View Full Version : Training Questions
12-22-2003, 08:21 AM
1)Can a student pilot receive dual training toward a solo sign-off in a gyro that he/she has built before the 40 hours of test flying are flown on that gyro?
2)Can a student pilot fly their required solo hours in a gyro they have built before the 40 hours are flown off?
3)Can a student pilot fly the 40 hours off on a new gyro they have built?
4)If can't do 1, 2 and 3 above, how can a new builder get the 40 hours flown off on a new gyro - have to hire someone else to do it?
5)If can't do 1, 2, and 3 above, is the only option for a student pilot to get required dual training to hire an instructor and the instructor's gyro for the full dual training - at the full rate? (Could save considerable training expense if could fly dual training in the student's own gyro!)
If can't do 1,2 and 3 above, how can a student pilot fly their required solo hours? - not many people will let a student rent or fly their training gyro!
If can't do 1,2 and 3 above, how can we expect people to fly their gyros legally - with the proper training and ratings?
This also applies to other aircraft types - not just gyros!
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12-22-2003, 08:36 AM
I have no idea whether the gyro can be used by a student pilot during the 40 hour test period. If not, you would probably be best off getting your fixed wing private pilot rating, then whatever time it takes to get comfortable in your machine to solo and fly. Paying someone to fly off your 40 hours seems crazy. Once you have your private license, you can legally fly your experimental gyro. The only thing you need then is the training to do it safely.
12-22-2003, 09:57 AM
The FAR is pretty clear on your first question - no. Unless the airworthiness certificate's operating limitations require a crew of two, the pilot is the only one allowed aboard during the test phase.
I don't think you'd be in violation of anything by doing your solo in your machine, but you'd have to convince your instructor to sign you off for that. Since CFIs are held accountable for the flying of their students, that might be a tough sell, even if it wasn't a dangerous idea.
You have to do a long cross-country solo in order to get the PPL, and if the machine is in its test phase, you'd have to plan a flight carefully to satisfy the needs to total 75 miles, and at least one 25-mile leg, without leaving the designated test area.
This is only an issue in gyroplanes because you can't rent one. If you're learning to fly fixed-wing, there are thousands of lonely Cessna 152s waiting on the flight line! This whole issue is one reason I decided to get my fixed-wing PPL first, as did Todd.
12-22-2003, 10:40 AM
2 & 3 are quite legal. 1 is more difficult. The best solution appears to be to have your I.P. test your aircraft to determine if the handling characteristics are similar enough to allow you to safely solo your aircraft.
12-22-2003, 10:54 AM
I think I wrote the question wrong. I was not planning on flight testing my new gyro. I am not even trained to fly solo let alone be a test pilot! I was wondering if after my gyro was built and flight tested, if I could continue my training in my gyro and then solo in it? I still don't know if I am asking question right. I just want to save money on training. I don't want to rent a Cessna, since I own my aircraft and it will save on rental cost.
12-22-2003, 12:19 PM
I learned some of what you are talking about by someone's personal experience. Let me tell you a story here about someone I know very well. ;)
This guy did his initial training with an instructor in the instructor's 2-place. He got about 12 hours in, which was getting close to soloing, but not there yet. While at the instructor's home base, he also watched someone have their RAF inspected and signed off. He also listened in on the "Operating Limitations" review. In that set of Operating Limitations there was a clause that stated something about allowing a crewmember on board in addition to the pilot for the purpose of that flight.
So...if the Operating Limitations are written in that manner, then you might argue that an instructor was required for those initial hours prior to solo-signoff because an extra set of hands were needed to gather the required test-flight data. If while gathering that data you also gain the neccessary skills to solo that particular machine, then a solo sign-off would be a side benefit. Once you have the solo sign-off, you are able to fly the rest of the 40 hours off your machine if you are following your instructor's endorsement.
Now what happened to this guy I know was this... He understood the above to be standard operating procedure in the interest of safety. He was told by his instructor not to get into his machine and solo it without having a qualified instructor check him out in it.
He trailered his machine to someone do the initial test flights and set the machine up. Then he took it home and called a local instructor to get him to solo status, thinking he was doing the right thing. NOT!
Some friendly conference mate >:( that had a beef with this particular instructor sent an anonymous letter to his local FAA stating that he violated a condition of his Operating Limitations. AND low and behold, he did. His Operating Limitations didn't have the little phrase about required crewmember. And even if it had they would have busted him anyway. (Side Note: Anything you say on these conferences can, and WILL, be used against you by jacka**es.)
That is a pretty gray area that some people are pushing to get soloed in their own machine like this. But because this guy got instruction in another machine and because he had someone else do the initial test flights, AND because he was not willfully doing something wrong by going out and joy riding AND because he admitted he made an honest mistake..the FAA gave him a slap on the back of the hand (a warning letter, which only stays in the records for two years and then disappears).
The FAA doesn't care if you can't afford or even find someone to fly off the initial 40 hours. To stay out of hot water, you need to either be qualified to fly off your 40 hours yourself, or you need to have someone else do it.
That is my story, and I'm sticking to it.
12-22-2003, 03:00 PM
I don't think you will have much savings flying in your own gyro over the CFI's gyro. I think there may be one or two exceptions to the case, but most all gyro CFIs charge the same for their time in yours or their gyro.
I think it is much better to get the rating in Fixed wing and then go get checked out in the gyro. It is apparently very much legal - unless it says otherwise in the O.L.'s for that particular gyro.
12-22-2003, 03:00 PM
I understand you don't want to spend time renting a cessna but there are some things to consider.
1. You can rent a cessna 152 + Instructor for $75 an hour or less.
2. You will learn all the basics of flying, plus get your cross countries, night flights all done quickly and easily.
3. Once you have your ticket, the transition to gyro should only take about 10 hours of instruction.
4. Once that is done you are free to fly off your test hours once your machine has been setup and test flown. Legally you can test fly it yourself. This is not recomended, but its been done ;D.
5. It sounds like your only alternative is to have someone else fly off your 40 hours.
6. Getting the private rating in a gyro is going to be alot of work. There are very few instructors and even fewer examiners. Jim Mayfield is the only person I know of that can give a gyroplane checkride. I'm sure there are others, but I don't know who.
7. Your local airport is probably loaded with Cessna's and instructors. You will be able to fly whenever it fits into your schedule. Plus, scheduling a checkride is no big deal, there are lots of examiners.
Regardless you'll need to work hard and get it done. With both my private and instrument I flew 3 days a week for a little less than 3 months and finished. I was close to the minimum hours when I went for both checkrides, mainly because I spent almost no time re-learning. You will do whatever works for you, just be aware that getting your private rating in a gyro is going to be expensive and there are alot more hurdles to jump.
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