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  • Originally posted by Vance View Post
    I had a nice time visiting with some pilots and had to answer some questions about YouTube gyroplane crashes.
    Can you elaborate?


    • Originally posted by Zzorse View Post
      Can you elaborate?
      One Bonanza Pilot in particular who wants to learn to fly gyroplanes asked what people were doing on takeoff that was causing so many accidents he had watched on YouTube. I explained at length about gyroplane takeoff procedure and he had trouble understanding the concept of not rotating for takeoff at some specific airspeed. I offered to take him flying right them but he demurred. I even had a helmet for him.

      I recently spent more than an hour during bad weather with a client just going over some of the gyroplane crash videos and explaining what went wrong. It turned out to be time well spent and planted the seed of an epiphany.

      Fixed wing pilots simply don't understand how something that is simple for them (taking off) can cause so many mishaps.

      Mostly it was just good natured hangar flying and was all in good fun James.
      Last edited by Vance; 01-29-2018, 06:58 PM.
      Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI


      • Originally posted by Vance View Post
        I offered to take him flying right them but he demurred. I even had a helmet for him.
        Looks like an international standard !!!!
        We have sooooo many local wing pilots enquiring, walking around, petting the hull, sniffing the rotax or simply walking around the gyro... but very small number accept to give it a test !!!
        They all know of someone who had horrible experience... they explain extensively how we crash 1 out of 2 flights... but can't recall the last one ! ^^
        Our tank station is next to the fixed wing hangar and always pass a mocking head when we tank the "egg"... but go back in for, the day is too windy !

        So the fun for us is to take their wives for rides during "Airfield Family Day" !
        Promoting gyro training at french "Godasses Volantes" club :


        • Last year at Pleasant Valley Arizona. My gyro attracted quite a bit of attention from airport visitors. One afternoon a group of pilots that were low riding around stopped by and were looking the gyro over
          and joking.

          I was answering their questions about the rotor drive, explaining it is just used to pre rotate the rotor and that the rotors auto rotate in flight. They were ok with that but when I added that the rotors were not powered "even on takeoff" they looked at each other and I could hear their brains sizzle.

          Most crashes I see on youtube are take offs behind the power curve and the pilot is making it worse buy trying to gain altitude and or banking..


          • Nuetrax I suspect that the banking is caused by low rotor speed,airspeed,and the torque from the engine and prop,
            Best Regards,
            Eddie Sigman,Polvadera,nm
            (575) 835-4921


            • eddie.. Ya that makes sense


              • I get that "brain sizzle" look from guys who ask about my gyro when I tell them how the rotorblades are not powered in flight like a helicopter. I explain that it is just like how a maple seed spins to the ground, or how the common windmills spin when the wind is blowing.

                The best reaction of shock I've seen is when airplane pilots ask at what speed we rotate (ie: command the gyroplane to lift off, like they do by pulling back on their yoke to change the wing's angle of attack, and separate from the ground into flight).

                I tell them that we don't command the gyroplane to lift off. We maintain the same stick position while smoothly adding power, and wait until it lifts off by itself! One pilot then started blinking his eyes rapidly, like the proverbial robot that couldn't comprehend a command that is beyond it's ability to process the information!

                I also explain that the rotorblades self-rotate (that's why they are called auto-gyros), so when they're ready to fly, they give us a clue to then add throttle smoothly.
                Last edited by Kevin_Richey; 01-31-2018, 10:03 AM.


                • I've found that if I say "The blades rotate like a pinwheel stuck outside a car window" is easier for some to understand than the Maple seed.
                  "Nothing screams poor workmanship like wrinkles in the duct tape!"
                  All opinions are my own, I've been wrong before and I'll be wrong again. Feel free to correct me if I am.
                  PRA# 40294


                  • Lazy hazy days of summer in February in California.

                    I checked the weather Sunday and there was a high pressure dominating with stable air. Smooth air makes for a haze that adds romance to the view.

                    The first Sunday of the month is open hangar day at the Santa Paula Airport. SZP is a magical place with lots of aviation luminaries and lots of interesting aircraft.

                    A flight to Santa Paula involves traversing six weather systems and they are often not favorable. I have to fly through the busy Santa Barbara class C airspace. The favorable weather made the Santa Barbara airspace very busy.

                    I had not been down that way since the Thomas fire so I wanted to see what it had done to my hills.

                    I never hurry aviation so I got a late start.

                    I took my time wandering over the hills and valleys climbing to 3,500 feet over the San Marcos Pass where the ground drops away to see level in less than a mile.

                    Once over the pass I caught some lift along the ridge all the way to No Name pass so I pulled the power back and just sort of rumbled along at 2,000 feet immersed in the beauty of the California coastline. I love the way the ocean air feels on my face.

                    No name pass opens up to the Lake Casitas and the feel of the air changes.

                    Once I reached the remnants of the Thomas fire I found turbulence and lift from the sun heating the black hills before coasting down to the Santa Paula airport.

                    I was greeted as the prodigal son and had a wonderful time hangar flying with old friends and meeting a few new ones.

