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12/6/2019 7:27:02 PM
Posted: 10/6/2014 10:13:38 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2014 4:29:30 PM EST by AmericanPeople]
Source

" Two people aboard a helicopter-like aircraft were killed when it crashed into a river in western Colorado, but no one on the ground was injured, authorities said Sunday.

The gyroplane went into the Colorado River shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday, the Mesa County Sheriff's Department said.

The Mesa County Coroner's Office identified the victims as Mark Shook, 61, of Peyton, Colorado, and Rebecca Jane Molle, 50, of Grand Junction, Colorado.

Shook died of multiple injuries from the crash, and Molle drowned after the crash, the coroner's office said. Both deaths were ruled accidental.

"deleted"

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the aircraft was a Xenon gyroplane. Gyroplanes look like helicopters but are powered by propellers. Air flow created by the aircraft's forward motion spins the rotors, which provide lift.

"deleted"

Witness Ron Jenkins said he and another man were fishing on the bank of the Colorado River when the gyroplane crashed nearby.

It began to fishtail and sparks were flying from it before it crashed nose-first in shallow water, he told the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (http://tinyurl.com/mnzu54k).

"deleted"

The sheriff's department said the crash disrupted electric service to some areas, but no details were available. Grand Valley Power said service had been restored by Sunday morning."

I saw the initial report earlier Sunday but the connection was unknown. Last night on the local news Shook's picture was shown. I did not understand how he got the aircraft from home to Grand Junction. Then I recalled seeing a trailer in his driveway this past week so he probably took of the two overhead blades and trailered it to Grand Junction.

As for the cause, the NTSB will do that but the sparks flying and loss of electrical power suggests the possibility that he flew into power line(s) and that led to the crash.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 10:16:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2014 10:16:35 AM EST by DK-Prof]
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 10:22:46 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
My GUESS is that most crashes of small aircraft like that (ultralights, etc.) are for the exact same reason as most SCUBA deaths; poor judgment, carelessness or recklessness on the part of the operator.

RIP
View Quote


That is actually fact. Read enough NTSB reports and accident analyses and that is the predominant cause.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 10:25:36 AM EST
Holy shit! Terrible end to what should have been a fun outing, and not a way I would want to check out, either. The article says the machine came down in shallow water, yet his passenger drowned, so she must have been pinned in the wreckage or something where she could not get air...

My condolences on the loss of your neighbor, OP...whether you two were tight friends or mere nodding acquaintances.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 10:31:49 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/9/2014 5:53:34 PM EST by BillofRights]
A sad, all to common story.

We're all going to die eventually, but taking stupid risks is something better done by oneself.

Link Posted: 10/6/2014 10:37:13 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 10:46:31 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By missme:
OP...whether you two were tight friends or mere nodding acquaintances.
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We were neighbors due to physical proximity of our houses.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 11:02:11 AM EST
I thought that theoretically these things would autorotate to the ground in case of mishap? Unless, as previously posted, the pilot was being careless....and it sounds like he was being careless enough to fly close to powerlines/didn't have enough altitude.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 12:19:08 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Seven-Shooter:
I thought that theoretically these things would autorotate to the ground in case of mishap? Unless, as previously posted, the pilot was being careless....and it sounds like he was being careless enough to fly close to powerlines/didn't have enough altitude.
View Quote


I have seen him make very short landings. Whether "autorotate" is the right word the concept may be similar.

I just read in the local newspaper that the woman who died was his sister-in-law. That means that Shook's wife lost her husband and a sister. She must be emotionally devastated now.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 12:31:13 PM EST
Few machines seem to work as hard to kill their operators as gyroplanes do. Just my own observation...
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 12:31:49 PM EST
I bird hunt a few times a week where they crashed. Sad
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 12:37:08 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Seven-Shooter:
I thought that theoretically these things would autorotate to the ground in case of mishap? Unless, as previously posted, the pilot was being careless....and it sounds like he was being careless enough to fly close to powerlines/didn't have enough altitude.
View Quote
I would assume a catastrophic engine failure wouldn't give you much attitude or directional control. You may go down softer than crashing, but you are going to go down where the plane wants to.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 12:51:22 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bikedamon:
Few machines seem to work as hard to kill their operators as gyroplanes do. Just my own observation...
View Quote


Gyroplanes have much safer "dead engine" characteristics than either fixed-wing planes or helicopters, which means they tend to be a better craft for people who don't do rigorous maintenance/preflight checks. This often describes the ultralight crowd fairly well.

