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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 222975
Last updated: 1 December 2021
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Time:09:55 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic RAF2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Registration: G-BXDE
MSN: PFA G/13-1280
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:North Weald Airfield, North Weald, Essex -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:North Weald Airport (EGSX)
Destination airport:North Weald Airport (EGSX)
Investigating agency: AAIB
RAF 2000 GTX-SE, G-BXDE substantially damaged due to loss of control on takeoff, North Weald Airfield, North Weald, Essex, 14 September 2018. The official AAIB report into the accident was published on 14 March 2019, the following is an extract from it...

"The gyroplane was being flown from North Weald Airfield for the purpose of re-validating the pilot’s gyroplane rating. The examiner, who was also an LAA inspector, was familiar with the gyroplane having previously inspected it for the renewal of its permit to fly. The visibility was reported as good and the surface wind was 230 degrees at 14 knots.

The pilot arrived at the airfield and prepared the gyroplane for flight. On arrival the examiner completed his own pre flight check of the gyroplane. They briefed to fly for approximately one hour, including some general handling in the local area followed by circuits back at the airfield. They both boarded the gyroplane and the pilot adjusted the pitch and roll trims for flight with two occupants. He recalled that he released the gust lock as he boarded the gyroplane. The examiner recalled that as they were about to start, he noticed that the rotor brake was still applied. He pointed this out to the pilot who tried to release it.

However, the brake was very stiff and required two hands to release. The pilot recalled checking the flight controls for full and free motion whilst parked, but he did not recall repeating this check prior to commencing the takeoff roll.

Taxiing to the runway was uneventful. On reaching the holding point a light twin engined aircraft was also waiting to depart. The pilot asked the other aircraft if they would like to depart first but they declined and allowed the gyroplane to depart.

The pilot lined up on Runway 20 and spun-up the rotor whilst applying full forward stick, he then applied aft stick as he commenced the takeoff roll. The pilot recalled that he thought the initial takeoff roll was normal and that he was holding the stick fully aft, but the gyroplane did not lift off at 40 mph as he expected. He remembered seeing the airspeed pass 60 mph whilst still on the ground. He did not recall the gyroplane becoming airborne, but remembers it climbing and rolling to the right before it descended back to the ground.

The examiner recalled seeing a rotor speed of 130 rpm as the gyroplane started the takeoff roll and he noticed that the stick was not fully aft. He recalled that he was monitoring the airspeed and rotor rpm; he saw rotor speed reach 150 rpm but the airspeed was much higher than normal. He remembered seeing the airspeed reach 70 mph whilst still on the ground; the highest rotor speed he remembered seeing was 150 rpm. He recalled the gyroplane “leaping into the air”, then rolling to the right and completing a 180° turn to the right. He thought they reached approximately 50 ft before descending to the ground. He stated that the takeoff roll and accident sequence happened very quickly and that he did not have time to intervene.

The gyroplane initially struck the ground on its right side, on the grass to the right of Runway 20. It stopped on the parallel taxiway. The pilot was able to exit the gyroplane unaided and helped the examiner out. The examiner suffered three broken vertebrae and multiple cuts and bruises. The pilot suffered minor injuries.

The accident was witnessed by the radio operator in the control tower. He reported seeing the gyrocopter become airborne after a takeoff roll of approximately 300 m. He saw the gyroplane climb to approximately 50 ft before banking and yawing to the left. It then banked to the right with 50-70 degrees angle of bank and descended, hitting the ground on the front right side. He recalled noticing that during the takeoff roll the rotor disc was not tilted back in the way he normally saw gyroplanes takeoff."

Damage sustained to airframe: Per the above AAIB report the aircraft sustained "Extensive" damage


1. AAIB Report:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 6 months
Download report: Final report


RAF 2000 GTX-SE G-BXDE (bottom right picture)


Photo: AAIB

Revision history:

14-Mar-2019 17:50 Dr. John Smith Added
14-Mar-2019 17:52 Dr. John Smith Updated [Embed code]
14-Mar-2019 17:53 Dr. John Smith Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
15-Mar-2019 18:53 harro Updated [Source, Photo, Accident report, ]

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