A damaged gyrocopter sits near the Victoria Airport Authority’s operations centre. One person was injured when the aircraft had a hard landing at the airport on Monday. (Steven Heywood/News Staff)

One injured in gyrocopter crash at Victoria airport

Hard landing of small aircraft on Monday afternoon

A small helicopter, or gyrocopter, suffered a hard landing at the Victoria International Airport on Monday (Feb. 12), sending its pilot to hospital.

The incident happened at around 12:30 p.m. and the airport Tweeted about the crash at 2:32 p.m. that afternoon.

“A helicopter experienced a hard landing at YYJ approximately two hours ago. Airport crews have cleared the area and there was no major impact to operations,” stated the Tweet.

The airport also reported the pilot was the only one on board the aircraft.

Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) spokesperson Ken Gallant says emergency crews from the airport, as well as fire, police and ambulance from Sidney and North Saanich attended the crash scene. He said the gyrocopter was approximately 10 to 15 feet off the ground and had just taken off, when the crash occurred.

“It broke up into a couple of pieces, “Gallant said, adding fuel leaked from the aircraft and crews had to douse it with foam to prevent fire or spread of the spilled fuel.

Emergency crews pulled the pilot from the aircraft and he was taken to hospital. Gallant said Tuesday morning that he believes the pilot has since been released from hospital and is recovering at home.

While the airport stated at first there wern’t any major operational impacts, a few people Tweeted their flight delays and cancellations over the same period of time.

The hard landing occurred at the intersection of two runways, said Gallant. As they were the main operations runways, he said the incident did affect flights in and out of the airport for about two hours.

He said two flights were cancelled and there were delays to other flights. Another flight in-bound to Victoria was diverted to Seattle as a result of the incident.

“It did impact our operations for sure.”

A gyrocopter – or autogyro – uses an unpowered rotor to attain lift and an engine-mounted propeller to provide thrust. It’s the thrust that forces air to flow through a rotor system to create rotation.

Gallant said the VAA is working with the Transportation Safety Board as the federal aviation body investigates the cause of the hard landing.



editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

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