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Old 02-11-2013, 11:18 AM
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Default GyroCopter -vs- GyroPlane



GyroCopter vs GyroPlane


I fly planes. But the planes I fly have a fixed wing. I fly copters too. Gyro Copters and Helic Opters. The translation of the definition of the word helic- opter fits both a helicopter and a gyrocopter.

This nonsense about Bensen's and other early machines being the cause of public discrimination against the gyrocopter is a matter of perspective. An open frame flying lawn chair is going to evoke a certain emotional reaction, no matter what you call it. Most women and about half of all men will look at a perfectly safe open frame Dominator or Sportcopter and say something like," that thing is dangerous." Do you really think a 20 something man or woman has an intimate knowledge of Bensen and RAF accident history, and is basing there opinion on the name of the machine?? PLEASE !

Here is why I want you to call my modern enclosed cabin class Gyrocopter, a copter, and not a plane. It's about perception.

---------------

91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General.
Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

(c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

(d) Helicopters, powered parachutes, and weight-shift-control aircraft. If the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface—

(1) A helicopter may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, provided each person operating the helicopter complies with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA; and

(2) A powered parachute or weight-shift-control aircraft may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section.
-----------------

I would prefer to have the flight privileges of a helic opter. I know by the letter of the law I don't, but I would like to.)

I submit my aircraft is closer to the flight characteristics and deserves the latitude of the powered parachute or our Rotorcraft cousin the helicopter, not the restriction necessitated by the flight characteristics of the air plane.

Then there is this.

FAA AC 90-66a

(9 A) ROTORCRAFT operations at Airports without an operating control tower.

(1) In the case of a helicopter approaching to land, the pilot must avoid the flow of fixed-wing aircraft and land on a marked helipad or suitable clear area. Pilots should be aware that at some airports, the only suitable landing area is the runway.

(2). All pilots should be aware that rotorcraft may fly slower and approach at steeper angles than airplanes. Air taxi is the preferred method for helicopter ground movements which enables the pilot to proceed at an optimum airspeed, minimize downwash effect, and conserve fuel. However, flight over aircraft, vehicles, and personnel should be avoided.

(3) In the case of a gyrocopter approaching to land, the pilot should avoid the flow of fixed-wing aircraft until turning final for the active runway.

(4) A helicopter operating in the traffic pattern may fly a pattern similar to the airplane pattern at a lower altitude (500 AGL) and closer to the airport. This pattern may be on the opposite side of the runway with turns in the opposite direction if local policy permits.

(5) Both classes of rotorcraft can be expected to practice. power-off landing (autorotation) which will involve -a very steep angle of approach and high rate of descent (1,500-2,000 feet/minute).

-------------------------------------------
I have used AC 90-66 to change the traffic pattern at the airport I am based at to allow us to fly both right and left patterns, and to land on the ramps and glider strip when they are available. On a busy Saturday, we have options and support from our fixed wing fellow pilots flying thier PLANES, to fly non standard abbreviated patterns. After all, we are flying GyroCopters.

Soooo, when talking to air traffic control, I report as Experimental light spot gyroCopter 719Mike Bravo. Follow ups are Sport Copter 9 Mike Bravo. (with apoligies to Jim Vanek).

I am not flying a PLANE, I am flying a copter. If I want to fly a plane, I will pull my Cessna 210 out of the hangar.


OK, fire away....

Mark@CopterPilots.org

---------------
Manufacturer = CELIER

CELIER ---Xenon ---XNON ---Gyrocopter ---Piston


http://www.icao.int/publications/DOC...facturers.aspx

-----------------------

The ICAO* official term for my aircraft is GyroCopter. And the type designator is XNON.
*= The official publication FAA/ ATC uses .


Last edited by ms80831; 02-13-2013 at 05:46 PM. Reason: To add ICAO designation
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:34 AM
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mark:I agree with you 100%,we fly gyrocopters not gyroplanes.

To me a gyroplane would have both a rotary and fixed wing for lift.

Best regards,eddie.....
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie View Post
mark:I agree with you 100%,we fly gyrocopters not gyroplanes.

To me a gyroplane would have both a rotary and fixed wing for lift.

Best regards,eddie.....
BINGO Eddie. Exactly.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:44 AM
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Why don't you call it an Autogyro?

Then it would not sound like a Toy or a Plane.


As far as I am concerned the guy who invented them should get to name them.

If you want to use an FAA indiscrepancy to 'prove' a point, you will have plenty of fodder.

.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:46 AM
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But also keep in mind calling it a "gyrocopter" doesn't change the legal definition as it applies in FAR 91.119 - they were very specific when NOT saying "rotorcraft" instead of "helicopter".
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:55 AM
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Since I'm probably the one who provoked this, I'll give some comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ms80831 View Post
91.119 Minimum safe altitudes:
. . .
(d) Helicopters, powered parachutes, and weight-shift-control aircraft. If the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface—

(1) A helicopter may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, provided each person operating the helicopter complies with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA; and

-----------------

I would prefer to have the flight privileges of a helic opter.)

