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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 46344
Last updated: 1 December 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic RAF2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Registration: ZK-RCO
MSN: H2-97-8-303
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Whangarei Airport -   New Zealand
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Ruakaka
Destination airport:Whangarei Airport
The gyrocopter made a normal approach and landing into a 20-knot headwind, but after touchdown was struck by a sudden crosswind gust and rolled over. The aircraft was damaged beyond economical repair. According to a contemporary newspaper report:

"A Whangarei gyrocopter pilot walked away unhurt from a crash at Whangarei Airport yesterday.

"Rusty" Russell was landing his gyrocopter and was about 4 metres from the ground when the wind blew the aircraft on to its left side, just before 11am. Mr Russell tried to right the small aircraft but it was too late. The rotor blades hit the ground and the cockpit tipped over, coming to a stop on the grass beside the runway.

He was helped out of the overturned aircraft and suffered no injuries except to his wallet he said. The gyrocopter was irreparably damaged and would be going to the dump, Mr Russell said. The day had started well, with a flight to Ruakaka.

"I'd been out for about an hour and I was coming back in, everything was lined up nicely, just before I touched the ground she kicked sideways a little bit. It just leaned over one way and the wind got under the rotors," Mr Russell said. "I thought maybe I'll come out of it, put the hammer down and throw the stick over ..."

But it was too late and the gyrocopter, which Mr Russell has owned for about a year, ended up in a heap on the ground. "You've just got to fly them every minute, you can't relax. They're like a mad chook, they just take off. After two hours, you're buggered just keeping the damned thing flying. Every time you get out of this thing you buzz for about an hour. If you want adrenaline, this is the thing, but I think it's a bit too much adrenaline."

Mr Russell was yesterday stripping the broken aircraft of anything that could be reused and planned to take the rest to the dump. While it was Mr Russell's first crash, it is not the first time the gyrocopter has overturned.

"It's done it three times now. The first guy who bought it in Tauranga did it, and I think the second guy did something similar, and it's done it again," Mr Russell said. He has not been put off flying altogether, although he probably will not buy another gyrocopter."



Other occurrences involving this aircraft

1 Jan 2012 ZK-RCO Private 0 Whangarei Airport - NZWR w/o

Revision history:

04-Nov-2008 10:35 ASN archive Added
02-Aug-2016 20:32 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Operator, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
20-May-2018 04:26 Ron Averes Updated [Operator, Location, Destination airport]

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