The Gyroplane Collided With A Powerline And Came To Rest About 100 Yards From The The Powerline

Location: Gainesville, GA Accident Number: ERA23FA163
Date & Time: March 25, 2023, 13:52 Local Registration: N47AR
Aircraft: Larry F Preiss AR-1 Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On March 25, 2023, about 1400 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built AR-1 gyroplane, N47AR, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Gainesville, Georgia. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. According to the wife of the pilot, her husband wanted to fly early due to the winds that would be occurring later in the day. She said that he had just recently decided to start flying again and put together the gyroplane himself but had met with a mechanic, “…in the last couple of weeks to make sure the aircraft was in good working condition.” She stated that he would typically fly out of the Gainesville airport, fly to Cornelia, Georgia where he would land, and then fly back. 

According to a witness, they were outside their home when they heard a loud crash over at their neighbor’s house. They contacted the local authorities and proceeded over to the neighbor’s home. When they arrived they saw the gyroplane in the neighbor’s cow pasture. Review of preliminary Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data showed that the gyroplane departed the Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport (GVL), Gainesville, Georgia. The gyroplane flew north of the airport, cruising at an altitude of 2,000 ft. The ADS-B data showed that the gyroplane then made a series of turns around the Gainesville, Georgia area before the data ended.

An examination of the accident site revealed that the wreckage of the gyroplane was oriented on a 345° heading. The gyroplane collided with a powerline and came to rest about 100 yards from the the powerline. The powerline, which was located on private property, extended across the gyroplane’s presumed flightpath and was at a height of about 50 ft above the ground.

An examination of the gyroplane revealed that the main rotor mast was broken away from the fuselage. Both main rotor blades were buckled throughout the span of the blades. A 20 ft piece of the powerline was entangled in the rotor head. The rotor head was broken away from the mast and all push/pull tubes were impact-damaged. The engine remained attached to the fuselage and all three propeller blades remained attached to the engine.

All flight control surfaces were located at the wreckage site. The tailplane broke away from the keel and was located about 15 ft in front of the cockpit. The rudder was separated from the tailplane and located about 10 ft forward of the tailplane. 

The wreckage was retained for further examination.