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Report on air accident near Kilpisjärvi, Lappland, Finland 21 July 2018 involving MTO Sport, LN-YUR

The accident happened on Saturday 21 July 2018 at approximately 1800 hrs. A gyrocopter with two persons on board was enroute from Lakselv in Finnmark, northern Norway to Steigen north of Bodø in Nordland. They had flown from Lakselv to Kautokeino, where they landed and refueled. Enroute to the next destination, Salangen in Troms, where they planned to refuel one more time, the commander chose direct routing, over Finland. In the vicinity of Kilpisjärvi, they entered marginal weather conditions. The commander did not return or land the gyrocopter, but changed heading, which involved passing over higher mountain terrain. Due to the Cumulonimbus (CB) activity in the area, there were locally strong winds and turbulence. This probably affected the performance of the gyrocopter. The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) finds it likely that the accident was caused by loss of airspeed at the same time as the gyrocopter was affected by turbulence and consequently the commander lost directional control. The gyrocopter began to rotate, drifted out of the mountain plateau and fell into rocky terrain. The passenger evacuated the gyrocopter and climbed to high terrain to be able to communicate for help using his cell phone. The commander did not survive the accident.

The AIBN believes that the flight safety aspect during planning and execution of the flight was not sufficiently prioritized. The combination of limited flight experience of the commander, the weather and the performance of the aircraft contributed to the accident.

AIBN does not promote any safety recommendations in this report. The description of the chain of events and the issues that are dicussed in this report are suitable for training in ultralight aircraft clubs. The issues discussed are well known and mentioned in the safety management system. The topics that are highlighted in this report, should be used in Norwegian Air Sports Associations flight safety work.


Location 20 km east of Kilpisjaervi, Lappland, Finland
Occurrence date 21.07.2018
Aircraft Øvrige helikoptre
Operator Lakselv microflyklubb
Registration LN-YUR
Meteorological conditions VMC
Type of occurrence Accident
Type of operation Private (club)
Category of operation Light, helicopter (<= 2 250kg)
Aircraft category Helicopter, Single-engine, Piston engine

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