                    The setting sun reflected off the mist on the way home so no pictures. It makes the familiar territory look unfamiliar and mysterious.

                    I pushed a ten to fifteen knot head all the way home.

                    I sat in the afterglow for a long time before I was ready to step down.

                    I have made this flight many times and each time is a unique Magical Mystical Adventure.
                    Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI


                    • Originally posted by Vance View Post
                      I sat in the afterglow for a long time before I was ready to step down.
                      It sums up so well the whole experience !
                      I often have to postpone the afterglow sit to my long drive home as my renter-condition rhymes more with "hurry up to post-flight so the next in line can freely pre-flight" !!! ;))))

                      Thanks for sharing the all-round information about your gyro life... aviation décisions, stratégies, technicals, educational... always something new to read !


                      Promoting gyro training at french "Godasses Volantes" club :


                      • Glad to have you along Fred.

                        I try to savor the magic moments of the flight and sharing some of them here is a way to enhance the experience.

                        It is rare that I can experience the full afterglow before a friend comes along wanting to hangar fly.

                        That is another way to enhance the memory.
                        Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI


                        • When I met Tom about five years ago at Oceano Airport Days we talked about going flying together in the open cockpit gyroplane I fly; The Predator. He regularly sees me fly over his house in Nipomo and it looked like fun to him. We both belong to EAA chapters 170 and 499.

                          Tom had flown C130s and T39s (Sabreliner) and instructed in T37s in the Air Force. As a civilian flying for Northwest and Delta he had flown all three seats in a 727 and 747 and copilot in an A-330.

                          Circumstances kept getting in the way of our flight and finally we were arranged to fly up to San Luis Obispo for an EAA chapter 170 meeting. Winds of 18kts gusting to 28kts were predicted and I let Tom know we would be rocking and rolling and he was fine with that. I limit most first flights to less than about twelve knots with a three knot gust spread.

                          Because of the winds the plan was for me to take off and land with Tom flying the rest of the time so after a quick briefing we were off. It was not a flight lesson so we had an abbreviated briefing.

                          I had just installed new to me rotor blades the day before so even after maintenance flights on Saturday I was feeling a little extra cautious.

                          The reported weather (ATIS) at Santa Maria (SMX) had winds variable at 3kts but the five windsocks we could see were all straight out (more than 15kts) and pointed in different directions. As we were climbing out the tower updated the wind to 330 degrees at 17kts and I gave Tom the controls.

                          From the beginning he was smooth on his control and throttle inputs and got better throughout our two flights. Low, slow and open cockpit were all new to him. He had only been in a helicopter once and this was his first time in a gyroplane.

                          Arriving at San Luis Obispo (SBP) I took the controls and found a lot of wind swirling around the runway that turned to a nice steady 17kt wind near the departure end of runway two niner where we touched down floating in at pretty much of a standstill.

                          After a fun meeting with the air unit of the California Highway Patrol and a nice lunch at the Spirit of San Luis I checked the weather and it was as predicted at both airports; 310 degrees at 18kts gusting to 28kts. Preflight went well and after a short briefing we were ready for departure.

                          As we started to roll for departure on runway two niner the winds were not at all steady and I began to get some shake in the cyclic at 150 rotor rpm at less than ten knots of ground speed. I backed off on the throttle and they settled down before we made a nearly vertical takeoff climbing out at 1,000 feet per minute. It was sort of like a fast elevator ride.

                          After a left downwind departure we had some traffic behind us that both of us didn’t trust from their radio work so I dropped down to 1,200 feet leaving the Edna Valley and gave Tom the controls as we neared California Highway 101. We had some gusts from behind that would lift the tail and turbulence from the nearby hills. Tom handled it well and I could feel his improvement despite the worsening conditions.

                          When I took the controls back on downwind for runway three zero at SMX I thought it would be fun to demonstrate a vertical descent over the numbers. At 20kts indicated airspeed I found we were moving backward over the ground at about ten knots and I had to pull the power back to keep from climbing.

                          We were tossed like flotsam on a stormy sea making a somewhat erratic descent followed by a zero roll gentle landing. I had a little trouble getting the rotors slowed as we made our way back to the hangar.

                          We were both a little giddy from our flight when we parted company at the gate. Flying with a friend and hangar flying with friends is a lovely way to spend a day.
                          Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI


                          • Nicely narrated account of fun flying! Thanks for keeping the interest alive for the newer forum members!
                            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 Chris. I see too many people not flying their gyropanes and I want to remind them how much fun even a simple flight is.
                              Last edited by Vance; 03-07-2018, 03:52 PM.
                              Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI


                              • I had flown with Jeff’s brother Jim; who had done very well so being the trouble maker I am I encouraged sibling rivalry.

                                My time with Jim was cut short for his work commitments. I had Jeff for all day for $450 so we could take a more casual approach.

                                Jeff said he would rather have some fun and go somewhere so we headed up the coast to San Luis Obispo (SBP) for lunch.

