View Full Version : Flying in windy conditions
12-17-2003, 04:16 PM
I am new to this forum and a new gyro student with about 9 hours of training so far. I have seen several posts about the dangers of flying in strong winds but I do not understand what the concern is?
What should I watch out for?
12-17-2003, 05:21 PM
You don't need to watch out for anything since you will hopefully remain on the ground if it is windy. :-*
Gyros handle winds better than fixed wing ultralights and trikes, etc, but strong winds are still to be avoided.
Some of the problems:
Crosswind landings get more difficult as the wind gets stronger(much more potential for landing with a crab angle and rolling over.
Upwind/downwind visual cues from groundspeed are all the more difficult for the student to ignore. And turns to downwind really do take more power if you are maintaining a fixed ground track.
Gusts, especially tail gusts can cause loss of forward airspeed and therefore loss of lift and literally slam you into the ground as you attempt to land. Vertical gusts can induce low -g conditions leading to PPO and/or loss of control in a teetering rotor system
Turbulence can make for a very rough ride, and "rotors" and wind shear can even flip you inverted-its more common than you might think.
Ground handling is a problem and there is increased potential for roll over and rotor strikes.
12-17-2003, 07:36 PM
I would never suggest an inexperienced pilot fly in high winds as we are discussing here as I would myself never fly a non CLT gyro in high winds, but with my gyro, I love flying in high winds 35-40 mph. I love what my gyro can do in those conditions. As a rule, I would rather fly in wind than no wind. A properly designed gyro can handle just about anything you or nature can throw at it. Here in North Texas as of late the winds have really been whiping and when everyone else is on the ground, there I am having a blast,though my gyro is still for sale or trade for a Helicycle frame! ;D
12-17-2003, 07:50 PM
Here's some advise my instructor gave me when I solo'd. At the time my gyro was not CLT which played a part in his comment, he told me if I dropped a paper plate and it landed on the ground more than a step away, stay on the ground until I have 50 or so hours. Then as I felt comfortable with it gradually move into more windy conditions.
12-18-2003, 12:30 PM
Thanks for the respnses. Several days of our instruction were in winds of 15 knots with gusts. My very first day was windy and I seemed to be yanking the gyro all over the sky making my arm tired. About a week later I found myself flying in the same winds with just two fingers on the cyclic. I felt the gusts but they were momentary and not of much concern.
Landings in a crosswind so far seem to have been no different than in a fixed wing. Just get the wing down into the wind and make sure you are straight. So far the gyro seems to respond fine landing on the upwind wheel like a plane would. (I am grateful that some of my fixed wing experience is a help not a detriment) :)
Can someone explain more about ground handling in winds?
BTW - I am training in a RAF modified to be similiar to Paul's Firebird I think- drop keel and HS.
12-18-2003, 12:57 PM
Hi Rob, once we started using more pitch stable gyroplanes for training I have found that it is very easy to transition a fixed wing pilot across. With the normal over controlling of a fixed wing pilot in an unstable machine we are looking death in the face quite often until they settle down with the control inputs.
In the pitch stable gyroplanes I just tell the fixed wing student that the gyro flys the same as a fixed wing BUT with the sensitvity of a helicopter. The stability dampens out the large control inputs and trys to correct the over controlling, whereas the unstable gyro makes it worse.
Who are you training with and can you post a pic of the trainer?
12-21-2003, 12:01 AM
Thanks for your input.
I am the American (now in Oz on my sailboat) that spoke with you on the phone and via email recently. I have been training with Alan here in Mooloolaba where my boat is. As I said in my last email to you I will look forward to coming to Ballarat when you have the Firebird ready.
12-21-2003, 01:20 AM
Hi Rob, Allanís Raf is nothing like the Hybrid that I am currently flying, and certainly nothing like Firebird.
One thing that I can guarantee is that you will be pleasantly surprised when you come and fly a truly CLT pitch stable gyroplane.
Have a nice Christmas and say hello to Allan and his wife Deana. I trained Allan a few years ago and stayed at their house, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
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