FAA investigating gyroplane crash at Mount Airy airport

By Andy Winemiller - awinemiller@s24476.p831.sites.pressdns.com

An aircraft crashed at the Mount Airy-Surry County Airport on Sunday, and an investigation into the incident is underway.

There were no injuries in the incident.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) preliminary report, a Wonder Gyroplane crashed near the runway at the local airport at 1:58 p.m. on Sunday.

A gyroplane is much like a helicopter in appearance. However, the rotors are free-spinning rather than powered. Instead, thrust is provided by a propeller similar to that of a plane and air moving underneath the rotors turns the rotors, which creates lift.

The description of Sunday’s incident indicates the “gyroplane, on takeoff, crashed onto the runway.”

Only one person was in the aircraft, and that person sustained no injuries as a result of the incident, according to the report.

However, Surry County EMS Director John Shelton did note the pilot, who has yet to be identified, was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Health Medical Center in stable condition after he was extricated from the wreckage by another pilot.

Shelton said the Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the scene and put fire-retardant foam on the aircraft to prevent the high-octane fuel from igniting.

“He’s lucky it didn’t ignite when he crashed,” added Shelton.

Shelton also stated an FAA field representative from the agency’s Greensboro office was dispatched to the scene to investigate the incident.

Jim Creiger, an FAA representative assigned to the Greensboro office, said the investigation into the incident is ongoing. Once his office completes its portion of the investigation, the National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB) will publish its findings.

“Our office will be done within the next week or two,” explained Creiger. “It could be several months before the NTSB publishes its findings.”

The identity of the aircraft’s pilot had not been released as of Monday afternoon.

By Andy Winemiller


Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

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