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  • Thank you for continuing to share the fun you have in your gyro adventures ... Vance ! I know how it can be discouraging to continue to post on a "dead forum" & mostly silent ( even if appreciative) audience!

    you are still the flag bearer for many here ..... thanks for your continued efforts in sharing, inspiring!
    Chris T.
    3Rs - Rotors rock & rule!

    "Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape." Buck B.

    Time flies if you can but only the slowest.

    PRA# 4212
    EAA# 1126845


    • Thank you for the kind words Chris.

      I am proud to have you along.

      I love the picture stories you write and usually read those two or three times to make sure I have not missed anything.

      I write my stories as part of the afterglow of flying and often learn something about what I was feeling or my decision making process.

      I like posting on The Rotary Wing Forum where people know me because I feel like I need to explain myself less and I can be more expansive than on a format like Facebook.

      Fifty people have read the most recent story since I posted it so I donít feel like the forum is dead.

      It is not easy to connect with that many friends.

      People on The Rotary Wing Forum have always been generous with their praise and sparing with their criticism.

      I have taken to posting some of the stories on my website to remind people of the fun that can be had flying a gyroplane.
      Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI


      • I agree with Chris very much. It is great to be able to read all the things that you post, Vance. I am one of those mostly silent but appreciative people. This is my first post on the forum, because mostly I don't have anything to say. Thank you to, Vance, for letting me tag along with you while you were judging the gyros at Mentone. That was great, and really added to my experience at Mentone. (I was the guy who came from Colorado with my daughter).


        • Originally posted by farmboy View Post
          I agree with Chris very much. It is great to be able to read all the things that you post, Vance. I am one of those mostly silent but appreciative people. This is my first post on the forum, because mostly I don't have anything to say. Thank you to, Vance, for letting me tag along with you while you were judging the gyros at Mentone. That was great, and really added to my experience at Mentone. (I was the guy who came from Colorado with my daughter).
          Glad to have you along Jay and a very nice first post.

          I love to share the fun and usually learn something in the process.

          Life treats me well.
          Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI


          • The hardest thing for most student pilots to learn is takeoffs and landings so a lot of training time is spent in the pattern. There is a lot going on and a lot to focus on.

            As an escape from the pattern Steven joined me on a flight up to Paso Robles airport day 8/26 and learned about waiting for the weather, crossing into different weather systems. He learned more about pilotage, basic navigation and managing radio communications with towered and pilot controlled airfields. He studied the chart and we saw that the Cuesta grade was probably our best option because further inland is the California Condor study area would have requested us to fly well over 6,000 feet above mean sea level (MSL) over the 3,000 foot ridgeline and further west we were more likely to encounter fog. For me flight planning is aviation foreplay and the key to a successful flight.

            The Paso Robles airport (PRB) would close at noon for the airshow so we wanted to leave with time to spare for the approximately hour long flight. When we arrived at the Santa Maria Public airport the sky conditions were 200 feet over cast. Searching the gray we saw a small patch of blue and soon the mountains to the southwest emerged out of the mist. Within a half hour the sky had gone from hopelessly grey to blue and the field was visual flight rules. San Luis Obispo was still instrument metrological conditions.

            As we climbed into the sky it became clear we were going to need to fly over the top of the fog. We wanted to fly over the top of San Luis Obispoís class D airspace (SBP) and that required us to be at 2,800 MSL so we began a casual climb.

            I called air traffic control at SBP and our transition was approved at 2,000 feet or above.

            It was blue skies over SBP by the time we reached it but the fog still looked menacing to the west.

            We went from pleasantly cool ocean air to feeling like someone had opened an oven door. The temperature increased more than 15 degrees in less than a mile well before we reached the grade.

            Steven was flying a nice straight course as I tried to describe our path to and over the grade. I took the controls briefly to manage a traffic alert and then gave the controls back to Steven. He flew the pass at 2,500 feet dealing with the turbulence well.

            We wanted to follow the 101 so I could accurately report my position on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) for PRB and I called in from ten miles out.

            It was a little busy and I was uncomfortable with some of the reporting so I made every effort to stay out of the way and make accurate position reports. I took the controls five miles out expecting trouble that never came. The landing was nice and we were quickly off the runway and taxiing toward the display area. Directions were a little haphazard and I sent Steven off in search of an official.

            I waved to my friend Paul in his Magni who was giving the local press a ride. This was going to be his first airshow and I had been helping him manage the details.

            It was a wonderful small town air show where they send everything that flies past the crowd and have marching bands and color guard. They also had a bit of a car show.

            I put the signs up on The Predator and spent a fun afternoon answering questions about gyroplanes.

            Paul did his routine well and was well received. He did not do anything that made me nervous.

            We stopped at SBP on the way back for gas and then made the quick hop to SMX.

            It was very different than practicing in the pattern and a lovely way to spend the day.

            We flew patterns yesterday (9/2) and Stevenís pattern work was markedly improved demonstrating again that there is more to learning to fly that the pattern. His flexibility with ATC instructions was also improved.
            Steven had a large step in the learning process when I demonstrated the steps of a turn as I described what I was doing.

            In my opinion Flight Instruction is an iterative process and each time a concept comes around the student is confused on a higher level.

            I just got off the phone with Steven and we were discussing the round out on a conservation of energy level instead of you just apply back pressure and slow down to arrest your descent.

            Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI


            • I recently replaced the teeter bearings in The Predator in preparation for a flight to El Mirage Dry Lake for the Ken Brock Freedom Fly In. I am typing this instead of flying there because more wind than I am comfortable with is predicted in the high desert this afternoon. I hope to leave Friday morning.

              In addition to the paper work I like to make a short maintenance flight any time I have been working on flight critical parts.

              Three times around the pattern was just enough to wet my appetite for flying so after another through preflight I headed off to San Luis Obispo for lunch.

              I love how The Predator climbs out solo so I leveled off at eight hundred feet (550 feet AGL) less than half way down the 8,000 foot runway.

              My new taller yaw string (so I can see it from the back seat) confused the autofocus on my camera.

              Air traffic control asked me to turn left thirty degrees for inbound traffic so I was pointed right at restricted airspace R-2516. There was enough wind to make the heading sort of a guess. Fortunately I was asked to resume own navigation well before I reached the restricted airspace.

              It was bumpy heading toward the shoreline as we neared the shoreline. I was crabbing about thirty degrees left as I headed north along the shore line and loving the feel of the ocean air. The way the wind caught wisps of the waves and made it appear as separate brush stokes was magnificent. The picture does not do it justice.

              Five hundred feet, forty five knots indicated airspeed at 2,000 engine rpm is the personification of low and slow to me. We just sort of rumbled along toward Oceano (L52) surrounded by beauty. L52 is a very special airport so near the shoreline.

              I made my last radio call on the L52 CTAF over the Pismo Pier before checking the San Luis Obispo ATIS and calling the SBP tower. I climbed to seven hundred feet and still could not reach the tower over the hills so I climbed to eleven hundred feet and called again with success. I love this feeling of freedom. There was traffic over Avilla Bay and ATC managed it well.

              After a nice lunch as we headed back toward SMX I saw a column of smoke just south east of Lake Lopez. When we returned to SMX we found lots of tankers busy with a fire in the Huasna valley. ATC asked me to pick up my speed and make a short approach. I ran her up to 100kts and it was fun diving for the runway making a big sweeping turn. We were off quickly and taxied to fuel for Thursdayís early departure that didnít happen.

              I have been watching the weather and I am happy to not be flying in the strong gusting winds.
              Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI