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Chris Lord October 31, 2018

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  • [QUOTE=EdL;n1141856]
    Originally posted by WaspAir View Post
    It's no misquote. Check Advisory Circular AC 90-66B: 12.1.3

    I’ve seen that. What caught my attention, though, is that that paragraph doesn’t specify a pattern direction or altitude. In fact, the next section, 12.1.4, says that HELICOPTERS may fly a lower pattern (500ft) and may do it on the opposite side. Helos are specified and gyros aren’t mentioned. Plus both the pattern altitude and direction are “”may”, not “shall” or “should” (it’s permitting, not directing). I can find no comments such as this specifically for gyros.

    Gyros have takeoff, landing, and cruise speeds and capabilities much closer to a Cub than a helo. Gyros cannot hover - at all (slow flight into the wind is not “hovering”). I’d be careful thinking the standards revert to a helo when not specified.

    Also, don’t forget that’s an ADVISORY Circular: it is not regulatory, strictly speaking.

    /Ed
    If a regulation or an advisory circular references rotorcraft it applies to all rotorcraft.

    If they use the term helicopter it applies only to helicopters.

    If they use the term aircraft it applies to all aircraft.

    If they use the term gyroplane it applies only to gyroplanes.

    In my opinion the use of gyrocopter is a mistake and not intended.

    My Home airport KSMX is a class delta airport and usually has an operating control tower so any understanding I have with the tower is not relevant when the tower is closed.

    The rotorcraft pattern altitude at KSMX and KSBP is five hundred feet lower than the single engine fixed wing pattern when the tower is open.

    A lower pattern altitude is not advised for gyroplanes at a non toward airport for several reasons.

    A close pattern is advised because of the poor glide ration of a gyroplane. A lower pattern altitude would exacerbate the challenge of a poor glide ratio.

    A lower pattern altitude would also make it more likely to have a fixed wing descend on top of a gyroplane. A fixed wing has their nose up when on final and most airplane pilots are less likely to see a gyroplane below them.

    None of the procedures at a non-towered airport are regulatory.

    Acting badly in the pattern at a non-towered airport may fall under Federal Aviation Regulation 91.13.

    § 91.13 Careless or reckless operation.
    1. Aircraft operations for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.
    2. Aircraft operations other than for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an aircraft, other than for the purpose of air navigation, on any part of the surface of an airport used by aircraft for air commerce (including areas used by those aircraft for receiving or discharging persons or cargo, in a carless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.

    If you have a collision even if you had the right of way it is considered to be both pilots fault because their primary responsibility of the pilot in command is to see and avoid.

    For Sport Pilot Gyroplane it is specifically part of the preparation for the practical test and I would be remiss if I signed off someone for their practical test without reviewing and testing them on AC 90-66B.

    In order to pass a practical test a pilot needs to meet the practical test standards and a part of the practical test standards is:

    B. TASK: TRAFFIC PATTERNS REFERENCES: FAA-H-8083-3, FAA-H-8083-25; AC 90-66; AIM. Objective. To determine that the applicant:
    1. Exhibits knowledge of the elements related to traffic patterns and shall include procedures at airports with CTAF, prevention of runway incursions, collision avoidance, wake turbulence avoidance, and wind shear.
    2. Complies with proper local traffic pattern procedures.
    3. Maintains proper spacing from other aircraft.
    4. Corrects for wind drift to maintain the proper ground track.
    5. Maintains orientation with the runway/landing area in use.
    6. Maintains traffic pattern altitude, ±100 feet, and the appropriate airspeed, ±10 knots, if applicable.

    The practical test standards in their entirety can be found here: https://www.faa.gov/training_testing...-s-8081-29.pdf

    If you want to earn a Sport Pilot Gyroplane rating these are the standards you will need to meet unless both your CFI and the examiner are carless.

    If I am flying into a non-towered airport for the first time I call the airport manager and discuss gyroplane operations at length and get their preferences.

    If I am flying into a towered airport for the first time I talk to the tower boss to understand their preferences and so they can understand my abilities and limitations.

    I did not expect a flight instructor from outside the USA to know these procedures and that is why I mentioned it as part of what flying like a gyroplane pilot is about in the USA.
    Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

    Comment


    • Vance

      12.1 of the AC is indeed entitled “Rotorcraft” however each of its paragraphs specifies helicopter or gyro. The two exceptions, 12.1.2 and 12.1.5, provide expectations for non-rotorcraft pilots about rotorcraft and do not define altitudes, pattern direction, or anything else for the class of aircraft.

