Fatal - Magni M24 Plus N590DM, Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, Missouri, USA 22 MAY 2022

BEN S

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I'm not a mathmetician. I never graduated Algebra.
But wouldnt the car wreck statistic apply to gyro pilots who drive cars too?
So they dodged the "medical" issue driving everyday AND to the airport THAT DAY only to have it happen during the 1 to 2 hours they were in the air?
Nope...still calling the BS flag.
Now him calling back to tower to return...that might tell us another story.
My only point in posts on this topic has always been to make sure that we don't as a community gloss over the uncomfortable truth for our basic human instinct to soothe or furrowed brows.

Stay frosty
 

Tyger

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The quoted statistic only applies to drivers who actually had a crash "known" to be related to a medical emergency...
Presumably this is easier to determine for car crashes, probably because a large percentage are not fatal. In fact, they were able to interview a great many of those involved, to ask how good they felt their health was before the crash.
 

Philbennett

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No idea if medical applies to this accident but medical incapacitation and accidents are not BS. Indeed it is believed to have killed one of my students.

What the driving analogy fails to recognise is that if I have a "moment" driving a car then perhaps I just hit the brakes and stop, or weave around for a while, I might even have a bump but you can crash autos at very high speed and walk away. Many people can relate to that.

There are very few people who get to crash an aircraft twice.

You can read the AAIB report for yourselves but what is interesting is that around a month before this accident the student arrived at the airport with a towel around his neck. In the UK airfields and flying are the domain of a lot of banter and of course the student was quizzed about his new neck wear. "Oh I bumped myself in the lane whilst I was out walking..." "I think I tripped in a pothole and hit my head on the grass verge, two girls rescued me I was unconscious for 20 mins..."

Of course everyone was slightly disbelieving of the story and the student himself now sometime later seemingly unconcerned at his own health.

So you see there can be many little "events" that perhaps go unnoticed or papered over that in normal life have little or less consequence and yet in aviation it can be quite devastating. Some even suggest that a crash that happens in the middle of a field affecting only the pilot is of little consequence. That's not true. In my case I was sobbing for weeks.

Regardless of if you can you must consider if you should fly without good knowledge of your medical state.

Fatal accident report
 

BEN S

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Phil, sorry for your loss as well. I know what that feels like to go through. Both for me and for my friends.
I am not saying there is NEVER a medical issue. I am saying it is the easy go to.
That's all.
Ya know as a life long bomb disposal tech (lifelong so far...hehehe) we constantly deal with accident reports. As a matter of fact there is a huge book written by Dupont canvassing all the accidents going back like 100 or more years for anything involving explosives.
The recorded accidents fall into two categories. Details made up after the fact by people who were not there, and details made up after the fact by people who WERE there.
Along those same unwritten rules are ones like, "never bring a camera downrange" that way if someone gets blowed up, the survivors can fit the story as they need it to to prevent unpleasantries like jail time with free sex benefits or civil lawsuits that take your wife's house away.....

I feel there are some similarities in our little community even if for different reasons....
 

Doctordantodd

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If the pilot called the tower saying he needed to return urgently, it's a good bet the tower asked what the problem was. That answer might be what is leading some people to say it was a medical issue...
I am sure more will be revealed in due course.

In this instance, with a brand-new machine of a tried-and-true design, I think the first three, above, can be ruled out.
I am not of the "bigger is better" school, and I personally would be chary about putting more a powerful engine on a machine originally designed for a less powerful one.
I really hope there was some communication with the controller that sheds light on this. I was told the controller was watching him come in with binoculars and the rotor "stopped"---thus the bunting theory. So tragic.
 

Abid

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I really hope there was some communication with the controller that sheds light on this. I was told the controller was watching him come in with binoculars and the rotor "stopped"---thus the bunting theory. So tragic.

Autorotation stops in flight for one reason only and that is a loss of loading or even going into negative loading. But that would generally also leave marks on the tail and propeller as the blades slow down and hit these items.

But why would that happen is the bigger question that will need to be figured out. Blades truly coming to a stop means it lasted quite a long time in that unloaded state or hit the tail and prop multiple times to stop. I think Greg Gremminger is there helping them. If you find prop blade tips far away from the main wreckage debris that will pretty much confirm blade strike and low G. The reason if medical will be figured out with an autopsy. Will take a bit of time.
 
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Doctordantodd

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Thank you. Bruce and I both trained a bit with Greg G and Paul Salmon in Missouri. I guess it is human nature to want to know what happened and speculate. Probably best to be patient and wait for the final report. He loved to fly the gyroplane, almost as much as me.
 

