500 hours as pilot in command.

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
16,298
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2400+ in rotorcraft
It sounds like more of a milestone that it feels.

I have 2,115 landings and I am not able to remember the last bad one.

I have 185 hours of cross country.

I have ten hours of night flight.

I opened up a new world by installing an IO-320B1A and a larger three blade Catto propeller on the Predator.

I have been learning about hot starts and leaning a fuel injected Lycoming engine.

I feel that the limitations of a marginally performing aircraft have been relaxed.

Raising the engine made a difference in the way the Predator reacts to the application of power that allows me to better manage all phases of flight. I feel it makes me look like a better pilot.

I am more comfortable working on the Predator.

The testing of the new capabilities of the Predator has taught me many things about how much I have to learn about piloting a gyroplane. I continue to explore, quantify and find uses for these new options.

I have less trouble managing the rotor spool down in the wind.

I feel like I have more options when I am presented with a piloting challenge.

The feeling of oneness with the Predator happens as soon as I buckle up and the feeling of oneness with the sky happens as soon as the tires leave the ground. I used to have to feel around for a while before it came together for me. I am finding that the feeling lasts past the end of the flight and I sort of slowly slide back into being a ground person.

My ability to interact and benefit from ATC continues to grow. The extra complexity of class C airspace ATC has become almost routine and feels manageable.

Managing the Pilot’s tasks takes up less of my conscious mind and I have more capacity for basking in the wonder of flying.

My situational awareness continues to improve, particularly as to the location of other aircraft based on radio communications.

The search for other aircraft has become more formal and I am having greater success. My response to locating other aircraft is more appropriate and less disruptive.

I do not remember the last time I asked myself, “What do I do now?” Managing divergence from intentions seems to happen quickly and naturally.

My flight planning continues to improve.

I find I have more confidence in the reliability of the Predator. The lack of oil leaks helps this along.

I continue to battle overconfidence.

The pieces of the puzzle seem to fit together better.

I can read the same thing in a book about flying or rotary wing principles that I read at 200 hours as PIC and it means much more to me now.

My piloting skills continue to grow.

My lust for more speed and capability has escalated.

My love of flying continues to grow.

My ability to communicate my feelings has diminished as the feelings have become more subtle.

Thank you, Vance
 

Stoney

Bitten by the Gyro Bug
Joined
Jul 6, 2009
Messages
161
Location
Suffolk, VA
Congratulations

Congratulations

on the 500 hour milestone Vance.
And thanks for sharing your experiences. I find your posts to be inspirational as I only have 1/2 hour riding in a Gyro and 0 hours as PIC. I keep working toward the day when I will be the one writing of my experiences as you are.
 

choppergabor

Newbie
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
4,864
Location
Sunshine State
Aircraft
N65GK Behemoth
Total Flight Time
Too few to mention
Happy for you Vance! Most of all the reasons why I do so because you had to overcome so many hurdles on the way and you had never let "little" things come between your desire and the objective of getting there. You are absolutely a poster child for how to go about things in life. My Father used to tell me "if it's worth to dream about it, it is certainly worth to work for it" (very loose translation :) ). You have worked and still working for it. Good for you. You also know how to appreciate things.....maybe it's due to having them earned instead of being given..... Congrats :)500 it is!
 

PW_Plack

Active Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
8,567
Location
West Valley City, Utah, USA
Aircraft
Sport Copter Vortex 582
Total Flight Time
FW: 200 Gyro: 51
Vance, what a great occasion, one that once looked quite far off!

Continued success with both your flying and your recovery - they appear related.
 

StanFoster

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
16,953
Location
Paxton, Il
Aircraft
Helicycle N360SF
Total Flight Time
1250
Vance- Congratulations. I can see 2010 adding more hours than ever to your logbook. You had many weeks of down time changing out engines....and now I bet you will have a long run at it.

Keep posting...we are all fans of yours.

Stan
 

ckurz7000

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
3,444
Location
Vienna
Aircraft
ArrowCopter
Congratulations from me, too! I see no reason why the next 500 hours shouldn't be at least as fulfilling, exciting, and magical as the last ones.

