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  • A common language shared by divergent cultures can inhibit communication.

    In my opinion people sometimes imagine they understand because the words are familiar.

    This is a Flight Instructor in the USA trying to communicate with a flight instructor in the UK so I have moved it to training.


    Originally posted by Vance View Post
    Thank you for your thoughtful input Phil.

    As a flight instructor you have experienced more pilot errors than most people can make in a lifetime or even imagine.

    As a flight instructor when I say "fly like a gyroplane pilot" I am trying to communicate that a gyroplane may not respond well to fixed wing habits and protocol.
    We are getting slightly distracted from the initial point of the Chris Lord accident which I acknowledge is partly my fault for introducing another point! So for the sake of completeness I’ll give my own view on gyroplanes more generally.

    My comment wasn't aimed at you necessarily and my criticism of terms like “fly like a gyro pilot” isn’t of a technique that is forced upon you by regulation or guidance (as your flying the pattern seems to be?) nor differences simply due to the mechanics of the aircraft.

    The fly like a gyro pilot phrase is usually meant that every approach is at idle and a spot landing, yet we seem oblivious to the fact most accidents are in the take off and landing phase!

    The other favourite is making approaches to land across the runway to negate any crosswind, for example. Which just means a) if you make an error you fall off the edge of the runway and into what? Landing lights, soft ground etc and again it doesn’t fit well with most others in the pattern.


    Particular gyroplane snake oil is the nonsense suggesting the need to turn violently in S turns to "wind up the rotor RPM" before a emergency landing?! If fact I have a YouTube clip for you to listen to the pilot narrate his own efforts and the recommendation from his instructor. In focusing on these S turns he very almost hits wires.

    https://youtu.be/vk4gRGEaohY

    So I think aside from the differences in technique as are required by the mechanics of the aircraft class probably best to stick what has kept aviators safe for decades. There is no need for catch phrases or snake oil so that we might hope to sell something that has been offered for free elsewhere.

    Like I said Vance that isn’t aimed at you as I’ve no idea what or how you teach but we all know people that this cap fits and in a way is part of the issue we have been discussing here with the brake / flight switch. That is a fundamental feature that has very little understanding of and indeed when I raise the point I get slightly heckled by a student pilot with a confused view in a different aircraft. Same with the view on flying in the pattern in a gyroplane in the US. Same as I say with take off / landing accidents. Yet no doubt we have a bunch of fancy catch phrases we can roll out. Maybe?

    Originally posted by Vance View Post
    I typical fixed wing pilot lands at more than 50kts of indicated air speed.

    Most gyroplane pilots don't do well touching down at 50kts.
    Why the focus on speed at touch down?

    Pilots will touch down when the aircraft runs out of energy and the wing (in our case a rotor) is no longer flying. The number is irrelevant and most fixed wing pilots probably don't even know what that number is because by the time the aircraft is in the float they are just looking out of the window. That is the exact same thing in a gyroplane. Don't gyroplanes and aeroplanes share a common aim of - fly a stable approach at a nominated airspeed, round out, float, hold off and touch down?

    As it happens I have a fixed wing aircraft, a DR107 One Design and I used to fly a Hughes 369D. I initially learnt to fly in a PA28 decades ago and I’m rated in Robinson R44, Cabri G2. I won’t bore you with a long list but they all have different speeds to fly at various times during take off, landing or maybe in the aerobatic aeroplane during a loop, roll, etc. Some even have flaps, retractable gear, manual carb heat, mixture, variable props, one is even a turbine! Yet isn’t that just part of being a pilot?

    We make the effort and take the time to learn our craft and if that means remembering different things for different aircraft that is what needs to be done? I don’t ever recall my aerobatic instructor telling me to fly like an aerobatic pilot. Just fly like a pilot and remember the appropriate items for the aircraft you are in?


    Originally posted by Vance View Post
    In a takeoff roll in a fixed wing the controls are often centered and the takeoff roll is started.

    A gyroplane pilot likes to have some rotor rpm before commencing the takeoff roll.

    In my experience most fixed wing pilots rotate at some specific airspeed and command the rotation.

    In my opinion a good gyroplane pilot allows the gyroplane fly when it is ready at some combination of indicated airspeed and rotor rpm and commanding it to fly is in my opinion poor airmanship.
    It is essential that a gyroplane has some RRPM before take off roll!

