Accident VPM M16 Tandem Trainer gyroplane, G-BVRD,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 187800
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Date:Thursday 12 January 1995
Type:VPM M16 Tandem Trainer gyroplane,
Owner/operator:Whisky Mike (Aviation) Ltd
Registration: G-BVRD
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Runway 36, Cranfield Airfield, Cranfield, Bedfordshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Cranfield, Bedfordshire (EGTC)
Destination airport:Cranfield, Bedfordshire (EGTC)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Written off (damaged beyond repair) 12-1-1995 when crashed take off from Runway 36, at Cranfield Airfield, Cranfield, Bedfordshire. The pilot (the sole person on board) sustained minor injuries. Aircraft was making its second ever flight, and the nature of the flight was a test flight in order for the aircraft gain a permit to fly. According to the following extract from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"...the pilot pre-spun the main rotor to 90 rpm, and then, releasing the brakes and the pre-rotator, accelerated gently down Runway 36 at Cranfield, intending to raise the rotor speed to at least 270 rpm, the minimum recommended rotor speed for take off.

At about 240 rpm, however, the pilot reports that a severe vibration commenced, apparently being fed into the control stick by the rotor, and resulting in the stick 'trashing' laterally. The pilot reports that, at this point, he was moving the control stick forward, and that, as he tried to constrain the stick to control the vibration, the aircraft abruptly left the ground.

The pilot then reports that, having become airborne at too low a rotor speed, he closed the throttle, and tried to level and land the gyroplane. The gyroplane rolled to the left, and the pilot was unable, using full right stick, to control the roll before the gyroplane hit the ground. Eyewitnesses later stated that the maximum altitude that the gyroplane attained was about six feet, and that the aircraft was rolling to the left, as it descended on the runway, and slid for about 60 metres on its left hand side.

After the aircraft came to rest, the pilot was able to switch off the magneto and battery switches, release his harness and crawl clear of the gyroplane. The pilot sustained minor injuries; there was no fire"

Damage sustained to airframe: Per the AAIB report "Extensive damage to rotor blades, landing gear and empennage". It is presumed that the damage was sufficient to render the airframe as "damaged beyond economic repair", although the CAA did not cancel the registration G-BVRD until 8-11-2000 (over five years later) as "destroyed".

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:

Revision history:

02-Jun-2016 13:18 Dr.John Smith Added

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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