View Full Version : New Butterfly Takes Flight Labor Day!
09-19-2010, 03:07 PM
Labor Day was a big day for me. My friend Iven came up to Dalton and test flew my gyrocopter for its first flight. The camera operator (me) is terrible and the video editor (me) is even worse. It was very exciting for me watching something I built actually fly, and fly very well. I could not have done it without Iven. In fact, it was so good right out of the box that no further adjustments were needed once airborne.
Enjoy the quick video, nothing too exciting to watch, but just an exiting day for both Iven and myself.
YouTube - Monarch Butterfly Gyro First Flight (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw88YQt5Kqw)
09-19-2010, 03:17 PM
Bob- Big congratulations to you! Its hard to top the feeling of flying something you built with your own hands. Looks nice! Stan
09-19-2010, 03:56 PM
Awesome. Bob you must be very proud. Thanks for sharing. Hey the video seems just fine. Lots of happy flying ahead of you as the fruits of your work. Good job.
09-19-2010, 04:01 PM
The credit here all goes to Bob, he built a top-notch machine and spared no attention to detail. For me this was just an opportunity to fly a gyro again :)
Now go finish up your gyro training and get that thing in the air Bob!
09-19-2010, 04:35 PM
Congrats Bob, a long way from when I met you at Wrens a few years ago. Hope you tote it to Wrens this year if nothing more, just as a static display. If you need the cobwebs blasted off it, I am sure we can find someone to fly it for you! :)
09-19-2010, 04:48 PM
Ditto what Ron said.......congrats and I hope you bring to Wrens in a couple weeks.....would love to see it up close!
09-19-2010, 06:03 PM
09-20-2010, 04:44 AM
Well done Bob, it's a wonderful feeling watching all that hard work get to fly congratulations. Looked really good.
My son and I got our gyro first flight on a Labor day after months of hard work on it and yes it felt totally awesome.
09-20-2010, 06:00 AM
Congratulation. Looks grate . I'm sure you will enjoy it .
09-20-2010, 07:03 AM
Wish I'd known. I'd have come up there and added an additional handshake. I think we were just flying around the Silver Comet Trail on Labor Day trying to get bicyclists to look up and roll off the trail (everyone needs a good hobby). Nothing that couldn't have been skipped for a "gyro birth."
09-20-2010, 07:38 AM
Congratulations, Bob! Lots of happy airtime ahead,
09-20-2010, 11:38 AM
The Doctor that brought me into this world was named Doctor Bob. (probably no relation) But I have always had a soft spot in my heart for that name.
Great to hear your project has officially flown. The world needs more Butterflies, so way to go and congratulations. It sounds like you still have a few hoops to go through before you are ready to fly her. That should get you motivated to know you have such a sweet machine calling out for you each day. I don't mean to rush you as you don't want to try out your machine until you feel totally ready to do that, but I can hardly wait to hear your report on what you thought after your first flight in her. By the way, what did you name her? Keep us informed.
09-20-2010, 02:31 PM
Thank you for all the positives. My goal is to wrap up my PPL this fall and move straight on to gyro lessons. It's just waiting to be flown at DNN here in town. Hangared and ready! After my month's lease burns off I'm going to pull it out of there and stick it back at my house until I can find it a new home - probably where I'll be training. I need to hook up with Steve McGowan or at least do the taxi lessons with Jon and his crew in North Georgia.
Doug - I named it "Doctor's Appointment." I figured when I wanted to go flying and a customer called I could use the excuse that I couldn't make it because I have a "Doctors Appointment." :) My boat is named "Service Call" for that very reason.
I guess watching the video is the closest I'll get anytime soon to see her fly again. :Cry:
09-20-2010, 03:16 PM
Congrats Dr Bob, look forward to hearing you are up and running.
I'm sure Iven enjoyed the testing.
09-20-2010, 04:29 PM
So that nobody gets the wrong impression....
We at Chapter 56 will be more than happy to provide safety supervision and extra eyes and radio ears while someone is honing their skills...AFTER a CFI has approved the student for a particular level of practice. As long as someone is working with a CFI and has been cleared for a particular level of practice...Taxi, Balance on the Mains, Crow Hops or Pattern Work... we will be pleased to be safety eyes and ears and help make certain there are no traffic or other issues.