    Without getting stuck on how you are using the term rotate to mean Vr or simply in GA terms a point at which you increase some back stick to climb away. Actually no fixed wing pilot needs to pull the aircraft off the runway and those that do just display a poor technique. Indeed you can read about why an F22 Raptor pilot did just that and ended on his belly.

    But lets get back to gyroplanes. We absolutely DO command a climb away. Otherwise how else do you respect the height velocity curve?

    It surely isn’t “some” random combination of airspeed and rotor RPM. Indeed I can give you some absolute numbers now.

    If you had been taught to look at the respective instrument then you'd see that a typical Auto-Gyro Sport will want to unstick at around 300RRPM and depending upon your technique that will be around 40mph( if you have the stick more aft in a "wheel balance technique") or circa 60 mph if you unload the stick slightly in the take off roll.

    In terms of climbing away (at my school circa height above 1metre or 3ft 3in in old English money) we climb out at 70mph to 300ft then adopt best climb speed which for sake of argument is circa 60mph.
    Those numbers will be those numbers within a few % all the time and are repeatable - if you fly an MT you'll be able to find the same. It may not be a stand out item you'll have looked for before because you are not looking for them and whoever taught you didn't look for them either. If you look at my take off technique compared video link below then those numbers can be repeated at will.

    https://youtu.be/kW65IY39MPU

    But again that isn’t flying like a gyro pilot is it? It is all just trying to be sensible and fly with good airmanship to keep us safe. In terms of performance it also helps to try and fly accurately and with some idea on what one is trying to achieve. So perhaps because we are driving an aircraft we might make reference to things like angle of attack or drag. Indeed it has taken until the new rotor system 3 for there to be a realisation that drag is having a major impact on the take off and hence the new technique being suggested if you pre-rotate to 300rrpm.

    Its why in the UK we have more than a fair share of aircraft failing to get airborne and crashing off the end of the runway because they have no real metric they are using to identify when flight is possible. They just put full power and hope for the best. It isn't helped by the use of "power curve" instead of "drag curve". All these things are designed to dumb down something that creates air minded people so they do not fall into simple traps.
    For some reason the same people who like to use the term “fly like a gyro pilot” also like to dumb everything down and believe everyone gets mentally max’d out if you need to actually refer to a real number or instrument.

    When I suggested I had changed what I teach take off wise one very experienced instructor in the UK said (and I quote him almost verbatim) "your take off technique is too complex because it means the student has to look at the Rotor RPM guage". I mean really?

    Originally posted by Vance View Post
    In the USA a gyroplane pilot is specifically instructed to avoid the flow of fixed wing traffic.

    I feel a gyroplane pilot needs to be more aware of fixed wing traffic because of the speed differential and because fixed wing pilot are looking for wings and find rotorcraft difficult to see.
    I agree with the need for awareness because of the performance differences but why avoid the circuit? Surely good RT and everyone in the pattern having good airmanship means we can all fly together? Otherwise you create in the minds of others that you will yield regardless.
    One issue in trying to fly something unique to a gyroplane is what happens when you fly at my airfield for example? what do you do then? The guys there won't know what non-standard procedure you are using and neither will anyone else in the pattern.


    In the UK its not an issue tbh but if you have to do it then I hear you but I’m not convinced it makes much sense.

    Originally posted by Vance View Post
    I have not attached the negative connotation to "fly like a gyroplane pilot" that you have Phil. To me being considered a gyroplane pilot is a high honor.
    I'm not sure you understand my point of "fly like a gyro pilot" in the way it gets used in the UK, perhaps my examples above help?

    Originally posted by Vance View Post
    I watched both videos and did not see any confusion or inconsistencies about switching from brake to flight and back to brake again.

    Chris is flying in a very chaotic environment and needs to be ready to go when he hears from the air boss.
    What am I missing Phil?
    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. You can read the words from prior posts its not a criticism and its not suggesting that any of the brake/ flight mode was a factor in any accident I'm just highlighting the potential snags.

    As for ready to go when the air boss shouts. None of that means or should mean a degradation of airmanship or safety. If you need to line up then pre-rotate and that is your process then stick with the process. How many times has deviation from plan ended in an accident? Then nobody goes because the runway is blocked with your wreck.


    Originally posted by Vance View Post
    I don't know any flight instructors in the USA who would not make people aware of what they thought was a problem because of a fear of missing ten dollars down the road. Several CFIs in the USA have been very vocal about what they feel are issues.

