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Hi from Southwestern New York

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  • Hi from Southwestern New York

    Hi Everyone,
    I'm in the very early stages of aviation and my goal is to have my own gyroplane in the next 2 years. I'm hoping to begin flight training in the spring of 2019, and I think that the collective experience of the members of this forum can point me in the right direction. I live in the hills and forests of southwestern New York, and I'm planning on flying for fun and sightseeing. Eventually, I'd even like to get my wife and daughter up with me once I get some experience under my belt.

    As for my background, I've only flown in small aircraft with a couple friends of mine who would let me take the controls and maneuver the fixed wing aircraft from time to time. I'm also a bit of a flight sim junky, but as far as formal experience goes, I'm pretty green. Mechanically, I have enough experience and knowledge to be confident in any kind of build/overhaul I put my mind to. I work for a company that has a pretty strong foundation in the aircraft and space & defense industry, and I cover all of the supply chain requirements for our additive manufacturing group. I started with this company as an assembler/tester for aircraft engine components.

    Right now, my goal is to get started with the sport pilot certification. I've spoken with my local flight school and confirmed that the instruction provided for the SPL would also apply to a private pilot cert should I decide to pursue it further. From the internet research I've done so far, the closest gyro instructor is 2 hours away from me in Pennsylvania. I'm wondering if it makes sense to get my sport pilot cert through my local airport, and then go to PA to get my gyro cert? Maybe it makes more sense to do it all directly through the PA instructor? I do kind of like the idea of having access to aircraft through my local school once I get my cert so that I can go up while wait for my aircraft.

    All opinions and advice are welcome.

    Thank you!

    Tom
    You can spend your whole life waiting for that mountain to move, but it's waiting on you.....you gotta make it move. -Jonny Lang

  • #2
    Hello, Tom. I might be near you... I work in Poughkeepsie, NY but live in Sussex county, NJ. What town are you in? I'm also pursuing a gyro build at the moment with the hope of enjoying the hilly farmland scenery from a slightly different vantage point. Welcome to the forum. Regards, Brian Jackson

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    • #3
      Hi Brian,
      I'm actually on the other side of the state. Roughly 60 miles south of Buffalo in Chautauqua county. I'm planning on flying mostly over the Allegheny region of NY and PA. Keep us posted on your build. I'm still working on where to start.
      You can spend your whole life waiting for that mountain to move, but it's waiting on you.....you gotta make it move. -Jonny Lang

      Comment


      • #4
        Tom, I'm in the Hudson valley, about an hour south of Albany. I'm planning to fly to the western part of the state when the weather gets warmer and days get longer. I made it as far west/north as Old Forge, NY (W. Adirondacks) this past summer. It was a lot of fun flying over the Mohawk valley and skirting the Catskills along the way. I'll try to be in touch in '19.

        Brian, I didn't realize/remember you are working in PK. Got time to meet for lunch at Tail Winds West (KPOU) one of these days?

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        • #5
          Hi Tyler. Yes, I would love that! Have been meaning to text you to stay in touch. Was disappointed that my schedule precluded us meeting earlier this year. Let me know.

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          • #6
            Great! I actually flew down there yesterday, although not in time for lunch. It took me about 45 mins from NY1 with no winds. I had flown around KPOU airspace before, but never actually landed there – boy, they sure talk fast on that ATIS! The restaurant is only open Th-Su. I'll text you the next time a Thursday or Friday looks promising.

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            • #7
              Tom, one benefit of training on airplanes first is you'll be able to do your required solo in someone else's (non-experimental) plane. I was a primary gyro student, so I had to have my own gyro before I could solo. In some respects that was a good thing, though, as I was VERY motivated to get mine built, and I guess I saved some time/money in the near term not having to train on a class of aircraft I'm not actually planning to own or fly soon.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hello Tyger,
                Thanks for the response! I think you've confirmed the path of training I've been leaning towards. I'm pretty excited about it and thinking about getting started no later than early spring 2019. Once you have a sport cert, do you know what is required to get the gyro cert? (hours/testing)?