There is no substitute for training from a qualified CFI. What we do is not in lieu of training. If someone is going to practice and is approved by a CFI to do so, we'd prefer they have someone watching and listening to the radio than try to focus on practice and airport traffic all by their lonesome....besides...it's another excuse to "have to go to the airport." :D
09-20-2010, 06:19 PM
I am very sad beacuse youtube is blocked in our country, so would other people can post this video on this forum?
09-20-2010, 06:56 PM
Hey Jon - Let me detail what I was thinking. I by no means am trying to short cut on training. My initial thought in the back of my brain is to trailer my bird to Steve and do an intensive several day to week training and leave it there with Steve (if possible). Instead of driving back and forth to Macon, I would rather stay in a hotel and spend the "drive time" training. If it would help, my idea was to get the "taxi" and ground handling out of the way locally if that were a logical and safe option to optimize my time with Steve. I have no idea about the syllabus for gyro training but thought that ground handling and blade management might be one of the first steps?? Before this happens, though, I wish to complete my PPL and put that under my belt. I am going about this the slow and expensive way, but I feel it will ultimately provide me with the best education possible that one day may save my life. Bob
09-21-2010, 01:03 AM
Bob that would seem a good way of going about things. Concentrated initial training generally makes for a good start and allows the Instructor to get some good foundations set.
If you would like to look at some different training notes, PM me with an email adress and I will send you some. They will not replace those of the Instructor you will be going to, just give you some idea of what to expect.
Having others watching out for you while practicing is a good way to go.
09-21-2010, 06:28 AM
Great. That's the right approach. We'll help you any way we can.
I apologize for being hyper-cautious. People hereabouts are quick to be concerned about circumventing CFI income and authority, and perhaps rightfully so in some cases. That's not what we're about. We are about safety and prompting safe gyro flying.
09-21-2010, 03:49 PM
Dr Bob, are you a real doctor?
I have these itchy red bumps............................................. .
Sorry couldn't help it. :D
Again, Congrats on your machine.
09-21-2010, 04:51 PM
Congratulations on your new gyro. Get Iven to fly it over to Wrens. He flew his gyro to Wrens back in 2007!
09-21-2010, 05:44 PM
Hey Jon - No problem. I could have easily read into that post too. Iven will tell you, along with anyone else following my marathon flight training that I do not cut corners or try to "cheap out" when it comes to safety. I have a wife and two kids and the LAST thing I want is my wife standing over my dead body declaring "I TOLD YOU SO!"
Grant - That's where I met Iven. I was there with another friend. Great time. Iven and his gyro inspired me along with everyone else's great attitude, helpful insight, and beautiful machines.
Scott - HA HA! I'll only play doctor with my wife :)
Don't know about Wren's yet. May be a last minute thing....
09-21-2010, 06:14 PM
Hi Doc Bob.
Just some thoughts. In my opinion if your instructor has not said you are ready to solo yet. Then you have no business "practicing" anything in your machine with the rotors turning.
Now I'll admit some people have attempted this and have been successful. But I know of quite a few who were not so successful and paid with their wallet or worse.
The best advice you can get on how to proceed with your training is to ask Steve. Steve only wants you to be safe and will not steer you wrong. Follow his advice.
03-17-2012, 02:51 AM
Ivan.....still flying the butterfly ?
Where's Doctor Bob ?
03-17-2012, 03:23 PM
Ivan sold his Butterfly when he and his wife had a baby a few years back.
Dont know where Dr Bob is.
03-18-2012, 01:48 AM
They are both still here with us.......lurking in silence. That's why I asked.
06-17-2012, 06:23 AM
Hey guys and girls! I am still here,lurking, as stated. Happy Father's Day, BTW. Last summer I went through a phase when everything I owned was broken :sad: Honestly, I felt I spent the little free time I had (2 kids, wife, and sole employee of my business) just trying to maintain what I owned and not actually enjoying the toys I worked so hard for. I had two classic cars in pieces, my gyro sitting idle, my kid's dune buggy and my dune buggy broken. Quite frankly, I had it. I sold off everything but my gyro and boat. I think I hear a "phew" somewhere! I sat on the cash for a while and contemplated.