      Again, I’m not finding guidance in the AC, FARs, or AIM for this. I went through this extensively with Dayton and my retired Army helicopter pilot instructor during my Comm rating. It makes good sense but is not spelled out, best we could see. Can you show me where it’s specifically stated?

      /Ed

      Comment


      • Vance

        In hindsight I may have misunderstood your previous comments about rotorcraft avoiding the flow of fixed wing aircraft (12.1.1 for helos, 12.1.3 for gyros) and I extrapolated that to say you mean both should fly opposite-side patterns.

        Although that statement exists for each category of rotorcraft, only for helicopters is there specific guidance for pattern and altitude (12.1.4). To me that suggests the “avoid the flow” statement is NOT implying different direction and altitude since there is a specific paragraph on the issue for helicopters and, as elsewhere in the FARs, the FAA is silent on gyros.

        Also, I don’t see anything that specifies towered- vs. non-towered field operations, especially in the rotorcraft section. Local standards are permitted/expected but that’s also not towered-specific.

        /Ed

        Comment


        • Originally posted by EdL View Post
          Vance

          12.1 of the AC is indeed entitled “Rotorcraft” however each of its paragraphs specifies helicopter or gyro. The two exceptions, 12.1.2 and 12.1.5, provide expectations for non-rotorcraft pilots about rotorcraft and do not define altitudes, pattern direction, or anything else for the class of aircraft.

          Again, I’m not finding guidance in the AC, FARs, or AIM for this. I went through this extensively with Dayton and my retired Army helicopter pilot instructor during my Comm rating. It makes good sense but is not spelled out, best we could see. Can you show me where it’s specifically stated?

          /Ed
          No Ed; I can't show you anywhere where it is specifically written exactly how to avoid the flow of fixed wing traffic.

          In my opinion if they don't suggest you do something different in a gyroplane you do it the same or be prepared to defend what you do if something doesn't work out and they use FAR 91.13.

          You are the pilot in command and use your judgment to fulfill AC 90-66B and are responsible for knowing what it says.

          If you have a specific question I will make an effort to identify the guidance I use.

          For the time being I will use a little broader brush.

          There is not a single place where specific procedures are written out.

          Most guidance for the pattern at a non-toward airport can be found in FAA-H-8083-3 The Airplane Flying Handbook, FAA-H-8083-25 Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge ; AC 90-66 referenced above and the Airman’s Information Manual which is why they are mentioned in the practical test standards in relation to traffic patterns.

          Part of being a commercial pilot is an elevated responsibility to understand how to fit into and interface with the many different kinds of aviation that are found near an airport.

          Local custom is a part of the process and that is why I call the airport manager. Some are disengaged and don't have much guidance and some have strong incorrect opinions so I find value in heading off misunderstandings.
          Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

          Comment


          • Originally posted by EdL View Post
            Vance

            In hindsight I may have misunderstood your previous comments about rotorcraft avoiding the flow of fixed wing aircraft (12.1.1 for helos, 12.1.3 for gyros) and I extrapolated that to say you mean both should fly opposite-side patterns.

            Although that statement exists for each category of rotorcraft, only for helicopters is there specific guidance for pattern and altitude (12.1.4). To me that suggests the “avoid the flow” statement is NOT implying different direction and altitude since there is a specific paragraph on the issue for helicopters and, as elsewhere in the FARs, the FAA is silent on gyros.

            Also, I don’t see anything that specifies towered- vs. non-towered field operations, especially in the rotorcraft section. Local standards are permitted/expected but that’s also not towered-specific.

            /Ed

            In my experience opposite patterns don't work well at most airports.

            For example Santa Inez, CA (IZA) has gliders on the protected side of the airport and everyone else flies a left pattern for runway two six and a right pattern for runway eight. So I fly and announce flying a close pattern at pattern altitude to avoid the flow of fixed wing traffic till turning final.

            At Spanish Fork, Utah (SPK) the custom is for gyroplanes to fly a right pattern five hundred feet above the ground for runway three zero while the fixed wing traffic is flying a wider higher (1,000 feet agl) left traffic. I have seen this fall apart with transient pilots or when they switch to runway one two.

            At a towered field ATC gives directions and in my experience it is not consistent from one controller to another.

            That is why I call the tower boss before the first time I fly into a towered airport in an effort make them aware of my capabilities and limitations.

            For example when departing from one five right at Santa Barbara, CA (SBA)I won’t fly the standard pattern that takes me out over the Pacific Ocean because I can’t get back to the shoreline in the event of an engine failure at the altitude I am restricted to so I say; “unable for safety”. Sometimes clearance delivery will have me disregard the noise abatement procedures and sometimes they simply need to find a way for me to depart runway seven or runway two five. It is their job to make it work.

            At a non-towered airport it is my job to make it work.
            Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

            Comment


            • In the USA a gyroplane pilot is specifically instructed to avoid the flow of fixed wing traffic.
              Vance Breese
              Advisory Circular AC 90-66B:
              12.1.3In the case of a gyrocopter approaching to land, the gyrocopter pilot should avoid the flow of fixed-wing aircraft...
              AIM Section 3. Airport Operations
              4-3-2-b
              Pilots approaching to land in a helicopter must avoid the flow of fixed−wing traffic.
              Putting on my "lawyer's cap" I concur with EdL's general take on the matter.
              Advisory Circular AC 90-66B
              "should avoid" is not a legal synonym of "must avoid" (as in AIM Section 3. Airport Operations 4-3-2-b).
              Thus, the gyro pilot is merely advised to avoid, not "
              specifically instructed to avoid" with a commanding "must avoid ".

              Oh, and where does our Pilot's License mention "
              gyrocopter" privileges? We fly gyroplanes.
              I'm wondering who wrote
              Advisory Circular AC 90-66B.

              Finally, Advisory Circulars are just that, "advisory". They are not regulatory, and haven't the force of law.
              https://www.thebalancecareers.com/wh...ou-care-282774
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advisory_circular

              In my opinion the use [in Advisory Circular AC 90-66B] of gyrocopter is a mistake and not intended.
              Then, Vance, you've removed all support for your assertion. Are you sure you wanted to do so?


              ______
              A close pattern is advised because of the poor glide ration of a gyroplane. A lower pattern altitude would exacerbate the challenge of a poor glide ratio.
              Vance, I mentioned a 500' and tighter pattern.
              With an assumed L/D of 3/1, a "tight pattern" should be no more than 1500 feet from the runway.
              When I fly such a tight pattern, it is well within 1500 feet, and usually within 1000 feet.
              There is no safety issue.


              A lower pattern altitude would also make it more likely to have a fixed wing descend on top of a gyroplane.
              A fixed wing has their nose up when on final and most airplane pilots are less likely to see a gyroplane below them.
              A 500' inside gyroplane pattern which lands on a taxiway (all of which communicated to others on the CTAF) is not only visible by fixed wing traffic,
              it also avoids the flow of fixed wing traffic -- just as you assert gyroplane pilots are
              "specifically instructed" to do.

              I did not mean 500' gyro patterns directly underneath normal FW 1000' patterns, and landing directly below airplanes on the same runway.
              I thought that was obvious in my post.


              _________

              I'm not saying he is confused I'm saying he has a different process. Merely to highlight that I can easily see how having no plan around the brake/flight switch opens things up to error. Nothing more, nothing less.
              Phil, that's what I understood from Chris Lord's two takeoff videos. I.e., such informality can lead to error.
              I've noticed the same with myself whenever tempted by casualness over the checklist.

              Maybe before filming, Chris went through a checklist, swept the controls for free and correct movement, did a run-up, etc.
              But the videos show a very informal procedure, something that I recall with him during our Calidus training years ago.


              __________
              Getting back to the FLIGHT/BRAKE switch, in my opinion not only is it dangerous, it is unnecessary.
              AutoGyro should dispense with it.
              The trim hat should always behave in normal, intuitive fashion.
              Aft trim should NEVER result in forward trim, or vice versa.

              Regards,
              Kolibri

              PP - ASEL complex (C172RG, Piper 180, C206, RV-7A), SP - Gyro (Calidus, RAF, SC2), soloed in gliders

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

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Vance View Post

                No Ed; I can't show you anywhere where it is specifically written exactly how to avoid the flow ...

                There is not a single place where specific procedures are written out....

                Part of being a commercial pilot is an elevated responsibility to understand how to fit into and interface with the many different kinds of aviation that are found near an airport..
                Agree. And a big part of being a CFI is making sure students clearly understand what’s an FAA requirement and what’s an instructor’s recommendation/best practice. I’ve seen situations where instructors have come to believe in their practices so intently even they don’t know the difference.

                /Ed

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Vance View Post

                  That is why I call the tower boss before the first time I fly into a towered airport in an effort make them aware of my capabilities and libations.
                  Libations are discouraged before flying.

                  Comment


                  • I stand corrected.

                    Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

                    Comment


                    • There's a key discrepancy to clear up on how the Cavalon flies without trim.

                      One gyro CFI posted in Nov. 2018 on Facebook:


                      I really wish you guys would stop. I'm not against speculation, but you guys don't know the facts or the systems well enough to be accurate.
                      The Cav will fly just fine with no pressure whatsoever in the trim system.
                      This is completely at odds with AutoGyro Cavalon POH 3.1 which describes nose-down flight if the trim system hasn't sufficient air pressure:

                      3.8.4 Trim runaway
                      (ii) High aft stick load required to prevent aircraft diving (this will be coincident with low or zero air pressure)
                      check “Comp” circuit breaker, if activated push to reset then try to trim aircraft nose-up.
                      As I understand the Cavalon rotorhead, its gimbal offset demands a significant amount of nose-up trim.
                      PP - ASEL complex (C172RG, Piper 180, C206, RV-7A), SP - Gyro (Calidus, RAF, SC2), soloed in gliders

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

                      Comment


                      • I have often flown patterns in a Cavalon with no pressure in the system and in my opinion did not find high aft stick load required to maintain 55kts indicated air speed.

                        I don't know how they quantify high aft stick load.
                        Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

                        Comment


                        • Often, rotor blowback (cyclic flapping angle) at some airspeed will "trim out" the ship for neutral stick pressure.
                          But, only at that particular airspeed.
                          Slower than that, nose-up trim becomes increasingly necessary.

                          Within that slower airspeed range is what the Cavalon POH must refer to as "
                          high aft stick load" without sufficient air trim pressure.

                          Regards,
                          Kolibri


                          Click image for larger version

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                          PP - ASEL complex (C172RG, Piper 180, C206, RV-7A), SP - Gyro (Calidus, RAF, SC2), soloed in gliders

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

                          Comment


                          • This was a horrible tragedy and my condolences go out to Chris Lord's and Chris Brugger's family and friends.

                            I've been waiting for a discussion to start over this. Not sure why it took me so long to notice the thread. A fatal crash with someone as experienced as Chris at the controls shakes one to the core.

                            I agree with most that a loss of control is the most likely cause. Why else would he pass the golf course, 4000ft back, and turn towards a mobile home park instead of the lake shore. The only slightly plausible explanation for these decisions is that he was having intermittent engine issues and was trying to limp to the airport. There is a small clearing 400ft away at the heading of the crash. Also, the land that the poles are on does appear as a short grass strip between the mobile home park and an industrial park. Both of these would require "threading the needle" with an aircraft in distress and would have been poor choices.

                            If this was loss of control, the only thing that could have prevented this crash would have been a ballistic parachute. Specially the newer European models from Magnum and Galaxy who have installations designed for gyros and helicopters. Here's an animation demonstrating the novel way they solved the issue of a spinning rotor contacting the bridal by literally embracing the rotor. https://youtu.be/LRZ471dQ6rQ

                            Here are the specs of a 560kg (1234lbs) system designed for gyros. http://www.galaxysky.cz/grs-5-560-115m2-gyro-p35-en It's designed to save an aircraft at 260ft and bring it down at 1300 ft/min max gross.
                            The reason I fly a Challenger 2 today with a BRS system is because back in the 90's there was no real ballistic chute option from gyros. With these new European options I am now seriously considering a gyro with one installed. I do wish there was video of an actual gyro save. There are ground rotor tests that prove the engineering is sound. https://youtu.be/oMEaKXkr_aw

                            John

                            Comment


                            • NJpilot, interesting new way to incorporate a BRS to a gyro, thanks for the links.
                              It's probably not very enticing for me, as I feel confident in my Sport Rotors system to never fail me (hence I'm always flying an inherent BRS).
                              But that BRS may be just right for other gyro owners.

                              __________
                              The key to solving the riddle of Chris's crash is his plummet from 150' AGL.
                              In my opinion, the only way that could have occurred is if his rotor rpm dropped below flight minimum (say, around 275).
                              What caused his rotor to unload that drastically, and why couldn't he reload it?
                              Answer that, and we'll be on the right track to unraveling this tragedy.

                              Regards,
                              Kolibri
                              PP - ASEL complex (C172RG, Piper 180, C206, RV-7A), SP - Gyro (Calidus, RAF, SC2), soloed in gliders

                              "
                              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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