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  • PRA is asking all manufactures for their help in certifying their gyroplanes as SLSA

    PRA is asking all manufactures for their help in certifying their gyroplanes as SLSA with the FAA.

    Also needed is anyone who knows the ASTM standards.

    PRA is appointing a very knowledgeable person as our new PRA FAA Representiviate who is already working with the FAA to assist in making it happen. We hope he will accept.

    What does the FAA want from us:
    1. The aircraft must be manufactured in accordance with an industry consensus ASTM standards that define the criteria that a factory-built light-sport aircraft must meet.
    2. To ensure conformance with an industry consensus standard, a manufacturer of SLSA must meet the requirements of three essential elements of that standard:
      1. design and performance,
        1. To meet the standard for design and performance, a manufacturer must first develop a prototype aircraft, and through flight testing and other verifications, ensure that the prototype conforms to the consensus standard for that category/class of aircraft, including the aircraft’s flight characteristics and stability.
      2. production, and on-going support,
        1. Once a prototype’s design and performance is confirmed to be compliant with the standard for its category/class of aircraft and the aircraft moves to production, the manufacturer must attest that each of the aircraft that comes off the assembly line is a precise replicate of that prototype. Once built, these manufactured replicates must be ground and flight tested to confirm that their performance is consistent with the consensus standard and that they’re safe for operation.
        2. Furthermore, the manufacturer must ensure its production of these aircraft is compliant with an industry consensus standard for manufacturing, including quality standards for materials, fabrication, and assembly.
        3. After the aircraft are built and placed in operation, the manufacturer must adhere to an industry consensus standard for monitoring safety-of-flight issues, including making provision for any such issues that arise and providing a way of alerting owners of those issues.
      3. including safety-of-flight issues.
    3. As with other light-sport aircraft, before there can be factory-built SLSA gyroplanes in the US, there must be an industry consensus standard for them. That standard for gyroplanes exists. It was developed shortly after the LSA/SP regulations were implemented and the FAA has accepted it. Yet, the disparity in FAR 21.190(a) still exists and the FAA still prevents pilots from flying factory-built, SLSA gyroplanes


    Note:
    It’s ironic that when the LSA/SP regulations were implemented, the FAA blocked factory-built SLSA gyroplanes due to its concern that there were too many accidents involving gyroplanes, virtually all of which were amateur-built, yet by blocking factory-built SLSA gyroplanes, the result is that today virtually the only gyroplanes being flown are still amateur-built.
    In 2012, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released findings from a study entitled “The Safety of Experimental Amateur-Built Aircraft”. In summary, the study found that Experimental Amateur-Built (EAB) aircraft represented nearly 10 percent of the general aviation fleet, yet accounted for approximately 15 percent of the accidents. Further, the study found that EAB aircraft accounted for 21 percent of the fatal accidents during the year 2011. The NTSB report included this observation

    Resistance is futile…… You will be compiled!
    Cheers,
    John Rountree

    PRA- Director, Secretary
    PRA- Business Manager

    PRA31 - Vice President of S.D. Rotorcraft Club
    http://www.Pra31.org

    U.S. Agent for Aviomania Aircraft... the most stable gyroplane on the market today.
    See: Aviomania USA http://www.AviomaniaUSA.com

    OEM Dealer for MGL Avionics - glass cockpit EFIS for Experimental aircraft Ask about DISCOUNTS for PRA MEMBERS

  • #2
    I have two thoughts.

    First regarding E-AB accidents: I recall that most accidents occur within the first 50 hours and the findings showed transition training in like aircraft was not sufficient or non-existent.

    1. A recent thread discussed the recommendation that new gyro pilots not take up a passenger until 100 hours of flying. Based on that, shouldn't the PRA set a standard of 10 hours minimum for an endorsement and set a strong recommendation to refrain from taking passengers after the endorsement for 40 hours? I use 40 hours because it is matches the phase 1 testing hours required in a new machine. Whether a new pilot builds a new machine or buys a used one, the 40 hours of solo is probably a good minimum.

    2. The PRA should turn the FAA's assessment that gyros are "too many accidents in gyros that are amateur built" to our favor. All euro style manufacturers require a build assist program. Ok, then the FAA should allow build assist gyros to have two up during the 40 hours of phase 1 testing. Since we are "so dangerous" why not allow the empty set to be used by a CFI or another person familiar with that type machine? it makes no sense to forbid a co-pilot. The current path is get an endorsement (in a gyro not likely to be the same as the build), build a kit in an assist program, and then expected to fly of 40 hours of phase 1 testing with 8 to 10 hours of gyro experience and possibly no experience in the new gyro you just built. I see the obvious problem.

    3. Resale machines and single place machines are another animal. I don't have any idea how to address either due to the nature of the builds and the transfer of ownership. Other than the PRA taking a strong and written stance on a safe way to get into gyros, there might not be much that can be done.


    Second regarding certification: I will say that I would prefer the PRA to be a SAFETY and TRAINING organization and let the manufacturers deal with SLSA on their own. There's precious little about safety and training support on the PRA site. It has taken me years of research to sort out the truths about safety, skills required, and the capabilities of gyros in high altitude environments. Setting aside the financial investment, I have responsibilities to myself and my loved ones to become a safe gyro pilot and to die from something OTHER than a gyro accident. It takes time and nearly a degree in aeronautical engineering to figure it all out. I'm getting there.

    Comment


    • #3
      Good article tim,I think the 100 hrs before flying passengers is actually reasonable,I flew 15 hrs in a 2.2 RAF with no tail

      to speak of and then can home and hopped in my 230 hp turbo RAF and really had my hands full for the first 40-50 hrs

      fortunately I had the boyer tail on it and that really helped.I really needed help but there was no one to turn to,Training

      in the first 40 hrs of flight would really reduce the accident rate.
      Best Regards,
      Eddie Sigman,Polvadera,nm
      (575) 835-4921

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by HighAltitude View Post
        I have two thoughts.

        First regarding E-AB accidents: I recall that most accidents occur within the first 50 hours and the findings showed transition training in like aircraft was not sufficient or non-existent.

        1. A recent thread discussed the recommendation that new gyro pilots not take up a passenger until 100 hours of flying. Based on that, shouldn't the PRA set a standard of 10 hours minimum for an endorsement and set a strong recommendation to refrain from taking passengers after the endorsement for 40 hours? I use 40 hours because it is matches the phase 1 testing hours required in a new machine. Whether a new pilot builds a new machine or buys a used one, the 40 hours of solo is probably a good minimum.

        2. The PRA should turn the FAA's assessment that gyros are "too many accidents in gyros that are amateur built" to our favor. All euro style manufacturers require a build assist program. Ok, then the FAA should allow build assist gyros to have two up during the 40 hours of phase 1 testing. Since we are "so dangerous" why not allow the empty set to be used by a CFI or another person familiar with that type machine? it makes no sense to forbid a co-pilot. The current path is get an endorsement (in a gyro not likely to be the same as the build), build a kit in an assist program, and then expected to fly of 40 hours of phase 1 testing with 8 to 10 hours of gyro experience and possibly no experience in the new gyro you just built. I see the obvious problem.

        3. Resale machines and single place machines are another animal. I don't have any idea how to address either due to the nature of the builds and the transfer of ownership. Other than the PRA taking a strong and written stance on a safe way to get into gyros, there might not be much that can be done.


        Second regarding certification: I will say that I would prefer the PRA to be a SAFETY and TRAINING organization and let the manufacturers deal with SLSA on their own. There's precious little about safety and training support on the PRA site. It has taken me years of research to sort out the truths about safety, skills required, and the capabilities of gyros in high altitude environments. Setting aside the financial investment, I have responsibilities to myself and my loved ones to become a safe gyro pilot and to die from something OTHER than a gyro accident. It takes time and nearly a degree in aeronautical engineering to figure it all out. I'm getting there.
        Some good observations here.
        PRA is working with CFI's to try and teach our way out of these accidents in Cavalons especially.
        Sending out the 1st CFI's suggestions to others to add to it.

        As to PRA letting the manufactures deal with SLSA & ELSA it's been 6 years since PRA's representative quit our efforts and nothing much has been done since by the manufactures.

        This was my first research into what was required I've learn so much more and do not need to write anything only get the FAA to chance the rules.
        Since then I've found PRA only needs to join the ASTM origination/community that has PRA's current version of gyroplane ASTM standards. It's done.

        Best way to do that is to join the two other groups = LAMA & USUA as well as the EAA, and AROPA turn out all want the same thing.

        PRA can help lobby as we have some money and we can push the effort forward with real labor and meetings with the FAA with our new rep and Dan Johnson of the LAMA who is trying.

        The more calling the FAA and congress the better. Latter I'll be asking all of you to write the congress members we identify as moveing law changes through the FAA in the past.