As the economy kept tumbling I re-evaluated my business. I had worked about as much as possible and started saying "no" to some of the phone calls. I lost a few key accounts. I had been missing time with my family. While my income definitely went down, I have now been there for my kids (8 and 11) after school, every dinner and every weekend. I decided to look into a family plane to keep current with my hard earned PPL. Renting was just not for me and plane values dropped to about rock bottom. I bought a Cessna 172:)
I have been spending time with another forum (gasp) :blabla:
It is here http://www.cessna172club.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=82448&page=1
I have really wrestled with keeping my gyro. It is pickled and stored in my garage. I must get asked at least once a week what I'm doing with it. Logistics of training is my main obstacle. If only Steve McGowan lived in Dalton. The other problem that weighs heavily on my mind and heart is the recent passing of two members here on the forum. While I'm very optimistic about life in general and living your life to it's fullest, their passings have affected me.
Fortunately, I don't need the money (right now) so I can afford to just hang on to my gyro until I decide what to do. However, in my mind I can't justify owning two aircraft. I feel it is excessive. The only way I could mentally satisfy this aviation addiction and own both is if I pick up a partner on my plane.
Sorry for the long rambling, I guess I just needed to finally put down on paper my current position. I still love gyros and even dreamed the other night I was flying mine...I told you it was a sickness!
Take care everybody and I'll definitely stay on here until I fall off the fence.
06-17-2012, 12:06 PM
Bob, I have had similar feelings in the past, but realized that there is no mysterious demon hiding out there waiting to kill you in your gyro. There are always reasons, even if we never know them. Gyroplane physics are well-established and time-tested. So why do people die in them? The same reason pilots -- even really good ones -- die in other aircraft: they get over-confident, they don't do their maintenance, they don't maintain proficiency, they get distracted, they do 1,000 other things that causes their lives to be cut short.
So I choose to fly and not live in fear, but to do so as safely as I possibly can.
I hope you keep, fly, and ENJOY your gyro. I did my primary training in a 172, and it was fun, but nothing compared to rotary flight. :-)
06-17-2012, 08:43 PM
So that is what happened... you went over to the dark side... (just kidding you). I have a very good friend who is a Gyro Pilot that just bought a Cessna 172 and is being pulled in two different directions. I know it is hard to feel like you are being pulled in tow different directions, but I don't feel like a 172 and a Gyro really need to feel like competitors. They are honestly so very different and having both of them really is an ideal situation because you have the best of both worlds now. For going somewhere, you can't beat the fixed wing and for simply going up into the air to have fun, yhou can't beat the Gyro. They both have their place and reason for being and they really are two very different purposes. If you feel you need to find a partner for the Cessna to be able to afford to actively pursue both then by all means start looking. Those kind of realationships develope all the time and you may be the answer to some other guys prayers, you just need to find him.
You couldn't possibly have a more stable and easy to fly Gyro than you currently own. You just need to bite the bullet and get your training, regardless of how inconvenient it may be. Once you start flying the Gyroplane and see how incredible they are to fly, it will take care of the whole balance thing in your life. JUst don't give up on this dream before you get all the way there. You are so close! You should plan on attending at least a day of two of Mentone this August. WIth your 172 you can easily make the tripo and while you are there and learning all you will learn, the rest of your challenges will sort themselves out. I hope you will come as I would really like to meet you. Please do what you have to do to get there. I assure you that you will be glad you did.
10-14-2012, 06:37 AM
Hello everyone! It has been just over two years since I witnessed my collection of parts come together and fly in the skillful hands of Iven. What a great and unforgettable day. After coming off a strong hot summer in the a/c business (read very busy) I have slowed down for a bit to get off the fence. I have decided to start my training with Mr. Steve Mc Gowan next week :)!!!!
I either need to get trained and fly, or sell. I have no excuses-
1. I had started a separate bank account for training since I started building and I have been sitting on the money since.
