Report: Passer-by saw gyroplane crash nose-down at airport

HAWLEY (AP) — Federal investigators said a passer-by saw a gyroplane descend nose-down and crash into the ground at a western Minnesota airport this month, killing the pilot.

According to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board, the gyroplane crashed 300 feet from the departure end of the single runway at Hawley Municipal Airport on July 11.

The plane started on fire shortly after the crash. The report said the passer-by was driving on U.S. 10 and saw the crash, stopped and pulled the pilot from the burning wreckage. The passer-by suffered serious burns to his hands.

The pilot, 69-year-old Bradley Gibb of Vergas, was the only person aboard and died at the scene.

The crash left a 30-foot ground scar.