        Resistance is futile…… You will be compiled!
        Cheers,
        John Rountree

        PRA- Director, Secretary
        PRA- Business Manager

        PRA31 - Vice President of S.D. Rotorcraft Club
        http://www.Pra31.org

        U.S. Agent for Aviomania Aircraft... the most stable gyroplane on the market today.
        See: Aviomania USA http://www.AviomaniaUSA.com

        OEM Dealer for MGL Avionics - glass cockpit EFIS for Experimental aircraft Ask about DISCOUNTS for PRA MEMBERS

        Comment


        • #5
          What is at stake and the benefits I see. Commercial use will dramatically increase safety and SALES.

          Safety 1st: If we have SLSA gyroplanes they can be rented out by CFI's after they are signed off to build time in the exact machine they were trained in before transitioning to say a Cavalon.
          So there is a significant safety benefit and worth it just for that alone.

          But think about it.
          Gyroplanes can do 90% of a helicopters mission at 10% the cost. If we had SLSA, that means gyroplanes can be used for commercial use replacing what only helicopters are doing today like inspecting pipelines, police, tourist flights and all the rest.

          Why would any business unless they have to hover spend 90% more on a helicopter?
          Econ 101 With increased volumes the cost can go down and not up, and that is a good thing too.
          Resistance is futile…… You will be compiled!
          Cheers,
          John Rountree

          PRA- Director, Secretary
          PRA- Business Manager

          PRA31 - Vice President of S.D. Rotorcraft Club
          http://www.Pra31.org

          U.S. Agent for Aviomania Aircraft... the most stable gyroplane on the market today.
          See: Aviomania USA http://www.AviomaniaUSA.com

          OEM Dealer for MGL Avionics - glass cockpit EFIS for Experimental aircraft Ask about DISCOUNTS for PRA MEMBERS

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by All_In View Post
            If we had SLSA, that means gyroplanes can be used for commercial use replacing what only helicopters are doing today like inspecting pipelines, police, tourist flights and all the rest.
            Whoa, John! Not exactly.

            §91.327 Aircraft having a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category: Operating limitations.
            (a) No person may operate an aircraft that has a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category for compensation or hire except—

            (1) To tow a glider or an unpowered ultralight vehicle in accordance with §91.309 of this chapter; or

            (2) To conduct flight training.
            The "S" in S-LSA still stands for "Sport." But just the ability to have them available as rentals for solo training would be a huge boost to the industry. What percentage of airplane pilots did at least some of their solo time in rentals? Probably close to 100%.
            Paul W. Plack
            Private ASEL, SP Gyroplane
            Secretary, URA & PRA2
            Editor, Western Rotorcraft

            Comment


            • #7
              Bummer, 91.327 sucks.
              Thank you Paul for the reg's. Need to send this to the BOD. I've mislead them.
              That's the best thing about putting it out there you guys do all my fact checking until it all correct.
              Resistance is futile…… You will be compiled!
              Cheers,
              John Rountree

              PRA- Director, Secretary
              PRA- Business Manager

              PRA31 - Vice President of S.D. Rotorcraft Club
              http://www.Pra31.org

              U.S. Agent for Aviomania Aircraft... the most stable gyroplane on the market today.
              See: Aviomania USA http://www.AviomaniaUSA.com

              OEM Dealer for MGL Avionics - glass cockpit EFIS for Experimental aircraft Ask about DISCOUNTS for PRA MEMBERS

              Comment


              • #8
                John, going the S-LSA route, even if it becomes possible from an FAA standpoint, may be beyond the means of all but the top three or four volume manufacturers. The expense, which can easily reach six figures and persists for years to come, would have to be amortized over hundreds of machines to make sense. For the Europeans, who have already jumped through the hoops for EASA, some of the work may already be done, but the FAA has its own set of hoops which would benefit only sales in the US market.

                Historically, the EAB route also seems to have been a pretty effective firewall against liability claims, since the builder is the manufacturer of record.
                Paul W. Plack
                Private ASEL, SP Gyroplane
                Secretary, URA & PRA2
                Editor, Western Rotorcraft