However, they suffer from most of the safety issues helicopters have, as well as a few others (porpoising, rotor-prop collisions, etc).
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 12:52:24 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AKengineer:
I would assume a catastrophic engine failure wouldn't give you much attitude or directional control. You may go down softer than crashing, but you are going to go down where the plane wants to.
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Originally Posted By AKengineer:
Originally Posted By Seven-Shooter:
I thought that theoretically these things would autorotate to the ground in case of mishap? Unless, as previously posted, the pilot was being careless....and it sounds like he was being careless enough to fly close to powerlines/didn't have enough altitude.
I would assume a catastrophic engine failure wouldn't give you much attitude or directional control. You may go down softer than crashing, but you are going to go down where the plane wants to.



power lines and copters don't mix well
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 12:55:07 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bikedamon:
Few machines seem to work as hard to kill their operators as gyroplanes do. Just my own observation...
View Quote


This is a fact....they are nonetheless neat aircraft just a little more difficult to fly.....would have loved to have had one when I was younger.

RIP to the neighbor and his passenger
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 12:58:22 PM EST
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Originally Posted By AmericanPeople:


We were neighbors due to physical proximity of our houses.
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Originally Posted By AmericanPeople:
Originally Posted By missme:
OP...whether you two were tight friends or mere nodding acquaintances.


We were neighbors due to physical proximity of our houses.



Link Posted: 10/6/2014 1:00:03 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Seven-Shooter:
I thought that theoretically these things would autorotate to the ground in case of mishap? Unless, as previously posted, the pilot was being careless....and it sounds like he was being careless enough to fly close to powerlines/didn't have enough altitude.
View Quote

Everybody assumes that because with a loss of power it just floats down in an autorotation... it causes Gyro pilots to do stupid things, there are a LOT of crashes with these types of Aircraft it seems.....either way, if he hit power lines as suggested, that's all she wrote
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 1:00:38 PM EST
That's rough.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 1:04:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2014 1:05:33 PM EST by chadjetlag]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
My GUESS is that most crashes of small aircraft like that (ultralights, etc.) are for the exact same reason as most SCUBA deaths; poor judgment, carelessness or recklessness on the part of the operator.

RIP
View Quote


Imagine a lot of the idiots you see on the road, add a hundred miles an hour and a third dimension of travel and you have nailed a large percentage of General Aviation.

Not saying this is the case in this accident. I still hate to see anyone crash.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 1:10:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2014 1:10:43 PM EST by Curry]
That's about as surprising as someone drowning in a homemade submarine.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 1:51:57 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By chadjetlag:


Imagine a lot of the idiots you see on the road, add a hundred miles an hour and a third dimension of travel and you have nailed a large percentage of General Aviation.

Not saying this is the case in this accident. I still hate to see anyone crash.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By chadjetlag:
Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
My GUESS is that most crashes of small aircraft like that (ultralights, etc.) are for the exact same reason as most SCUBA deaths; poor judgment, carelessness or recklessness on the part of the operator.

RIP


Imagine a lot of the idiots you see on the road, add a hundred miles an hour and a third dimension of travel and you have nailed a large percentage of General Aviation.

Not saying this is the case in this accident. I still hate to see anyone crash.


While pilot error is a factor in many crashes, I would not go so far as to say that pilots are similar in stupidity as the general population of drivers.

I have read some accident reports that the pilot mistakes were extremely bad. In some cases, my opinion is that "get there-itis" or "get home-its"
plays a huge role in a pilot flying when he should stay on the ground.

I doubt that those motivational factors were at play in this case.