2. I now own a 172 to fly down to Steve, train, and fly back all in time for dinner so I don't miss my kids and wife.
3. The weather is mild, so if you don't need heat, don't need air, you don't need me :)
4. This November, I get my own private hangar at the airport! I should be able to stuff my gyro behind my plane when the time comes, and gasp, actually keep it at an airport :o
So, I have plans for this upcoming Wednesday (a day I don't have to shuffle my kids and others after school) to start with Steve. Hope for blue skies and calm winds.
I will keep you along with my journey and I appreciate your continued support.
10-18-2012, 05:53 PM
This Wednesday I started my first round of "official" CFI guided rotorcraft training with Steve McGowan in Macon, Georgia. As most of you know, he is a stand up guy and works really hard at promoting the sport and teaching correctly. He had another student, Robert, there and we took turns flying. We rested, but poor Steve didn't! It was the Bob and Rob show that day.
My main obstacle, logistics, was conquered by my Cessna (no fixed wing haters please!) -- about a 1 hour and 10 minute flight each way. My 172 allowed me to take my daughter to school, fly down, train, and fly back with time to spare to pick my son up from Tae Kwon Do and be home for dinner. Definitely not possible in a car with Atlanta traffic.
Here is the best part of my flight: On the way down I had to pass through Atlanta's restricted airspace. I come from the school of, "it never hurts to ask," so, I got Atlanta approach on the radio and told them I need to pass through. Not only did I get permission, but they sent me right over the airport! I kinda figured they would do that since that would be the safest place to pass by as any planes taking off or coming in would NOT be at 5,500' directly over the runways. I didn't bring our good camera, but simply grabbed my $20 phone. I shot a few pics and I thought I would pass one along.
There's a LOT of cement down there. Seeing all the big jets (which looked like toys from 5,500') pass under me was pretty dang cool. On the way home from Macon I simply flew east of their airspace as I didn't want to get vectored all over the place again. However, I will ask again in the future. I
should have thanked them for the ride...next time.
My gyro training was fun, but that big black two-seat gyro is a beast. I get the feeling that I'm learning to drive a school bus when my final ride will be a Miata. I did the best I could in the limited amount of time I had. I started getting a headache at the end. Stress, helmet, sun, ???? I will tell you when I made it back to Dalton my head was screaming. Four Ibuprofin later, a drink, and laying down in bed and I was better. I usually don't get headaches, take any medecine, or even drink, but I did it ALL when I came home :)
I think it went well, and I hope to do it again next week. I'll keep the forum posted.
Thanks for allowing me to share,
10-18-2012, 06:04 PM
Congrats. You coming to Bensen Days this year?
10-18-2012, 08:28 PM
Good stuff Bob. That is a cool pic!
10-19-2012, 04:17 AM
Congrats. You coming to Bensen Days this year?
Hey Tim - That could be a possibility. If I did, it probably would be in a Cessna though.... Way to far to fly even if I HAD a gyro rating :) I know towing a gyro that distance can be really hard on it and I'm into preserving and enjoying my toys rather than stressing them. April is usually a busy month for me as everyone is flipping on their a/c for the first time and learning they don't work. I'm like a farmer...the majority of my income is made in the summer and if I miss the opportunity I will pay for it the rest of the year. If I don't come out, someobody else will and that may be the last time I see that customer :(
My Cessna could easily do the trip in the morning, stay the night, and then fly back next day....
10-19-2012, 03:18 PM
hey bob congrats on the training. I felt the same way after my first two one hour sessions. When i got home i virtually collapsed on the couch.
10-26-2012, 01:14 PM
Thanks to the miracle of flight, I once again went down for my second round of rotorcraft flight training in Macon and made it back well before dinner.
I completed another hour of training in "Black" and it went a lot smoother than the first hour. I'm starting to learn the characteristics of his machine. We even left the pattern for a while, flew around, and returned. Learning what to do in windy conditions and to keep slight back-pressure while reducing power when caught in an updraft. Repitition is key.
I was looking forward to a second hour of training but the coming hurricane started sending the clouds in rapidly after lunch and I had to cut my training short as I worried about getting stuck in Macon with only a VFR ticket. The ceiling was 4,200' and my sectional indicated along my route of a minimum 4,600' to clear some of the mountains. The tops looked doable and a call into Flight Watch confirmed the tops at about 6,000. Time to LEAVE, and LEAVE now.
I took off and found an open section of clouds and started to climb, climb, and climb some more. 4,000, then 5,000, then 6,000, hmmmm 7,000, dang 8,000, phew 8,500' to safely clear all the clouds and maintain proper VFR altitude Vs. direction of travel. I called Macon radio and ammended my flight plan. I also called in flight watch to report the clouds.
It looked like this:
I was going to descend into Dalton when two planes were in the pattern. One practicing GPS approaches, and a King Air departing, climbing at 4,200' and heading my direction :eek:
I was reporting my position every few minutes to Dalton Traffic and decided to stay up high. My biggest fear was a King Air coming through the clouds into me. I finally directed my call directly at the King Air and stated exactly where I was and he was headed in my direction and to state his position, altitude and intentions. I probably was a little, err, direct, but I needed to know. He replied that he had me on his traffic system, called out my altitude, and annouced when he was behind me and no longer a factor. Is that short for "pucker-factor?"
With the King Air out-of-the-way, I found a good long break in the clouds and descended 6,700 to pattern altitude and proceeded to knock off one of my best landings yet. Hurah!
What a day! Flew rotorcraft and fixed wing, set a new low (in the gyro) and high altitude record, greased my landing, and made it home before anybody missed me.
Thanks for allowing me to share,
10-27-2012, 08:42 AM
Doctor Bob, I'm glad you're enjoying aviation again. :-) I love reading your posts, keep 'em coming!
11-28-2012, 06:16 PM
That is simply beautiful flying above the clouds like that. I dream of doing that some day in my Gyro (just because it looks so dang cool)
11-28-2012, 08:04 PM
Well, it's not a Gyro, but flying above the clouds is, to put it simply, Heavenly... I really hope to get a gyro going and get above clouds on my own...
11-28-2012, 09:17 PM
It's a great place to be in whatever will get you off 'terra firma ' even if a bunch of groundhogs do say " the firmer it is, the less the terror."
11-29-2012, 01:49 PM
Thanks for the comments! Flying at 8,500' was a first for me in my Cessna. It was cool and made for some awesome views. The lack of anything remotely even considering turbulance was wild. The plane literally flew itself home--rock solid. Part of me was crapping my pants as it kept looking as if I was about to be stuck on top with a VFR rating. I kept looking out the side and even took those pictures as "evidence" that I was still VFR legal in case I was questioned later. The ADS-B receiver (Stratus) I use with ForeFlight was a blessing as I kept watching the ceiling rise over the Dalton Airport. I knew that by the time it hit 6,000' I could easily descend through a cloud in an "emergency" for 1,000' to get below. Since ground is 710' I had lots of time to regain composure if things got ugly. I wouldn't do a cross-country without having in-flight weather. It can change so rapidly and it gives you not only the information around you, but at your destination.
I'm seeing Steve again tomorrow (Friday) so I hope for great weather and a smooth ride!
11-29-2012, 03:11 PM
Four Ibuprofin later, a drink, and laying down in bed and I was better. I usually don't get headaches, take any medecine, or even drink, but I did it ALL when I came home :)
I always drink after leaving Steve's place. :boom:
12-05-2012, 06:34 PM
CPTAmericaMV - HA HA & Ouch! I'm sure Steve got a good laugh out of that one.
Last Friday I was once again reunited with a Sparrowhawk. This time in the left seat for 2.7 hours on a cross-country three leg jaunt to satisfy the XC requirement.
The last time I was in an enclosed gyro I was flying with Randy out of Covington, Georgia with Iven tearing up the sky in his Butterfly next to, below, and above us. It was all new to me and the experience left quite an impression. I'm a few years older, have flown in two different "open" tandem gyros, and now own a little Cessna 172. Here are my impressions...
The two-place enclosed Sparrowhawk is quite a machine with matching weight and size. We stayed nice and warm while it was cold outside. Even though it is a very desireable aircraft, I think I'm built for the open cockpit, less is more design. The experience you get with an almost unlimited view, the wind in your face, and just hanging out there is far superior in my brain. I'm NOT knocking any enclosed gyro's, but the direction that inspires me personally is an open frame. It makes me more excited knowing that someday I'll get to strap into my own Monarch Butterfly. Being a single seater and on the lightweight side of the equation, it should be a little rocket.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to come to this conclusion. Flying back from Macon in my Cessna, I couldn't help but appreciate my fixed-wing bird even more. Solid, stable, simple, and in the gyro world...FAST. I felt quick with a tailwaind at 132 knots compared to a gyro. I flew above the clouds once again at 8,500' looking down on the beautiful scenery.
So my wife asked "WHY" am I getting trained on a gyro when I already own a plane. Or, in her words, a "flying lawn chair." I asked her why does an owner of a perfectly good car go out and buy a motorcycle? She responded with, "I don't know?" "Then I can't explain it to you," was my answer.
I'm looking forward to my continued training with Steve, and the time spent in my Cessna too :)
12-15-2012, 09:36 AM
Thought I would throw out more pictures from yesterday's training session with Steve. I did some time on the SparrowHawk AND "Black." I pulled off more bad landings than good ones and one that was perfect enough I wish the camera's were rolling. We figured out what I was doing wrong (most of the time) when I got into ground effect. In his gyro, and at altitude (not in ground effect) if you start to balloon or catch a big updraft, you put slight back pressure on the cyclic, reduce power, ride it out, then reapply power and lower the nose as needed.
When I got into ground effect on landing and I ballooned, I was doing the same - whoops :confused: Big mistake.
Just like my plane, (I think) I should have added power and put a little forward pressure to stabilize the gyro and then retry further down the runway.
Hey, I'm learning! Enjoy the pictures :)
Congrats on getting it flying
12-19-2012, 11:24 AM
Hello Fara - My gyro has been back in my garage since Iven took it for its maiden flight about two years ago (?). It is "pickled" and out-of-annual on purpose until Steve and I feel that I am ready to start taxiing in it. All I have to do is sign off on it and fill the tanks. Luckily, my gyro is very patient as I am not rushing this process :) I am getting my flying kicks in my plane and Steve's "Black" gyro.
04-07-2013, 06:43 AM
Well, my training has been on hold due to cold weather (brrrrr) and lack of incoming funds. While it has been too cold to fly an open frame gyro, it has not been cold enough to make my phone ring in the heating business. In the last 13 years I can tell you that the winter usually brings good months in Jan and Feb and several weeks off in a mild March. This year has been different with a slow Jan, Feb, and March. While barely keeping above water for three months I got hit in all directions for April.
It seems a lot of tax calculations have changed and we owe, owe and owe.:violin: Not trying to turn this into a political rant, but my wife and I will owe over $10k come April 15th and then I'll have to make another $2.5k quarterly as usual at the end of the month. To add insult to this, my Uncle Sam wants another estimated this year of another $2.5k since I owed so much for 2012. I just am not doing the latter as my sales are NOT at this time what they were for 2012. I will take the penalty before I go broke.
But wait, it gets better....
My plane is in for annual right now. It is likely down for the whole month. There was a hole in the exhaust, the mags needed rebuilding, the carb is being sent off for overhaul, and the brakes need a complete redoing with rotors. Keep in mind airplane parts cost a lot more than car parts. With the other laundry list of repairs, some at my discretion, I am looking at a minimum $7k.
I told you I am getting hit from all sides and it sucks. It's just the way it is. At least the warm weather is hitting this weekend and all next week. I should be knocking out more calls and installs in the next few weeks than hopefully the last 3 months. I'll be back on my feet but I have eliminated all reserves and have never seen my account this low in a decade. I was on the gravy train in my business for ten years+ and I just got knocked down to reality this year. Humbling for sure. Mother Nature really schooled me as the weather dictates my income. If you don't need heat and don't need air, then you don't need me :(
Needless to say my gyro training is on hold as I recover. I did move it out of my garage and into my hangar yesterday as I'm paying rent on a now empty airplane hangar. Might as well put something in there :)
My update for now, hopefully I'll have better news after a few months....
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