                Comment


                • #9
                  John, I first want to commend you for your efforts and successes over the past two years with PRA. Your getting the proper paperwork one example of which was the 501c along with the funding and budget controls you've implemented have been stellar. This latest idea becoming public has reopened a topic I first saw in the late 60's. I'd like to separate your proposal into two main ideas each with two sub groups if I may.
                  Safety into training and design. The training sub group I am all for. Your efforts to get machines into PRA chapters, seminars, shared trading materials etc. are excellent and results are tangible in terms of reduced negative events.
                  Safety "by design" I'll cover below.
                  Safety by " industry consensus " has severely limited gyro development for 40 years. It was " industry consensus " that a two bladed teetering offset gimbal head was the only safe design and those words were written into the regulations. This has seriously hampered development of other designs. In the late 60's and early 70's even Dr. Bensen along with others felt gyros could fly hands off. The same groups said a gyro pilot could be self taught. Photos and advertisements were widely circulated claiming these point. Many did succeed. But many died trying. The "two blade" regulation limited any commercial development of three bladed or variable pitch articulated rotors for gyros. What needs to be in the proposed regulations for example is a measurable definition of stability such as divergent or non divergent pitch control. The idea for a good regulation is defined results with the methodology of achieving those results left up to the designer.
                  The word " materials " in your suggestion had it been in those early regulations would have prevented welded steel frames, composite bodies, glass cockpit instruments etc. Because these materials were not in use at that time. But had the industry consensus been written with scientifically measured performance standards then the designer's choice of materials would not have been limited to bolted square aluminum tubing.
                  We as a community of gyro owners, builders and manufacturers are where we are today because of a tiny but very vocal well meaning group of people who did their good faith efforts to legalize the gyro. I can compare them to a frequent poster on this very forum. Well meaning but as wrong as the flat earthers in the days of Christopher Columbus. They helped put into regulation what they believed to best. You have an amazing opportunity to undo those design crippling rules.
                  In the past years, on this forum and others the call for measurable results in training and design that ask for results that achieve _______ not a " this is the only way to achieve _________"
                  This is a great work you've undertaken. Please listen and seek out the great, experienced designers, active builders and currently flying pilots before presenting for rule making your findings. It should be a great educational journey.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PW_Plack View Post
                    John, going the S-LSA route, even if it becomes possible from an FAA standpoint, may be beyond the means of all but the top three or four volume manufacturers. The expense, which can easily reach six figures and persists for years to come, would have to be amortized over hundreds of machines to make sense. For the Europeans, who have already jumped through the hoops for EASA, some of the work may already be done, but the FAA has its own set of hoops which would benefit only sales in the US market.

                    Historically, the EAB route also seems to have been a pretty effective firewall against liability claims, since the builder is the manufacturer of record.
                    My research so far indicated that the testing for SLSA is much less the liability for small companies can be handled in the early days the way IIRC Moody did for fix wing.
                    If you sue me and win you own an aircraft company. It's called the no profit in it for the attorneys or a Toolbox insurance policy as they cannot take your tools away from you.

                    Here is what I've learned so far:

                    Manufacturers would have to do the testing and then more manufacturing and assembly filling out travelers and a few more receiving inspections that are now done but not captured on paper. So more paperwork and definitely much more liability.


                    The cost increases about $8 to $10K estimated by Abid.


                    What PRA is doing now is reaching out to folks like Abid who have done it before and aksing if they would share there production traveler proceedures if only as an outline for small companies like Aviomania to copy and not have to pay to recreate each one.

                    PRA could help there too if the manufactures will share. Think at least Abid will he's a good man amoung humans.



                    Last edited by All_In; 09-03-2018, 12:21 PM.
                    Resistance is futile…… You will be compiled!
                    Cheers,
                    John Rountree

                    PRA- Director, Secretary
                    PRA- Business Manager

                    PRA31 - Vice President of S.D. Rotorcraft Club
                    http://www.Pra31.org

                    U.S. Agent for Aviomania Aircraft... the most stable gyroplane on the market today.
                    See: Aviomania USA http://www.AviomaniaUSA.com

                    OEM Dealer for MGL Avionics - glass cockpit EFIS for Experimental aircraft Ask about DISCOUNTS for PRA MEMBERS

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Tom.
                      The reason I put these research missions out is to learn the communities desires, gain advice from all sides of the issue, get it facts checked to know what to advise the BOD.
                      Being reminded of our past history is the only way not to repeat it. Thank you.
                      Resistance is futile…… You will be compiled!
                      Cheers,
                      John Rountree

                      PRA- Director, Secretary
                      PRA- Business Manager

                      PRA31 - Vice President of S.D. Rotorcraft Club
                      http://www.Pra31.org

                      U.S. Agent for Aviomania Aircraft... the most stable gyroplane on the market today.
                      See: Aviomania USA http://www.AviomaniaUSA.com

                      OEM Dealer for MGL Avionics - glass cockpit EFIS for Experimental aircraft Ask about DISCOUNTS for PRA MEMBERS

                      Comment

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