Weather or visibility forcing him to go that low, engine problem, may be? But if engine problem why increase the speed from 58 knots to 76 knots? 58 knots is already close to best glide and approach speed. Although it does say these are ground speeds
 
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Tyger

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What did you discover about the weather at nearby stations at the time? It sounded like it was poor. Might have been even worse over swampy ground. He may just have been flying low to stay out of clouds.
 

fara

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What did you discover about the weather at nearby stations at the time? It sounded like it was poor. Might have been even worse over swampy ground. He may just have been flying low to stay out of clouds.

It was poor visibility. Misty and overcast. I think it was going to get worse as the afternoon passed
 

skyguynca

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It can only take minutes for the ceilings to lower around mountains or even for clouds to form.
I have taken off out of Lodi, doing pattern work because the ceiling was down to 3000 ft. Before I completed downwind to base I was at the bottom of the clouds. Before I taxied off the runway it was on the ground.

Lodi is flat for miles in all directions, and it blew in super fast.
 

fara

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I have taken off out of Lodi, doing pattern work because the ceiling was down to 3000 ft. Before I completed downwind to base I was at the bottom of the clouds. Before I taxied off the runway it was on the ground.

Lodi is flat for miles in all directions, and it blew in super fast.

I have flown in Lodi but that's a bit different. You guys get sea fog there right. I didn't experience it when I was there but I understand that is what happens there.
I do suspect weather has something to do with it just because the whole of Northeast section of Florida was getting bad, MVFR, IFR etc. that day. However, I am trying to find out if it was fuel starvation at the end of just getting dis-orientation that he did not know he was going very very low. There are other possibilities as well but looking at the report from ADSB this becomes more likely scenario. The fact ADSB could not catch the last mile is obviously because the ground based system could no longer get his signal even though he flew another 1 mile to where the gyroplane was found. This simply means he was way too low in the last mile. He was an instrument rated airplane pilot but that would not mean much in his gyro which was not equipped with any instrumentation he could use for IFR even if he tried. It only had a GPS derived attitude not a solid state or a gyro based attitude sensor
 
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DavePA11

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All my previous planes didn't have attitude indicators so used a string with small weight on the end.
 

Vance

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I have flown in Lodi but that's a bit different. You guys get sea fog there right. I didn't experience it when I was there but I understand that is what happens there.
Lodi is a city located in San Joaquin County, California, in the center portion of California's Central Valley.

Lodi is about 100 miles from the ocean.

Tule fog (/ˈtuːliː/) is a thick ground fog that settles in the San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento Valley areas of California's Central Valley. ... This phenomenon is named after the tule grass wetlands (tulares) of the Central Valley. Tule fog is the leading cause of weather-related accidents in California.
 

Tyger

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All my previous planes didn't have attitude indicators so used a string with small weight on the end.
That sort of assumes that the only acceleration acting on it is gravity though, no?
Those other accelerations are a major part of how pilots get disoriented without a visual cue (be it the real horizon or gyroscopic instruments).
 

WaspAir

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All my previous planes didn't have attitude indicators so used a string with small weight on the end.
That sort of assumes that the only acceleration acting on it is gravity though, no?
Those other accelerations are a major part of how pilots get disoriented without a visual cue (be it the real horizon or gyroscopic instruments).
I thought it was humor. You know the old joke about flying IFR by carrying a cat in the cockpit to tell which way is down (they always land on their feet), but you also need a dog to keep the cat awake?
 

DavePA11

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Tyger - It would assume on gravitational forces are acting. I did install a battery powered AHRS working with Foreflight when flying my 1949 PA-11 without an electrical system. This helped, but there was noticeable delay in the artificial horizon with the AHRS. Better than nothing when flying in mixed weather.

I bought a Husky with excitement of having a full panel with attitude indicator, and wouldn’t you know it the damn thing didn’t work when I flew it home for the first time....
 

Vance

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All my previous planes didn't have attitude indicators so used a string with small weight on the end.
Please help me understand what you used this string with the weight for.

What does it tell you?

How does it help?
 

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WaspAir

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Here's a "weight on a string". A pilot with good coordination skills can keep the ball stationary throughout all sorts of wild maneuvers.
10-00700.jpg


Basic rules for the C & D Method of instrument flight are fairly well known and are extremely simple. Here's how it's done:
  1. Place a live cat on the cockpit floor; because a cat always remains upright. It can be used in lieu of a needle and ball. Merely watch to see which way the cat leans to determine if a wing is low and if so, which one.
  2. The duck is used for instrument approach and landing. Because of the fact that any sensible duck will refuse to fly under instrument conditions, it is only necessary to hurl your duck out of the plane and follow it to the ground.
There are some limitations to the Cat and Duck Method, but by rigidly adhering to the following checklist, a degree of success will be achieved which will surely startle you, your passengers, and even an occasional tower operator.
  1. Get a wide-awake cat. Most cats do not want to stand up at all. It may be necessary to carry a large dog in the cockpit to keep the cat at attention.
  2. Make sure your cat is clean. Dirty cats will spend all their time washing. Trying to follow a washing cat usually results in a tight snap roll followed by an inverted spin.
  3. Use old cats only. Young cats have nine lives, but old, used-up cats with only one life left have just as much to lose as you do and will be more dependable.
  4. Beware of cowardly ducks. If the duck discovers that you are using the cat to stay upright, it will refuse to leave without the cat. Ducks are no better in IFR conditions than you are.

  5. Be sure the duck has good eyesight. Nearsighted ducks sometimes fail to realize that they are on the gauges and go flogging off in the nearest hill. Very nearsighted ducks will not realize that they have been thrown out and will descend to the ground in a sitting position. This maneuver is difficult to follow in an airplane.
    Use land-loving ducks. It is very discouraging to break out and find yourself on final for a rice paddy, particularly if there are duck hunters around. Duck hunters suffer from temporary insanity while sitting in freezing weather in the blinds and will shoot at anything that flies.

  6. Choose your duck carefully. It is easy to confuse ducks with geese because many water birds look alike. While they are very competent instrument flyers, geese seldom want to go in the same direction as you.

 
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Vance

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Here's a "weight on a string". A pilot with good coordination skills can keep the ball stationary throughout all sorts of wild maneuvers.
How does an inclinometer substitute for an attitude indicator?
 

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DavePA11

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Vance - it really doesn't. For me flying aircraft without electrical system the best solution I came up with was a portable AHRS linked to Foreflight for attitude indicator. It worked okay. We don't have that issue with gyros since all have electrical system. Although my SC M912 didn't have an attitude indicator nor did it have an altimeter when I bought it.... The previous owner/builder stated he didn't need either since just look outside.
 

N930GT

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Tony Mattioli was a friend of mine and member of the South Eastern Rotorcraft Association in Columbia.

He had been planning to fly his new AR-1 up from FLA after he got comfortable with it and flew off enough hours, etc. In fact, he was about to abandon his CUB hanger when he bought the AR1, but after we met he decided to keep it and fly up in his gyro so we could go out and bomb the local fields together south of town.

His hanger was across from mine at CUB, and when he first saw me with gyrocopters spilling out of my hanger he came over and introduced himself. At the time I was building Geoff Resney's Air Command tandem Yamaha 165HP EXUP "Godzilla", and had not yet returned my own Air Command tandem Yamaha 140HP to service so I had only a promise to offer him at the time for a ride.

Was hoping to find some new information about his death here. Reading Fara's info that there was a good chance there was an operational EFIS recording parameters on board at the time of the crash got my interest, to say the least. Because when I received the call just hours after they found Tony that sad Saturday in December after he went down the first thing that came to mind was the fact that he was flying a Rotax 914.

You see, Vance B reported on RF no less than 5, personal, Rotax 914 engine outs & forced landings in a couple of enclosed eurotubs over a relatively short span of time. How many 914 bulletins have been issued to date?

It is NOT reasonable to imagine that anyone - let alone a truly experienced and fully capable pilot in FW and rotorcraft - caught in low cloud cover and even perhaps fog would ignore his #1 most basic and important instrument: Altimeter.

What IS reasonable to imagine is that he was not very high up due to low cloud cover when his Rotax 914 engine quit, and he simply could not glide to a suitable LZ.
 
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