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Gyro Accident Prevention

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  • Gyro Accident Prevention

    The discussion about what happens to rotors after a crash prompted some good discussion.

    One of the observations was that many/most of the crashes were caused by pilot error and that better training would help with this. While I wholeheartedly agree, that seems to oversimplify many things.

    Most non-combat accidents in P-51 Mustangs - or F-16s or F-18s or name-the-the-fighter were due to "pilot error". So are many in Cessnas. But the training requirements and how closely one adheres to those requirements is vastly different between those two categories. Cessnas were designed to be simpler to fly and have a greatly reduced risk of "pilot error" causing an accident. My point: design of the aircraft can greatly reduce the risk of pilot error. I (also) fly a Piper Warrior in large part because I don't want to fly a plane that can fly faster than my 60-year-old brain can think (getting harder as time goes by!). There are very few 60-year-old F-16 pilots.

    As for many others, flying a gyro was a later-in-life opportunity for me. Personally, I was very aware of my decreased ability to learn new tasks quickly - combined with some level of "I can do it" ego; as "Stinger" said in Top Gun, I didn't want my ego writing checks my body (or brain) couldn't cash. I chose to spend a LOT of time in training and even to pursue a Comm rating almost entirely to force me to get to a reasonably high level of performance in the gyro.

    The point of this post is that the design of a gyro - and training - and personal attitudes towards flying gyros - should ideally focus on those realities. Some gyro attributes (such as whether or not the nosewheel points forward or is trailing) will greatly influence how many "pilot errors" happen. Frankly, whether or not a mast bends or a blade breaks in a crash has nothing to do in and of itself with the likelihood of a crash.

    Probably the biggest thing one can do to reduce their risk of an injury/fatal accident, IMHO, is to really, really understand what has caused these accidents and do what one can to reduce that risk through continued training, picking the right gyro, and above all knowing the limits of oneself and the gyro they're flying. And the attributes of a gyro which should be highlighted should focus on reducing those risks, IMHO.

    Off my soapbox now.

    /Ed

  • #2
    Agreed 100%. I currently fly an Ercoupe with no rudder pedals because it's a low workload plane to fly and it's a blast to fly around. It was designed without rudder pedals and was advertised as spin proof. However, ti has about the same accident rate as any other aircraft. Why? Because the elevator travel is reduced to prevent spins but that causes a mush into the runway if you get too slow. It doesn't have enough HP to recover. I STC'd the HP up 20 hp and it now flies "normal". The rudders are coupled to the control wheel and the nose wheel is also coupled to the control. So how does it land in a cross wind? Awesome if you follow the POH from 1945. Skip ahead to 5:40 to see the amazing capabilities. It is do to the main gear having trailing links to the wheels just like a motorcycle swing arm that pulls the nose straight without any pilot input. It wants to roll straight. The POH states to hold the control wheel lightly and let it pull around. It works perfectly!

    My point is that one should not poo-poo a coupled nose wheel on an aircraft. It can be done safely. I will put up every tail wheel aircraft as evidence that it is possible when proper training and practice are employed. A ground loop in a tail wheel aircraft is analogous to a tip over in a nose wheel aircraft of any type. You need to have the rudder straight on touchdown.

    The forward rake of an AG nose wheel had me scratching my head at Mentone until I thought about the front fork rake on motorcycles. I'm not smart enough to know the answer why the AG is raked forward while everyone else rakes the nose wheel back. It would be simple to change the design but they didn't change it on the new MTO model so they must have a reason to keep the geometry design. Or are they stubborn?

    I'm not even a gyro owner yet so take my opinions as worth about 2 cents.
     

    Comment


    • #3
      Frankly, whether or not a mast bends or a blade breaks in a crash has nothing to do in and of itself with the likelihood of a crash.
      Well, those flying with more fragile parts must certainly hope not!

      It is do to the main gear having trailing links to the wheels just like a motorcycle swing arm that pulls the nose straight without any pilot input.
      It wants to roll straight.
      Yes, and there is only one gyro mfg. which utilizes that concept for the NW. Take a guess?

      ______
      Anything funky or wonky can be learned, but why makes things unnecessarily difficult for the student,
      as well as eternally adding to even a mature pilot's workload?

      Regards,
      Kolibri


      PP - ASEL complex (Piper 180, C206, RV-7A), SP - Gyro (Calidus, RAF, SC2), soloed in gliders; checkride soon

      Wasn't happy with my RAF's pitch instability, so I installed a Boyer H-Stab to my great satisfaction!

      "
      When an honest but mistaken man learns of his error, he either ceases to be mistaken -- or he ceases to be honest."

      Comment


      • #4
        Quite a lot of pilots are very capable of learning funky or wonky.

        the problem is that there are funky or wonky people who want to be

        trained pilots but are just not able to,so they just stand around and

        blame the machines for there inept ability.

        They are the ones who want beefy and robust overbuilt machines

        for when they crash, and they will,they want everybody to be responsible for

        there shortcomings as pilots.

        Overcoming and knowing about funky and wonky is what separates the pilots

        from the wannabes.





        Best Regards,
        Eddie Sigman,Polvadera,nm
        (575) 835-4921

        Comment


        • #5
          Overcoming and knowing about funky and wonky is what separates the pilots from the wannabes.
          Thank you for the compliment, eddie.
          I've 250 hours in a linked NW and rigid landing gear gyro, the RAF, which is trickier than most other 2-place gyros.
          Never pranged it, either.


          PP - ASEL complex (Piper 180, C206, RV-7A), SP - Gyro (Calidus, RAF, SC2), soloed in gliders; checkride soon

          Wasn't happy with my RAF's pitch instability, so I installed a Boyer H-Stab to my great satisfaction!

          "
          When an honest but mistaken man learns of his error, he either ceases to be mistaken -- or he ceases to be honest."

          Comment

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