Abid

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Thank you. Bruce and I both trained a bit with Greg G and Paul Salmon in Missouri. I guess it is human nature to want to know what happened and speculate. Probably best to be patient and wait for the final report. He loved to fly the gyroplane, almost as much as me.

I am so very sorry. I have lost people to aircraft accidents since 2003 when I started flying. Every time, though as we got to know more it has always been pilot error or bad ADM and lack of pre-flight that came out to be the cause. Only one person I knew actually died of a heart attack while flying and he was able to land but then passed away while his aircraft taxied into a fence.
Honestly if the record was not this way I probably would have quit flying myself. I have zero interest in taking excessive risks that cannot be controlled. This is why I have never pursued flying IFR either. I never need to get somewhere so quickly that I need to be flying blind and play dice with Mother Nature.
 

Tyger

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Thank you. Bruce and I both trained a bit with Greg G and Paul Salmon in Missouri. I guess it is human nature to want to know what happened and speculate. Probably best to be patient and wait for the final report. He loved to fly the gyroplane, almost as much as me.
The controllers at Cape G are pretty familiar with gyros, so they might have more insight than most...
How long had your friend been flying his? Was he just down in MO for some training? That would have been a long trip back to SD.
 
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Doctordantodd

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He stopped there from Gulf Shores Alabama where he purchased the plane. He was pretty well trained and had a fair amount of aviation experience. Paul Salmon called me the morning of his death. He knows just about everyone and everything.
 

Tyger

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Yes, some very experienced Magni guys are right there in SE MO, ironically. I'm sure they're already talking to NTSB.
That must have been a very difficult phone call, both for you and for Paul.
FAA records show the pilot was the builder. If he built it in Italy, it would have been thoroughly checked out there first, and then again at Gulf Shores, for sure. I am guessing Phase I was flown off in AL?
 

chrisk

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Autorotation stops in flight for one reason only and that is a loss of loading or even going into negative loading. But that would generally also leave marks on the tail and propeller as the blades slow down and hit these items.

But why would that happen is the bigger question that will need to be figured out. Blades truly coming to a stop means it lasted quite a long time in that unloaded state or hit the tail and prop multiple times to stop. I think Greg Gremminger is there helping them. If you find prop blade tips far away from the main wreckage debris that will pretty much confirm blade strike and low G. The reason if medical will be figured out with an autopsy. Will take a bit of time.

I'm not sure I agree with "Autorotation stops in flight for one reason only and that is a loss of loading or even going into negative loading". I recall an issue with a "flapped" Xenon some years back that was determined to be a mechanical failure. --"The NTSB eventually found the pre-rotator housing had slipped and contacted the ring gear, scraping & gouging metal off it, slowing down the rotor". Had this happened in the air, instead of during take off, it certainly would have been fatal. And there is another thread. https://www.rotaryforum.com/threads...camarenilla-toledo-spain-08-aug-2018.1146785/ which suggest a slowed down rotor, (and some have speculated interference from the rotor brake).
 
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Abid

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I'm not sure I agree with "Autorotation stops in flight for one reason only and that is a loss of loading or even going into negative loading". I recall an issue with a "flapped" Xenon some years back that was determined to be a mechanical failure. --"The NTSB eventually found the pre-rotator housing had slipped and contacted the ring gear, scraping & gouging metal off it, slowing down the rotor". Had this happened in the air, instead of during take off, it certainly would have been fatal. And there is another thread. https://www.rotaryforum.com/threads...camarenilla-toledo-spain-08-aug-2018.1146785/ which suggest a slowed down rotor, (and some have speculated interference from the rotor brake).

I cannot say that I was thinking about a pre-rotator housing coming off in flight and jamming into the ring gear to stop the rotor. Is that likely on a newly built Magni? I doubt it. Such a thing doesn't just happen and thus any proper pre-flight should catch it.

The ELA speculation that it was rotor brake that would slow it down. I really really doubt it very much
 

chrisk

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I cannot say that I was thinking about a pre-rotator housing coming off in flight and jamming into the ring gear to stop the rotor. Is that likely on a newly built Magni? I doubt it. Such a thing doesn't just happen and thus any proper pre-flight should catch it.

The ELA speculation that it was rotor brake that would slow it down. I really really doubt it very much
I agree with you that such scenarios are quite remote, but the possibility remains. I'm holding any judgement until at least the factual report comes out. (hopefully soon). Generally there are very good hints in these reports.
 

