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More fun flying The Predator.

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  • It has been a while since I wrote about the fun I have because I have been very busy. I have several stories saved up and will try to finish them up as I wait for paint in Buellton.

    Jelena from Bosnia called me up speaking with a most charming accent and asking for gyroplane flight instruction. She had a FAA student license and that addressed the transportation security authority challenge.

    I never know what to expect when someone tells me they know how to fly a gyroplane. A few have elicited trepidation as I recovered from untidy maneuvers.

    Jelena was great from the start. She listened well and asked good questions. She is fiercely intelligent and it showed in everything she did.

    It was still smoky from the fires.

    Her experience had all been in an MTO Sport and she was happy to fly from the back seat so off we went to the practice area. After very little adjusting to the aircraft and very little coaching from me; she flew to commercial practical test standards and did all the maneuvers well.

    She was a delight to fly with and her friend did not speak English. Jelena is the tall one standing toward the front of The Predator.

    It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.
    Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI


    • I am the crazy uncle for my niece Claire so I understand the crazy uncle thing. Everyone should have a crazy uncle and Lillie Lemonís is Jim.

      I have an all-day deal where we fly to San Luis Obispo for lunch and do enough flying to land. Jim wanted to add Lillie and as a flight instructor it is more challenging to address too people with different agendaís.

      Jim is a widely traveled adventurer (crazy uncle) and Lillie Lemon is a talented musician into Indie Electro-Pop. I didnít know what it was so I listened from her Facebook page and I liked it. Lots of energy.

      Jim wanted to find out if he wanted to make the commitment to fly gyroplanes and Lillie was hanging out with crazy Uncle Jim and knew whatever he did would be fun.

      We worked through preflight and the briefing and both asked good questions.

      I took Jim up first and he did well. We had some work to do on the ground reference maneuvers. He seems fearless and took instruction well.

      He wasnít quite ready to land. He had forgotten how to lower his face shield and the wind in the back seat caused his eyes to tear up and coat the inside of his glasses with salty tears. He was also having a little trouble hearing instructions over the intercom.

      Lunch was the next challenge because they were both vegans. Fortunately near the airport is the Natural Cafť so off we went for a nice lunch.

      After lunch it was Lillieís turn and she did as well as any inexperienced gyroplane pilot I have flown with.

      Conditions were not ideal and Lillieís hands became cold enough to lose feeling in them. I had gloves on board but she didnít know to ask and was not comfortable flying numb.

      Jim improved dramatically on his second flight learning to work the face shield and tighten up the helmet strap so he could hear me better. By the end of the lesson I felt he was ready to land and it was a good one with very little coaching and little input from me.

      He was trying so hard he may have forgotten to have fun.

      I hope Jim will be back; he listens well and is fun to instruct.
      Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI