Man dies after being trapped under gyrocopter

A freak accident Sunday afternoon claimed the life of a Fayetteville man.

Sheriff Barry Babb said the department responded to a call at 4:10 p.m. at a home on Porter Court.

When deputies arrived, they found a gyrocopter flipped over on a man. The man under the copter was Douglas White, 72, of Fayetteville.

Wikipedia says a gyrocopter is a type of rotorcraft that uses an unpowered rotor in free autorotation to develop lift. Forward thrust is provided independently, by an engine-driven propeller. While similar to a helicopter rotor in appearance, the autogyro’s rotor must have air flowing across the rotor disc to generate rotation, and the air flows upwards through the rotor disc rather than down. Police said it’s similar to a small helicopter.

Since it was an aviation-related accident, the FAA is also investigating the matter.

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