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AR-1 N923DJ Texas 15-12-18

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  • AR-1 N923DJ Texas 15-12-18

    The FAA ASIAS states AR-1

    GYROCOPTER LANDED HARD STRIKING PROP AND DAMAGING ROTOR

    at Anahuac, injures nil damage substantial

  • #2
    Does anybody have any more information regarding this incident? Would like to know if this was 'mechanically' related.
    Mark
    __________________

    Risk lurks in the edges of marginality.. ..There are penalties to be paid for pushing the envelope..
    The speed in which a woman says "nothing" when asked "What's wrong?" is inversely proportional to the severity of the storm that's coming.
    No tyrant, foreign or domestic, should be permitted to die a natural death.

    Comment


    • #3
      I talked to the pilot. In fact he called me. There was no mechanical issue whatsoever. It was simple pilot error brought on by sudden unexpected wind shear and sink and gyro ran out f energy high off the runway and sunk down hard. The pilot walked away without any injury. The damage is to the mast, rotors, prop and tail.

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow I was able to see and post a message. This forum has been croaked for a couple of months

        Comment


        • #5
          I was SO glad to talk to Tony when he returned my call to discuss this unfortunate splat! having seen the sad pictures of his destroyed gyro ...It is an impressive testament to the sound design & construction of the AR1 ...as to HOW WELL the protective gyro"roll-cage" ...of mast & main-gear held up to keep Tony safe & uninjured! The accident was on the grass runway @ Anahuac ...which would have contributed to a more absorbent ground-contact! Tony attributes the 2 piece mast ( fold-down design) as a crumple-zone to absorbing much of the rotor energy on contact!
          Kudos to Abid & Silverlight for their solid design that has allowed 2 pilots now to walk away with minor injuries from unfortunate ...near-ground weather/wind triggered loss-of-control!

          I appreciate Tony being so open... correctly & responsibly reporting to FAA & sharing pictures ...we all know MANY incidents /accidents like this are shamefully hidden & quickly swept-under-the-rug.... thus denying the pilot community at large the essential LEARNING opportunities an possible avoidance of repeat mistakes!

          Many of us enjoy flying our machines low & aggressively ...enjoying the awesome capabilities of our gyroplanes .... we may getaway with it 1000 times ...then that errant wind anomaly hits & NAILS us!

          I know of 2 other wind shear /microburst events ( TAG in China & Cavalon @ Spanish Fork) ...where the outcomes were good with a successful go-around & a safe but scary landing with some minor damage) ...

          Respect the AIR ..the fluid medium we fly in ...and be aware of "Murph" ...always lurking ready to strike!

          Merry Christmas to all my gyro friends & blessed year in 2019 ...Blue skys & many safe flights!
          Chris T.
          3Rs - Rotors rock & rule!

          "Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape." Buck B.

          Time flies if you can but only the slowest.

          PRA# 4212
          EAA# 1126845
          AOPA#08888697

          Comment


          • #6
            Along the grass runway here in Anahuac, there is a large patch of tall trees. With the wind direction coming from the West that day, there very well could have been some rotor coming off of the trees.
            Bobby Munroe
            Private Pilot (SEL)
            PRA Chapter 62 #42748
            EAA #1160523

            Comment


            • #7
              I hope you will not be discouraged by this mishap Tony and I am glad you were not injured.

              The AR1 is so forgiving I can imagine getting lulled into being complacent during the approach to land.

              Every landing is a test of all my skills and I work to stay focused.

              I am always set to go around if things aren't working out.

              I have found if I am high without enough indicated airspeed a bust of power will cushion the descent and touch down.

              Some gyroplanes will pitch down and yaw left when full power is added at low speeds. The AR1 is not one of them.

              The AR1 is also very forgiving of misalignment with the direction of travel on touchdown with its soft linked nose wheel.

              I wasn't there and I don't know what happened so please understand I am not suggesting it would not have happened to me given the same circumstances.

              I am suggesting that it is important to not become complacent during the approach to land.
              Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                The AR-1 has metal fuel tanks which in my opinion are much safer than the plastic tanks which more easily allow fuel to spray out of the rubber grommets or splitting causing fires. I have seen another Apollo accident with similar design that did not result in a fireball like many of the other gyro accidents.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm so glad Tony is ok. I don't recall the conditions on that day, but strong winds can do odd things.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Glad he walked away from this.

                    It was simple pilot error brought on by sudden unexpected wind shear and sink and gyro ran out f energy high off the runway and sunk down hard.
                    fara, was he practicing something like a vertical descent?