                                We were expecting some strong winds and San Luis Obispo is in a valley so the winds tend to swirl around and can change direction and strength rapidly. Jeff was up for the challenge.

                                Jeff received a text from Jim saying he wanted us to fly over Pirate’s cove so we modified out flight plan to accommodate him.

                                Jeff had seen my post about Russ and how much being prepared helped so he was very well prepared and it showed in his performance.

                                I gave Jeff the controls at eight hundred feet (540 feet above the ground) and immediately felt comfortable with his piloting skills. The first picture of Jeff flying is with less than two minutes at the controls making a straight out departure from the Santa Maria airport (SMX). I don’t take pictures when I am afraid.

                                Once we were outside SMX airspace I briefly took the controls and demonstrated some maneuvers and then gave Jeff the controls again.

                                He was handling airspeed and altitude very well with a good ground track and very smooth entries and exits to turns. He seemed to have a good feel for the machine.

                                Flying up the shore line from the Guadalupe Dunes toward Pismo Beach is not as easy as it looks. If you look close you can see considerable crab (the nose is pointed out to sea) because of the onshore wind. It changes as the hills began to block the wind and create turbulence. Other than some reminders about altitude (we were flying 600 feet above the ground and we are not supposed to get closer than 500 feet over people and property); Jeff was on his own.

                                There are very few emergency landing spots near Pirate’s Cove (a clothing optional beach) so I took the controls and climbed to 1,500 feet to give us more options. Neither of us saw Jim waving as we made our way close to the mountains. It was stunningly beautiful but I was busy dealing with the turbulence and the close proximity of the mountains to take pictures.

                                Air Traffic Control (ATC) at SBP was having challenges with two long winded pilots and starting to get backed up with six aircraft in the pattern. They were still able to accommodate us. Downwind mid field we were number two for runway two niner behind a Cessna and ahead of a reginal jet on a three mile final.

                                After a nice lunch and a conversation with four flying members of the Coast Guard we did a preflight and checked the weather. Winds had come up to 27kts and there was an AIRMET for moderate turbulence so we canceled our plans to fly in the Huasna Valley for some maneuvering exploration and decided to fly direct to SMX.

                                I gave Jeff the controls as soon as we climbed out of the Edna Valley and he did a great job of managing the gusting winds. He later admitted to a little fear of getting blown out of the sky. He did a great job despite his trepidation.

                                Jeff entered the pattern well and I was very impressed with his increased situational awareness so I asked if he was ready to land and he felt he was up for the second hardest part of flying a gyroplane after less than two hours of dual instruction.
                                I took over the rudders and throttle and he did a nice job of managing his airspeed. I could tell my rudder use was confusing so I pointed The Predator’s nose down the runway at five hundred feet above the ground and helped him find the centerline. As we were about to touch down an emergency was developing (a Cessna was not developing full power and needed to return to the airport) and I took the controls and went around side stepping to give him a clear runway. The Cessna pilot was cleared to land on all runways and taxiways. Things seemed to be working out so ATC told us to make left traffic and report midfield down wind.

                                ATC extended our downwind incase the Cessna stalled on the runway.

                                We had a nice stabilized approach and a nice landing so I felt it was time for Jeff to take off; arguably the hardest part of flying a gyroplane.

                                It was windy enough to where we were off before Jeff could get into trouble. I was pleased and Jeff wanted to give it another try. It was getting a little windy and turbulent so we called it quits after a nice landing and I asked ATC if we could visit because Jeff had expressed a desire to lean about what goes on in the control tower. It was approved as requested and after climbing a lot of stairs we had a very nice visit with the controller and he demonstrated many of the tools he had to work with and shared his philosophy of air traffic control.

                                When we climbed down the wind had died down so we decided to do a few more takeoffs and landings even though it was getting late.

                                As we were taxiing out the wind direction and airspeed were changing enough to where the tower gave us several wind checks and asked me if I wanted runway two. I decided to stay with 30 because the direct cross wind 020 degrees at 7kts seemed like less trouble than the changed sight picture of the 75 foot wind cross wind runway compared to the 150 foot wide runway 30.

                                As we were on our take off roll the wind sock became straight out (15kts) and I decided to change to runway 02.

                                Jeff had a little trouble with the narrower runway and I could not let him go quite as far so on our last landing I had him fly down the runway at about 15 feet and he said it helped a lot. The last landing was a nice as could be. Every takeoff and landing had been to practical test standards with a little coaching.

                                It was a little after 6:00 and we had started at 8:00. The debrief and filling out his log book lasted till a little after 7:00. He had flown for two and a half hours and had been learning every minute of the 11 hour day. Jeff is tough!

                                He is planning on moving forward on his gyroplane adventure and I am looking forward to it.

                                As I read what I wrote to find some of my spelling and grammatical errors; I realized I was not able to communicate how much fun I have as a flight instructor as I open the door to the world of aviation I love. I feel learning to fly a gyroplane is a life altering experience. It was for me. I am grateful that my friends let me join in the fun of their aviation adventure.
                                Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI