AR-1 gyro manufacturer
- Oct 31, 2011
- Tampa, FL
- Total Flight Time
- 3600+ .. New to gyroplanes
All good points and perhaps one of the pieces missing is not necessarily at the instructor level knowledge wise it is sometimes having the chance to pass on that information. Your recent accident gets emotive at some point because being blunt about potential issues in the circumstances causes obvious offence but it doesn't make it less valid. We waited some months and made a similar conclusion about the Lord Cavalon crash. The route to a safer future in the US is to have some regulatory protection/authority to stop a wilful owner/pilot from piloting a new machine too soon [and / or with little knowledge or experience] just because they can and with no real authority for those who might know better to stop them. Nice to debate with everyone over the years, take care and for those running the forum thank you for the efforts making something for others to engage with.
Well take a look at Sport Pilot Gyroplane (PTS - Practical Test Standards) from FAA.
There is exactly one mention of testing the knowledge portion of PIO or unloading the rotors and pushover.
H. Performance and Limitations:
2. Understands the cause, effect, and avoidance procedure of “power pushover” and “pilot induced oscillation.”
This references FAA 8083-21
Which starts to talk about gyroplanes starting in Chapter 15.
In Chapter 21, it covers PIO and Power Pushover. There is no talk about torque effect or even why a roll input won't work if rotor is unloaded.
The sum total of explanation on how one can unload the rotor is as follows:
"Removing the rotor force is often referred to as unloading the rotor, and can occur if pilot-induced oscillations become excessive, if extremely turbulent conditions are encountered, or the nose of the gyroplane is pushed forward rapidly after a steep climb."
That's it. Its not wrong. Its correct but that is all there is about unloading the rotor in FAA gyroplane manual that instructors are supposed to use with their students. The treatment of this subject is so minor and in passing that it just does not garner the attention and time that it deserves between a student and an instructor. It needs a bit more emphasis and more time and discussion between student and CFI in ground briefings and ground school. The recommendation on how to load rotors back is also unclear and points to manufacturers manuals. This is because at the time of writing there were pissing matches going on in the gyroplane community about center line thrust and horizontal stabilizers and their effects. Those did not serve anyone but that's hindsight.
This is a definite area of improvement that FAA needs to undertake in their new Gyroplane manual when they write it. Also, special emphasis areas in testing knowledge needs to focus on this subject as well in testing the knowledge of the student in a check-ride.
As best as I know in the UK for a make/model, CAA requires 2 hours of flight with an instructor for transition. Depending on type of change that's hardly enough but could be. I would think going from tandem to side by side or vice-versa would require and warrant more hours. So regulation cannot adequately solve the issue. In the end its really up to us to use our best judgment. Each make/model has a slight different feel and it would behoove us as pilots to make sure we get competent in something before acting as PIC, whatever it takes.
Chris Lord's accident was unfortunate. For many of us in the industry in Florida, we already kind of knew what the issue was in control circuit assembly from the start in that machine even though it took many months for FAA/NTSB to release their final report. Chris or even AutoGyro USA did not have the information about assembly and subsequent initial testing of the aircraft and the grounding of the aircraft by the first test pilot. No one checked the control circuit assembly adequately after the grounding. Not even Chris. Of course this all came to light to me after the accident. If I knew this before the accident, I would have called Chris and told him about where to focus his effort or not to fly it.
I certainly knew about it a couple of months after the accident but out of respect I would not publicly say that till after the report was released. In terms of Chris flying it faster than published Vne, I do not know if that had any direct relationship specifically to this exact accident. At face value it does not seem that way. I think that is the point Vance is making though it seems like you two guys have gotten on the wrong side of each other. His point in this regard does seem somewhat valid to me and some of your points are valid as well. For sure transition to another make and model should be done, whether it is mandated by law/regulation or just best judgment. In the US FAA does not usually mandate transition from one make/model to another in any category. Only requirements are things like high performance/complex endorsement from a CFI in airplanes etc. These are not make/model based however but complexity and performance (HP) based. FAA expects us to act as adults and be responsible.