                If you make it out to this side of the state, I'd gladly meet up with you. Depending on how far west you want to go, Chautauqua County Jamestown Airport (KJHW) would give you similar views to what you experienced flying over the Mohawk Valley and Catskills. Actually, my profile pic is from the Allegheny Reservoir, 20 mins south east of KJHW.

                Please keep in touch and enjoy the winter season.

                Tom
                You can spend your whole life waiting for that mountain to move, but it's waiting on you.....you gotta make it move. -Jonny Lang

                Comment


                • #9
                  Good morning Tom,

                  My recommendation is to start with gyroplanes if that is what you want to fly.

                  I spend a lot of time teaching people not to do what they have been taught in a fixed wing.

                  Takeoff in a fixed wing is about airspeed and angle of attack and you rotate at a specific indicated air speed.

                  Takeoff in a gyroplane off is about a combination of rotor rpm and airspeed and in a gyroplane you do not rotate.

                  I have had fixed wing pilots forget about the rotor and do their fixed wing stop and go (center the controls and full power). Allowed to continue this will often lead to losing control of the rotor from too much airspeed with insufficient rotor speed. Without the drag of the properly positioned rotor the aircraft can accelerate faster than the rotor and without a properly positioned rotor disk there is not much air going through the rotor to accelerate it.

                  In my opinion the fixed wing pilot’s fixation on airspeed is responsible for many of the takeoff accidents in gyroplanes.

                  I feel navigation and flight planning are different in a gyroplane.

                  Cockpit management in an open aircraft is different than closed.

                  Any rotorcraft has much slower response to the controls than a fixed wing and fixed wing pilots generally over control a gyroplane in gust conditions and during landing.

                  None of this is particularly hard to learn or unlearn.

                  In my opinion a large portion of the skills to fly a fixed wing are not transferable to flying a gyroplane particularly in the area of takeoffs and landing where more than half the gyroplane accidents take place.

                  In my opinion a low time gyroplane pilot is not the best qualified for flying phase one on an experimental gyroplane and it can usually be managed by an experienced gyroplane pilot for less than $2,500.

                  I wish you all the best on your gyroplane adventure.
                  Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Vance,
                    I really appreciate the advice you've provided. A lot of what you brought up were concerns I had with starting off with fixed wing training. As I'm sure you know, much of the training with anything mechanical solidifies muscle memory and reflexive focus. Take operating a motorcycle for example. After some time, you know when to up shift without having to look at your rpms, you can look at a curve you're approaching and know whether or not you're going to fast and lastly, you'll know if your in top gear or not by the rpms and how fast you're going. Anyone who's had a new bike has rolled the throttle forward, pulled the clutch, and lifted their left foot only to find that's it as far as gearing goes. I'm assuming flying becomes that, but with a bit more complexity. To a new pilot, is the difference between 4000 and 5000 ft that discernable? What does 70 knots at 3000 ft look/feel like vs. 70 knots at 500?

                    Being that all my experience has been with fixed wing and flight sim, maybe I already have some of those tendencies need some attention.

                    Your points have been helpfull, and I'll be happy to keep the group posted with how I progress.

                    Many Thanks,
                    Tom
                    You can spend your whole life waiting for that mountain to move, but it's waiting on you.....you gotta make it move. -Jonny Lang

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Southern_Tier View Post
                      Once you have a sport cert, do you know what is required to get the gyro cert? (hours/testing)?
                      Once you are a FW SP, you won't have to take a second knowledge test, but you'll still have to get an indefinite amount of dual gyro time till you are ready to be flight checked on a gyro. Probably Vance could tell you the long and the short of it (as to the time that has taken other FW pilots).
                      Do you have any idea of which make/model you would ultimately like to fly/build?