    I feel you may be confusing professional behavior with greed.
    I think much of this post has ventured far away from that of the accident and the point being made about stick force and the brake flight switch but it is good to exchange views.

    Actually what are/ is the process for someone to be a US gyroplane instructor? Do they need much experience? Ground school? Flight time? I know very little about the US gyroplane community. Although I did teach a helicopter instructor to fly a gyro who was working in Florida for the guys that got the Auto-Gyro gig but I think it all went pear shaped quite quickly commercially? I’m not sure.I have to say from the conversations I had with this guy there weren’t very many barriers to entry. I don’t know.

    In the UK the situation is quite different where people are very reluctant to speak up. I’m not sure it has that much to do with greed as it does a general fear of not being included in whatever it maybe… They all get along in order to get along. How do you feel as it happens about the rear seat and stick combination in a 2017 Sport? Do you think it has the potential to snag over time?


    Originally posted by Vance View Post
    I have flown and instructed in many different makes and models of gyroplanes and they all have strengths and weaknesses. I don’t see the value in focusing on the negative. I do not see a particular manufacturer currently over represented in gyroplane accidents and the majority of accidents in the USA are pilot error.

    Most of my clients will be taking their proficiency check ride in a gyroplane different than what I trained them in. I do not find a challenge transitioning them into the check ride aircraft. When they use the appropriate check lists the transition has been relatively easy.
    I don't think I am focused on a negative, other than the point initially raised in the context of a fatal accident is by definition negative.
    I would agree there are no real make/model that are stand out accident and pilot error is the major factor - but then doesn't that suddenly get to the heart of everything I've been saying?

    In this case it isn't the brake/flight switch of issue as much as good communication around it and understanding how it works. I hear you on check lists but this can't be a check list item because its done just before/ as you line up and needs to be committed to memory - which is why doing it consistently and having a plan keeps you safe.

    The fact that most gyroplanes get written off in take off or landing phase tells its own story and in my opinion its a training issue/ syllabus issue and despite all the PR/hype/suggestion that we are so much further on; the silly accidents we do have don't tell the same story.
    Indeed the perception of what we do is very poor. We can all talk about centreline thrust and low g - good grief the PRA have been doing so since the 1960's - and of course its important to keep that understood BUT that isn't why gyroplanes crash in the main today. They crash because perhaps in the focus on engine failures and low g we forget the other things that it is good to plan for.
    Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

  • #2
    "My comment wasn't aimed at you necessarily and my criticism of terms like “fly like a gyro pilot” isn’t of a technique that is forced upon you by regulation or guidance (as your flying the pattern seems to be?) nor differences simply due to the mechanics of the aircraft."

    It appears to me Phil that your perspective on flying a gyroplane is different than mine. I will try to answer your question marks and address points of divergence.

    The pattern we are supposed to fly is not forced on us. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) studies accidents and thinks about what they perceive is the problem and turn it over to the FAA to turn it into a regulation or an advisory circular.

    Because the choices and circumstances are so wide ranging the FAA did not try to write a specific regulation to cover all non-towered airports.

    Collisions between fixed wing aircraft and gyroplanes are rare so there was not reason to address it with a lot of specifics.

    An Advisory Circular is not regulatory but if you don't follow it and things don't work out you may have some explaining to do.

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

    Comment


    • #3
      "The fly like a gyro pilot phrase is usually meant that every approach is at idle and a spot landing, yet we seem oblivious to the fact most accidents are in the take off and landing phase!"


      In my opinion it is unlikely that colloquial speech will have the same meaning on both sides of the Atlantic.

      I only responded because I feel that a gyroplane pilot does fly differently than a fixed wing pilot.

      Most of my flying is off paved runways and landing across the runway seems a safer approach in a 30knot direct cross than trying to manage it with the rudder. Many of the airports I fly around only have one runway and often in a fairly larger area all the runways will have a similar orientation so going to another airport may not have value.

      The gyroplane I fly; The Predator; will fly level at less than 20kts so landing in more than a 20kt wind accurately is pretty easy. Some gyroplanes have less power and that adds to the difficulty.

      In my opinion landing across the runway is still a viable option and often better than trying to land in a 20kt direct crosswind.

      "Particular gyroplane snake oil is the nonsense suggesting the need to turn violently in S turns to "wind up the rotor RPM" before a emergency landing?! If fact I have a YouTube clip for you to listen to the pilot narrate his own efforts and the recommendation from his instructor. In focusing on these S turns he very almost hits wires."

      We don't have a way to stop ignorant people from teaching flying on the internet or on forums either.

      Often they come up with truly bizarre procedures that are in my opinion poor flying technique and dangerous.
      Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        "Why the focus on speed at touch down?"

        The focus on speed at touch down comes from the many gyroplane tip overs we have from people touching down at speed particularly with hard linked nose wheels.

        In my experience a paved runway is less forgiving of misalignment at touch down than turf.

        I like and teach to land at less than ten knots of ground speed.

        The practical test standards are plus or minus five knots of indicated airspeed on approach.
        Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          "But lets get back to gyroplanes. We absolutely DO command a climb away. Otherwise how else do you respect the height velocity curve?

          It surely isn’t “some” random combination of airspeed and rotor RPM. Indeed I can give you some absolute numbers now.

          If you had been taught to look at the respective instrument then you'd see that a typical Auto-Gyro Sport will want to unstick at around 300RRPM and depending upon your technique that will be around 40mph( if you have the stick more aft in a "wheel balance technique") or circa 60 mph if you unload the stick slightly in the take off roll.

          In terms of climbing away (at my school circa height above 1metre or 3ft 3in in old English money) we climb out at 70mph to 300ft then adopt best climb speed which for sake of argument is circa 60mph.
          Those numbers will be those numbers within a few % all the time and are repeatable - if you fly an MT you'll be able to find the same. It may not be a stand out item you'll have looked for before because you are not looking for them and whoever taught you didn't look for them either. If you look at my take off technique compared video link below then those numbers can be repeated at will."


          In the gyroplanes I have flown if I balance on the mains with the nose just off the ground she will lift off when she is ready and close to Vx.

          I practice and teach not looking at the instruments during takeoff. I feel the takeoff roll is a time to be focused outside the aircraft.

          Many of the fixed wing pilots I have taught feel they need to command the gyroplane to lift off at some indicated air speed; regardless of rotor rpm. I discourage this.

          The practical test standards are plus or minus ten knots for climb out.

          I don't care for the technique in the video.

          I prefer to go by the procedure outlined in the POH.

          It is not hard to find people who don't balance on the mains well.

          That does not indicate to me that balancing on the mains is a poor technique.

          It only shows that people can screw up even a simple procedure.

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

          Comment


          • #6
            "But again that isn’t flying like a gyro pilot is it? It is all just trying to be sensible and fly with good airmanship to keep us safe. In terms of performance it also helps to try and fly accurately and with some idea on what one is trying to achieve. So perhaps because we are driving an aircraft we might make reference to things like angle of attack or drag. Indeed it has taken until the new rotor system 3 for there to be a realisation that drag is having a major impact on the take off and hence the new technique being suggested if you pre-rotate to 300rrpm.

            Its why in the UK we have more than a fair share of aircraft failing to get airborne and crashing off the end of the runway because they have no real metric they are using to identify when flight is possible. They just put full power and hope for the best. It isn't helped by the use of "power curve" instead of "drag curve". All these things are designed to dumb down something that creates air minded people so they do not fall into simple traps.
            For some reason the same people who like to use the term “fly like a gyro pilot” also like to dumb everything down and believe everyone gets mentally max’d out if you need to actually refer to a real number or instrument.

            When I suggested I had changed what I teach take off wise one very experienced instructor in the UK said (and I quote him almost verbatim) "your take off technique is too complex because it means the student has to look at the Rotor RPM guage". I mean really?"

            We are on very different pages here Phil.

            I would ask; why can’t you teach your clients to balance on the mains correctly?

            I find value in covering the flight instruments so that my client learns to fly by the sight picture and the feel of the aircraft.

            I feel takeoff and landing is not the time to be focused on the instruments.

            I will not sign someone off for their practical test until they can fly the pattern without the use of instruments.

            For my commercial check ride and my initial CFI practical tests I was required by the designate pilot examiner to fly without instruments to practical test standards.
            Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              "Actually what are/ is the process for someone to be a US gyroplane instructor? Do they need much experience? Ground school? Flight time? I know very little about the US gyroplane community. Although I did teach a helicopter instructor to fly a gyro who was working in Florida for the guys that got the Auto-Gyro gig but I think it all went pear shaped quite quickly commercially? I’m not sure.I have to say from the conversations I had with this guy there weren’t very many barriers to entry. I don’t know.