Tyger

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How long does it take for a rotor to really just stop, though? Think about how long it spins after landing if you leave the rotor brake off. Obviously it's below flight rpm, but it's still spinning for quite a while.
I am very skeptical of witnesses on the ground that say "the rotor just stopped" in midair. Maybe in the case of a tail strike, but at that point it's really just a symptom of a prior total loss of control.
 
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Abid

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How long does it take for a rotor to really just stop, though? Think about how long it spins after landing if you leave the rotor brake off. Obviously it's below flight rpm, but it's still spinning for quite a while.
I am very skeptical of witnesses on the ground that say "the rotor just stopped" in midair. Maybe in the case of a tail strike, but at that point it's really just a symptom of a prior total loss of control.

Even with a tail strike it won’t just stop. It would take multiple and it would obviously slow down and deform. But yes even a slowed rotor means total loss of control and low G or negative G event. Negative G would slow the rotor faster than you being on the ground.
 

Resasi

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While posts on this subject make for sombre reading I applaud the efforts of the various individuals who are trying to make sincere, much needed and important contributions to gyro safety, in whatever particular field.

Ours is a tiny segment of general aviation, and the smaller numbers I believe, may have had a disproportionate accident rate in relation to hours flown in type. We use, as has been pointed out, a rotor teeter system that goes back a long way. It works, but gyro rotor aerodynamics is I feel inherently more complex than fixed wing or perhaps helicopter aerodynamics.

All systems have their perhaps more poorly understood areas, for example fixed wing pilots who begin venturing into areas like high altitude flight, buffet boundaries, mach overspeed problem, convergence of stall and overspeed.

Our 'wings' are long thin and flexible, mishandled they flex, misbehave then fail to do their job. We only have to misunderstand our rotors, make a mistake while taking off, or in flight, I think, to become statistics, an area that is comparatively much safer in fixed wing aircraft in my opinion.

Whatever it takes to highlight and bring to our attention what areas contain the most danger has to be a good thing, will be of value to us, and certainly has my support and thanks.
 
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Doug Riley

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Rotors have stopped in the past as a result of the seizing of rotorheads. Ray Gerbrand of California was one victim, back in the 70's.

If the rotor stops because either the rotor struck the airframe or the rotorhead seized, the momentum of the blades will transfer to the airframe and cause it to yaw. If a seizure is developing slowly, the pilot might experience unusual yaw and radio in.

Again, a very rare occurrence, but easily detectable by inspecting the wreckage.
 

WaspAir

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There was a McCulloch J2 incident with a seized rotor thrust bearing (at 200% of service life limit) that put the ship into a lake.
 

Abid

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While posts on this subject make for sombre reading I applaud the efforts of the various individuals who are trying to make sincere, much needed and important contributions to gyro safety, in whatever particular field.

Ours is a tiny segment of general aviation, and the smaller numbers I believe, may have had a disproportionate accident rate in relation to hours flown in type. We use, as has been pointed out, a rotor teeter system that goes back a long way. It works, but gyro rotor aerodynamics is I feel inherently more complex than fixed wing or perhaps helicopter aerodynamics.

All systems have their perhaps more poorly understood areas, for example fixed wing pilots who begin venturing into areas like high altitude flight, buffet boundaries, mach overspeed problem, convergence of stall and overspeed.

Our 'wings' are long thin and flexible, mishandled they flex, misbehave then fail to do their job. We only have to misunderstand or rotors, make a mistake while taking off, or in flight, I think, to become statistics, an area that is comparatively much safer in fixed wing aircraft in my opinion.

Whatever it takes to highlight and bring to our attention what areas contain the most danger has to be a good thing, will be of value to us, and certainly has my support and thanks.

The aerodynamics are not more complex. They are simple. As simple as can be in a rotary wing.
One thing we have to accept is that we are bound to have a lower safety record just due to that higher age of the new and transitioning pilots in gyroplane world. Insurance underwriters don't insure even airplane pilots over 70 and in only one case over 75 years old if you are not already their customer. That's not because they are stupid. They have spent a lot of resources and have the data to see where the danger starts.

My main point is about this supposed complexity of a simple 2 blade semi-rigid teetering rotor. As soon as that blade is moving at 5o to 75 rotor RPM its got all the C force to be rigid in plane, no longer long and flexible unless made like the McCutchens which I advise to stay 2 miles away from. Note: I don't know the new McCutchens. I can only talk about the older ones. The rest of it is aerodynamic retreating blade stall. Its not a complex phenomenon. Its just a wing going in circles that stalls in the same way any wing stalls.

Now, I'll shut up as I have no desire to shutdown any conspiracy theories in rotary wing aerodynamics for simple gyroplanes :)
 
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