                    I have found if I am high without enough indicated airspeed a bust of power will cushion the descent and touch down.
                    Yes, Vance, that will often work.
                    However, over the runway for landing, is there really any excuse to be caught
                    "high without enough indicated airspeed"?

                    In my opinion, during wind shear conditions a safer landing technique to purposefully/quickly get low over the deck, and then bleed off any excessive AS from there.
                    That way, if wind shear is experienced, it results merely in a timing-involuntary landing.

                    Regards,
                    Kolibri


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

                    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


                    • #11
                      Common reasons to not have enough indicated airspeed before running out of altitude is to balloon up during the round out or an encounter with wind shear.

                      In my opinion to get low over the runway at my approach to land speed and then bleed off any excessive AS from there is poor piloting technique and leads to touch down at high ground speed when it does not work out because of unanticipated wind shear. There have been more than a few RAF tip overs from this very thing.

                      In my opinion one of the many reasons for the round out is to get a feel for how the gyroplane responds to current conditions.

                      In my opinion truncating the round out in gusting conditions is counterproductive.
                      Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Common reasons to not have enough indicated airspeed before running out of altitude is to balloon up during the round out or an encounter with wind shear.
                        Sure, but probably more common is sloppy piloting.

                        In my opinion to get low over the runway at my approach to land speed and then bleed off any excessive AS from there is poor piloting technique and leads to touch down at high ground speed when it does not work out because of unanticipated wind shear.
                        I did not advocate a riskily high ground speed while being low over the runway.
                        I've more time in RAFs than you do, and I know the dangers of touching down too hot.


                        In my opinion truncating the round out in gusting conditions is counterproductive.
                        I'll agree to disagree . . .
                        PP - ASEL complex (Piper 180, C206, RV-7A), SP - Gyro (Calidus, RAF, SC2), soloed in gliders

                        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


                        • #13
                          In FW it's generally taught to increase approach speed by half the speed of any gusts. Probably not a bad rule of thumb in gyros as well. Not sure of course if this would have made any difference in this case.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Many gyroplanes don't touch down well at speed so adding to my approach speed in gusting conditions may not be the best practice when I am flying one of them.

                            I don't know how I would use the excess airspeed to my advantage.

                            For me the purpose of the round out in a gyroplane is to have options when the wind changes and get a feel for the response of the aircraft under those conditions.

                            In The Predator I begin my round out at fifty knots and fifteen to twenty feet above the ground looking all the way down the runway, with increasing back pressure on the cyclic and try to flare at less than five knots of indicated air speed at less than two feet above the ground. I generally have my eyes focused as far out as I can see and do not monitor my instruments during the round out.

                            The practical test standards for Sport Pilot, Gyroplane is plus or minus five knots on the approach to land and minus nothing, plus 200 feet for touch down.

                            Based on the National Transportation Safety Board reports for the last several years landing accidents account for almost a third of all gyroplane accidents reported to the NTSB.

                            I don't know enough about the N923DJ hard landing to speculate about what might have been done to avoid it.

                            It is always troubling when an experienced pilot comes to grief.
                            Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Unfortunately practical test standards are of little value in challenging conditions like these and I think gyro pilots ought to be trained as to how to manage these at the spur of the moment, rather than being too concerned about what Practical Test Standards require. The main advantage to adding a little airspeed during gusty conditions is simply to build in a safety factor to help prevent incidents such as this one. I am speculating of course, but it would appear that in this case, considering the extent of the damage that the aircraft sustained, the aircraft was significantly higher above the runway than one would normally be considering the roundout phase.
                              In a gyro I was taught to use the roundout not only to pitch the aircraft so that the touchdown is on the mains only, but also to utilize the roundout as a form of brake for the aircraft. So that the roundout pitch just before and at the moment of touchdown can be increased to create additional braking effect. I am not recommending an increased landing speed, only an increased approach speed prior to initiating the roundout. I suspect that many of the accidents on landing were due to excess speed AND a tricycle flat landing with the nose wheel on the ground and excess speed.
                              All this again speaks to teaching balancing on the mains concepts, and the understanding that a flatter landing will result in more likelihood of excessive ground speed. So I would still advocate slightly higher approach speed during gusty conditions, to decrease the risk of drop ins from up high during approach, and then a more nuanced adjustment of pitch as necessary during the roundout and on touchdown. Using rotor pitch as a brake to control aircraft forward speed just before and during touchdown is a useful skill. Again I have no idea if this all applies in this particularly accident, but nevertheless it's the approach I would take. Better to have a slightly harder than normal touchdown, rather than dropping in from up high.Of course as you say, a go around always has to be a considered option.

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