              In the UK the situation is quite different where people are very reluctant to speak up. I’m not sure it has that much to do with greed as it does a general fear of not being included in whatever it maybe… They all get along in order to get along. How do you feel as it happens about the rear seat and stick combination in a 2017 Sport? Do you think it has the potential to snag over time?"

              FAR 61.401 thru 61.411 spell out what is required to be a Sport Pilot Gyroplane CFI.

              You can start here: https://www.risingup.com/fars/info/part61-401-FAR.shtml and just keep going till you get to 61.411.

              FAR 61.181 through 61.199 covers flight instructors other than Sport Pilot. It begins here: https://www.risingup.com/fars/info/part61-181-FAR.shtml and just keep going till you get to 61.199.

              I hold a Commercial Pilot, Rotorcraft-Gyroplane certificate and am a Certificated Flight Instructor.

              I permited teach all the way to Commercial Pilot and Flight instructor levels.

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

              Comment


              • #8
                “Brevity is the soul of wit” from Shakespeare’s Hamlet

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't think he was trying to be witty.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Check the definition of wit:
                    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/wit

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I was trying to answer Phil Bennett's many questions without disrupting the Chris Lord accident thread further Chuck and that is as much brevity as I can manage. I was doing it in a very disruptive environment so breaking it down into a number of posts is the way I was most likely to answer completely.

                      Communication rather than brevity was the goal.
                      Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Perhaps this quotation from Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labours Lost” is a better fit:

                        He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument”

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by C. Beaty View Post
                          Perhaps this quotation from Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labours Lost” is a better fit:

                          He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument”
                          The term “bloviate” does come to mind often on this chat...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by C. Beaty View Post
                            Yes, and the adjective comports with their definition 2.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Vance you have to instruct the way you see fit and I'm not going to try and convince you otherwise. My take off technique is all about performance improvement, additional safety margin and ease of achievement, not that another technique can't be done. It just not chosen to be done because it makes no sense and it is especially silly not to look at the instruments, Why? well lets look at a POH that is a favourite reference.

                              https://www.auto-gyro.com/chameleon/public/14ee9ec2-299f-8956-bf6a-137f06b6c017/POH_M7_1-0_EN.pdf


                              5.6 Take-off and Landing Data The following data is valid for operation from a dry, level, short grass surface, no wind, and pre-rotation to 300 RPM. Take-off and landing distances account for a 15 m obstacle. These are demonstrated distances without additional safety factors.
                              Take-off roll*............................................. ....................................... 80 – 120 m
                              Take-off distance 914 UL (560 kg, IVO Prop)...........................................30 0 m
                              Take-off distance 914 UL (560 kg, HTC Prop)..........................................530 m
                              Take-off distance 912 UL (500 kg, IVO Prop)...........................................32 0 m
                              Take-off distance 912 UL (500 kg, HTC Prop)..........................................420 m

                              I'd say that is a very wide range just to trust to some "feel" but whatever works for you.

                              On the landing side I`m not sure where you expect your students vision to be if your post No.4 suggests:-

                              The focus on speed at touch down comes from the many gyroplane tip overs we have from people touching down at speed particularly with hard linked nose wheels.

                              In my experience a paved runway is less forgiving of misalignment at touch down than turf.

                              I like and teach to land at less than ten knots of ground speed.

                              The practical test standards are plus or minus five knots of indicated airspeed on approach.

                              I also don`t understand why you link touchdown speed to nose wheel mishandling, unless your guys are landing very flat. Gyroplanes being high drag and low inertia means speed bleeds very quickly, so landing on the mains at [say 30-40mph] means you are back to your 10knts before nose wheel touch down.

                              But what is very odd is that you have a focus on airspeed at an odd point in the landing phase [where it is certainly better to keep vision outside] but have no interest in airspeed at take off. If however you want to reference something more normal, like approach speeds, I suspect we are probably reasonably aligned. At least I'd hope or maybe its insight into landing accidents?

                              I again reference to the 2017 MTO Sport POH :-

                              4.1 Airspeeds for Safe Operation

                              Approach speed above 50-55 KIAS builds energy in the rotor which results in a long floating landing. Approach speed at 45 KIAS results in a very short landing roll, and below 45 KIAS requires increasing skill especially at MTOW.

                              Why make things difficult? All the best Phil.

                              Comment

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