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                      • #12
                        Hi Tyger,
                        I was actually thinking of starting a new thread called "What do you fly, and what do you like/dislike about your aircraft?" I need to look further into all the posts to see if it's been done before but I think it might ultimately help in my decision. Unfortunately, I want one of everything at the moment. A single seat naked (do you folks call it naked? I know that's a bike thing, but basically no cowling and all you can see in front of you is your feet and the bare essentials for gauges). I'd also like a tandem to get my wife or daughter up with me, and I think something like the Cavalon would be nice should I need to show up some place wearing a tuxedo. If I could afford an aircraft like a Cavalon, I'd be showing up at most places in a tuxedo lol.

                        Anyways, thats where I'm at. Still in the discovery phase and leaning towards the naked single seater.

                        Thanks,
                        Tom
                        You can spend your whole life waiting for that mountain to move, but it's waiting on you.....you gotta make it move. -Jonny Lang

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A good question Tyler.

                          Most of the CFIs I have talked to feel about ten hours is the minimum.

                          My fastest was 2.8 hours for a 20,000 plus hour airline transport pilot with a helicopter rating. He went for private.

                          My slowest was 15 hours and he also eventually went to private pilot, rotorcraft-gyroplane. He is a 1,500 hour private pilot single engine land with an instrument rating.

                          Most of my add-on clients are north of seven hours of dual and seven hours of ground. This can usually be done in three or four days.

                          It is not hard to learn to fly to practical test standards. The challenge is getting people not to revert to their fixed wing thinking.

                          Something out of the FAA test for flight instructor is first learned-best learned. The translation is; the way you learn to do it first is they way you will remember.

                          On the last hour of the 15 hour client on a stop and go; he centered the cyclic and applied full power. Without the rotor drag The Predator would easily out accelerate the rotor followed by a divergent blade flap.

                          I know a fellow who added on a sport pilot gyroplane endorsement and then didn't fly for a year. In that year all his fixed wing habits returned and he was not safe to fly a gyroplane.

                          Most gyroplane pilots have flown something else so I am not trying to warn about a particular danger. My only point is that flying a gyroplane is different than a fixed wing and the skills don't necessarily transfer well.

                          Put another way; in my opinion if you spent the time and money you will spend on fixed wing training on more hours of gyroplane training you would be a better gyroplane pilot.

                          It is more about safe than easy.

                          I flew with a young man (24) yesterday and in two hours of dual and six hours of ground he could do everything to practical test standards except takeoff and steep turns and that was only because he got tired. I was going to have him take off on our next lap when he pulled the plug (a good aviation decision). He was exceptional and I only mention it because he had no aviation experience. I have no doubts we won't run out of things to do in the minimum 15 hours for a primary student.
                          Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Southern_Tier View Post
                            Hi Tyger,
                            I was actually thinking of starting a new thread called "What do you fly, and what do you like/dislike about your aircraft?" I need to look further into all the posts to see if it's been done before but I think it might ultimately help in my decision. Unfortunately, I want one of everything at the moment. A single seat naked (do you folks call it naked? I know that's a bike thing, but basically no cowling and all you can see in front of you is your feet and the bare essentials for gauges). I'd also like a tandem to get my wife or daughter up with me, and I think something like the Cavalon would be nice should I need to show up some place wearing a tuxedo. If I could afford an aircraft like a Cavalon, I'd be showing up at most places in a tuxedo lol.
                            Naked, as you call it (haha), would make going any distance at any speed pretty uncomfortable, especially on cooler days. I like the free feeling of open cockpit, but with a nose and windscreen! 60-90mph winds constantly on my face would get old fast.
                            I don't fly with passengers too often, but it's nice to have that option, and that second place doubles as decent storage if I want to travel any distance cross country (solo).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thank you Tyger and Vance! All really good points.
                              You can spend your whole life waiting for that mountain to move, but it's waiting on you.....you gotta make it move. -Jonny Lang

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