I submit my aircraft is closer to the flight characteristics and deserves the latitude of the powered parachute or our Rotorcraft cousin the helicopter, not the restriction necessitated by the flight characteristics of the air plane.
Unfortunately, those provisions do NOT apply to gyroplanes, and you don't get those privileges. The choice of name (gyroplane vs. gyrocopter) simply doesn't matter since neither is a helicopter according to the FAA. A petition was submitted by a good friend of mine a few years ago to make those regulations applicable to all rotorcraft, not just helicopters. The petition was denied. You would find the reasoning in the FAA decision very offensive. I'll paraphrase here to give you the gist, but essentially it said that unlike helicopters, those gyro things are mostly homemade experimentals flown by sport pilots and you just can't expect enough safety from those guys. The petition was re-submitted with a rebuttal to all the FAA arguments (I helped write it), but no action has been taken on it.

The FAA Pilot/Controller Glossary has this entry:

HELICOPTER- A heavier‐than‐air aircraft supported in flight chiefly by the reactions of the air on one or more power‐driven rotors on substantially vertical axes.

but no entry for autogyro, autogiro, gyroplane, or gyrocopter. The closest is gets is this:

AUTOROTATION- A rotorcraft flight condition in which the lifting rotor is driven entirely by action of the air when the rotorcraft is in motion.

Those two defintions are taken straight from FAR 1.
FAR 1 also includes these:

Gyrodyne means a rotorcraft whose rotors are normally engine-driven for takeoff, hovering, and landing, and for forward flight through part of its speed range, and whose means of propulsion, consisting usually of conventional propellers, is independent of the rotor system.

Gyroplane means a rotorcraft whose rotors are not engine-driven, except for initial starting, but are made to rotate by action of the air when the rotorcraft is moving; and whose means of propulsion, consisting usually of conventional propellers, is independent of the rotor system.


There is no definition in the FARs of a gyrocopter. Its usage in the AC 90-66a is not regulatory.

FAR 61.5(b)(3) authorizes ratings for gyroplanes, but not gyrocopters:
(3) Rotorcraft class ratings—

(i) Helicopter.

(ii) Gyroplane.


The proper use of "gyrocopter" is as a trademark of the Bensen company.

P.S. Putting wings on it doesn't matter. The McCulloch J-2 has both wings and a rotor, and the FAA certified it as a gyroplane. The A&S 18A has no wings and it was also certified as a gyroplane. No difference.


P.P.S. Can anybody show me a U.S. pilot certificate with a gyrocopter rating on it?

Last edited by WaspAir; 02-11-2013 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:15 PM
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This? Again?

Bensen's rights to exclusive use of the name are long expired. He created the term and registered it, but you also have to defend a trade name when violations pop up to keep it from becoming generic. ("Xerox," "Kleenex," etc.)

If I'm talking to the tower, and he's confused by the term "gyroplane," I'll use "gyrocopter," because they always seem to know what that means, and it's more likely to convey the capabilities and limitations of the aircraft.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PW_Plack View Post
This? Again?

Bensen's rights to exclusive use of the name are long expired. He created the term and registered it, but you also have to defend a trade name when violations pop up to keep it from becoming generic. ("Xerox," "Kleenex," etc.)

If I'm talking to the tower, and he's confused by the term "gyroplane," I'll use "gyrocopter," because they always seem to know what that means, and it's more likely to convey the capabilities and limitations of the aircraft.
Well said Paul.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaspAir View Post
Since I'm probably the one who provoked this, I'll give some comments.


Unfortunately, those provisions do NOT apply to gyroplanes, and you don't get those privileges. The choice of name (gyroplane vs. gyrocopter) simply doesn't matter since neither is a helicopter according to the FAA. ....etc.
I wondered how long it would take for someone to point out the black and white.

J.R. , I don't disagree with what the letter of the law is, my point was perception.

I wish your petition had been successful. Wait 10 more years until $100,000.00 Magnis, Calidus, and Zenon's are the norm, and there may be a different result. But until it is, using the term "gyroCopter" get's me more freedom in the real world than gyroplane.

As for AC 90-66, yes it is an AC (advisory circular) and they are not regulatory, but ..."advisory...." Still, it's an official FAA publication and got our fixed wing airport board members to allow us much greater flexibility for our gyroCopters... So, I will take it.

Perception... And you made my point for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaspAir View Post
.......

......Many of them know very, very little about rotorcraft; gyroplanes might have been mentioned once for about 10 seconds years before when they got their training.

I've been asked to hover by some controllers.

Well after I'd already been cleared to land my J-2 at Salinas once (following several radio exchanges; they kept calling me "experimental 63G", and I kept responding "gyroplane 63G"), a nervous and excited controller came on the air calling, "helicopter approaching from the north, identify yourself !!! ". When I replied, "63G is a gyroplane, Ma'am, it's a rotorcraft", they realized what they were looking at.. . .
They were looking for a plane, cause that is what you told them.

When I use gyroPlane (and I have), I get vectored to the normal airplane traffic pattern. At KCOS (Colorado Springs) the runways are 2 miles long, the normal pattern is 5 miles long. (That can mean taxiing over a mile to parking after being vectored all over the airspace for faster traffic.)

When I use gyroCopter it goes something like this.

GyroCopter 719mike bravo inbound from the east with Information Delta, destination Jet Center.

719 mike bravo proceed as requested.

I fly straight to the jet center ramp and set down 150 feet from parking.

Planes don't get cleared to land on the ramp.

HeliCopters and gyroCopters do.

So have I broken some FAR by saying gyroCopter, or by accepting their invitation to land on the ramp?

NO.

I have just taken advantage of human nature and their perception.

Sometimes, it does matter what you call it.

Now you are technically right.

But, as for me,

I fly a gyroCopter.

Mark@CopterPilots.org

Last edited by ms80831; 02-11-2013 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:33 PM
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Folks, you can call yours what ever you like (although I'll bet your license says you're licensed to fly a gyroplane, not a gyrocopter).

I'll take a very different view if you're talking about the A&S 18A I fly.
If you want to call it a gyroplane, as the FAA does, I'll be content.
If you want to call it an autogiro, I won't mind.
If you speak German and call it a Tragschrauber, I won't complain.
But if you call it a gyrocopter, I'll correct you, as I do controllers who make that mistake. I want as much distance as possible from the heritage and reputation that come with that term.

By the way, for those hung up on the "plane" part of the term "gyroplane" (thinking it applies only to fixed wings), it might interest you to know that the tradename for the A&S 18A is actually:

"HELIPLANE".


P.S. for Mark -
I find that whenever the controller uses the proper term "gyroplane", at any tower, I never get an inappropriate clearance. And I would rather educate a controller here or there with standard phraseology than train them to use something non-standard. There's nothing wrong with telling a controller where you want to park and that you require only 50 feet for landing; they'll be happy to know, and they tend to remember if you show up again. I've been cleared to use helipads at major airports when calling in as a "gyroplane".

Last edited by WaspAir; 02-11-2013 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:39 PM
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Congratulations!!!
I think you have found a typographic error, which has been overlooked for almost 20 years.
I would be willing to bet, if you brought this to the attention of the FAA; they would issue an addendum with the correction to "gyroplane".
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:42 PM
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I just fly both!!!
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brett s View Post
But also keep in mind calling it a "gyrocopter" doesn't change the legal definition as it applies in FAR 91.119 - they were very specific when NOT saying "rotorcraft" instead of "helicopter".
You're right. It's true. But again it is perception.

This time the perception is to how it looks, as opposed to calling it a gyroCopter -vs- gyroPlane.

I am a board member of my local airport. I handle the complaint calls when someone flies too low, slow, fast, or wakes up the baby.

I know what the letter of the laws says, but most people don't.

I can go out and fly for hours east of our field at 50 feet off the deck over the open field, and I have never had a complaint in my gyroCopter.

But if I did the same thing in my airPlane, the usual suspects would be on the phone faster than you can say reckless disregard.

Now in truth, neither operation is technically against the law, so long as I maintain 500 ft. horizontal from a person, structure vehicle or vessel.

But the perception is, helicopters fly low, and slow, and thats OK. Planes have to be so high over my house I can's see them, or they must have broken some kind of FAR.

The truth is both operations are legal. But do you want to answer the complaint, and deal with the FAA? I don't, so I don't do it in my plane. But I sure do in my Copter, and no one complains.

Why?

Perception. The gyroCopter is to them the little yellow Helicopter, and it belongs there.

And besides, everyone knows "Copter" pilots are way cooler than "Plane" pilots.

Mark@CopterPilots.org

Last edited by ms80831; 02-11-2013 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:57 PM
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I often fly right over billionaire Larry Ellison's house in the A&S 18A gyroplane, and his staff come rushing out with binoculars whenever they detect any aircraft noise that has the theoretical potential to disturb His Mightiness. I've never had a complaint from him in my gyroplane. I can't see how using the wrong name for my aircraft would change that situation.
But I don't want people who are going to fly with me, or perhaps try to limit my operating rights in airspace or at an airport, or whom I'm trying to convince to issue me insurance, to think I have anything to do with the sad history of the bunt-o-matics, and I do think standard phraseology has some merit on its own.

P.S. Ellison is the guy who owns Oracle, the software giant, races Americas Cup yachts, etc.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaspAir View Post
Folks, you can call yours what ever you like (although I'll bet your license says you're licensed to fly a gyroplane, not a gyrocopter).

I'll take a very different view if you're talking about the A&S 18A I fly.
...
".
JR

I love flying the 18A. I got my Rotorcraft/Gyroplane rating from Don Farrington back in the 1980's. There is nothing like a jump take off in an 18A. Kas Thomas described it as like " .. being pulled heavanward by a long stringy rubber band..." and so it is. Not like anything else I have ever flown.

Regards

Mark
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Last edited by ms80831; 02-11-2013 at 06:16 PM.
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