Flying low can be fun but there are hazards that can ruin your day. If that was a factor in this event, it should be easy to document.

Also in cases like this, some may rationalize the loss as he was doing what he loved. That seldom makes sense to me and it would be far better if both were still alive today.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 2:17:47 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Seven-Shooter:
I thought that theoretically these things would autorotate to the ground in case of mishap? Unless, as previously posted, the pilot was being careless....and it sounds like he was being careless enough to fly close to powerlines/didn't have enough altitude.
View Quote


In fixed wing aircraft, the wing stalls (loses lift) when you go too slow. In a Gyrocopter, the rotary wing stalls (loses lift) when you go too fast.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 2:51:22 PM EST
Low speed turns can put half the rotor below stall speed. Not fun.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 2:52:26 PM EST
Yeah, I heard about that last night while watching 8 news.

Sad.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 3:07:27 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2014 3:08:21 PM EST by USMCTanker]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DK-Prof:


In my skydiving club in Denmark we have a lady die - she had a perfect jump, and then came down in shallow water and got tangled in her lines/chute and drowned in about 2 feet of water.
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Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Originally Posted By missme:
..., yet his passenger drowned, so she must have been pinned in the wreckage or something where she could not get air...


In my skydiving club in Denmark we have a lady die - she had a perfect jump, and then came down in shallow water and got tangled in her lines/chute and drowned in about 2 feet of water.


Read of that sort of thing happening on D-Day.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 3:09:59 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
My GUESS is that most crashes of small aircraft like that (ultralights, etc.) are for the exact same reason as most SCUBA deaths; poor judgment, carelessness or recklessness on the part of the operator.

RIP
View Quote


Gyrocopters are very unforgiving. I had a student who was a gyro CFI, and he pretty much said engine failures were pretty common.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 3:28:40 PM EST
Saw this flying around Saturday afternoon, was first time I had seen one in real life. Was unusual enough that I pointed it out to my wife. Didn't hear about crash til this morning.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 3:32:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2014 4:32:59 PM EST by AmericanPeople]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Screechjet1:


Gyrocopters are very unforgiving. I had a student who was a gyro CFI, and he pretty much said engine failures were pretty common.
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Originally Posted By Screechjet1:
Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
My GUESS is that most crashes of small aircraft like that (ultralights, etc.) are for the exact same reason as most SCUBA deaths; poor judgment, carelessness or recklessness on the part of the operator.

RIP


Gyrocopters are very unforgiving. I had a student who was a gyro CFI, and he pretty much said engine failures were pretty common.


That is certainly a possibility that the NTSB will surely examine. An engine failure severely limits your options as we saw with the guy who landed by a beach and two beach goers died in the process.

To clarify the previous comment. If he lost engine power it could be that given his starting position when power was lost that avoided a power line, if he did hit one, was unavoidable.

There are times that an engine power loss has a high risk of a bad outcome.
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 3:33:16 PM EST
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Originally Posted By shaneus:
Saw this flying around Saturday afternoon, was first time I had seen one in real life. Was unusual enough that I pointed it out to my wife. Didn't hear about crash til this morning.
View Quote


Are you in the Grand Junction area?
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 5:16:57 PM EST
Home made submarines? You can get those??
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 5:22:50 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AmericanPeople:


That is actually fact. Read enough NTSB reports and accident analyses and that is the predominant cause.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AmericanPeople:
Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
My GUESS is that most crashes of small aircraft like that (ultralights, etc.) are for the exact same reason as most SCUBA deaths; poor judgment, carelessness or recklessness on the part of the operator.

RIP


That is actually fact. Read enough NTSB reports and accident analyses and that is the predominant cause.


Not a safe in general because of two major factors, the machine and training (lack of).
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 5:23:31 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Seven-Shooter:
I thought that theoretically these things would autorotate to the ground in case of mishap? Unless, as previously posted, the pilot was being careless....and it sounds like he was being careless enough to fly close to powerlines/didn't have enough altitude.
View Quote


You have to have a specific amount of forward speed to do that.
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