People call these vehicles a number of things: gyrocopter, autogyro, or even a rotoplane. The FAA calls them gyroplanes. Invented by Juan de la Cierva in 1923, people may remember an incident when a man landed a homemade gyroplane on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol building three years ago. Instead of the motor operating the rotor on the top of the vehicle, the motor spins a propeller at the rear. The forward motion then causes the rotors to turn, much like a pinwheel. Most gyroplanes are limited to carrying one or two people. In order to operate a gyroplane, one must pass both a written and a practical test.
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reports on a gyrocopter that crashed into a Florida mobile home, killing two people.
The incident occurred on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 30th near Sebring, Florida. The crash was reported just after 2:45 p.m. in the Sebring Mobile Home Park.
45-year-old Christopher Lord was flying 52-year-old Christopher Brugger from Sebring Regional Airport to an airport in Manatee County. The aircraft crashed into a mobile home, killing both men on impact.
Before the crash, witnesses said that the craft appeared to be in some sort of distress. It clipped a power line before it crashed into the home.
No one was home at the time of the incident, but a man working on a neighboring home was injured. He suffered from burns to his arm and leg. He was transported to a hospital for treatment.
Lord had flown thousands of hours in gyroplanes. He was also the owner of Gyroplaneguy, Inc.
Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.
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