Best wishes, -- Chris.
 

jcarleto

Aluminum Supporter
Joined
Jun 5, 2007
Messages
3,571
Location
Taylorsville, GA
Aircraft
Beech Bonanza G-35 N4638D/"The Bulldozer" 2-Place Gyroplane N575EE
Total Flight Time
Several
Good job, Vance...keep it up!

That more comfortable you get with your machine, the more great stories and photos we get. I see it as a win/win.
 

Minnesota_Mike

Active Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2008
Messages
1,151
Location
Panama City, Panama
Indeed...a real milestone...CONGRATULATIONS to you Vance.

I aspire to reach that point someday myself with good training and practice, practice, practice...!

I gain great insights and valuable knowledge from your trip reports...please keep them coming....they help add perspective to the likes of a low time "Newbie" such as myself.

Thank you....and again...sincere Congrats. to you....!

M-M
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
16,298
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2400+ in rotorcraft
Thank you for the kind words.

Thank you for the kind words.

Thank you Bruce,

We all have to start somewhere.

I have loved the journey and I find joy in sharing with my friends here on the forum.

I lean from trying to put the feelings into words and sometimes I forget how hard a challenge was. It is fun for me to go back and reread my posts.


Thank you Gabor,

I am always learning things from you. I think you have hit upon a good idea. I will write about the challenges and the path to overcoming them. It may help some people to move forward and it will help me to recognize my progress. It will take me a while but I will begin working on it.


Thank you Paul,

I do not have the words to thank you for all your help. Our mission impossible turned out to be impossible but it all turned out for the best.


Thank you Stan,

I love flying and it keeps getting better.

I love sharing it with my friends. It is hard to know which flights to write about and what pictures help tell the story.

Just about the time it seems like too much work I get a nice note from someone like you and it makes it all worthwhile.

Thank you, Vance
 
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Timchick

Tim Chick
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Messages
10,890
Location
Panama City, Florida
Aircraft
Sport Copter Vortex, 582 Greyhead
Total Flight Time
~30
Congratulations, Vance! I've enjoyed going along on the flights you've posted. I look forward to many more.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
16,298
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2400+ in rotorcraft
Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you Chris, I love our cross continent connection.

I value our friendship more than I can express.


Thank you Jon,

I admire your positive attitude and I enjoy your perspective. It is a two way street.


Thank you Mike,

I am glad you enjoy them and learn from them.

I am sorry that something about the way I address technical things fires you up. It is not my intention.

I understand you want to make things better. I do that too.

I find it hard to identify what is important and I am always learning.

It is hard to know when I should share my opinion.

I look forward to reading about your journey.


Thank you Tim,

I love having you along.

You are a bright spot on the forum and I am always pleased when I see your post.

Thank you, Vance
 

Arnie Madsen

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Messages
4,352
Location
Southport Aerospace - Manitoba Canada
Aircraft
Bell 47 G2
Vance. I was thinking of how you have become a great ambassador for gyroplanes. By reading between the lines of your posts it even sounds like air traffic controllers and adjacent pilots have become fond of The Predator when it drops by.

Oh , and by the way , I was showing off some pictures in your various posts to a professional photographer. He said talent like that is hard to find and to make sure you have an exclusive contract with her:) (hi Ed)
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
16,298
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2400+ in rotorcraft
Changing attitudes.

Changing attitudes.

Thank you Arnie,

I am surprised and pleased with the changing attitude about gyroplanes around here.

It has not been my mission.

We hardly can go anywhere without someone saying something, usually nice.

I love Ed for more than her ability to take pictures.

I will pass along your compliment.

Thank you, Vance.
 

Gyro_Kai

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2006
Messages
3,228
Location
near Frankfurt, Germany
Aircraft
MT-03, Calidus (rent)
Total Flight Time
about 150
Congratulations, Vance. I think the most important sentences is:
"I continue to battle overconfidence. "

Never stop doing that. I wish you many more happy hours,

Kai.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
16,298
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2400+ in rotorcraft
About overconfidence.

About overconfidence.

Thank you Greg and Kai,

I have been writing about each hundred hours as pilot in command to help me see the progress and the change in focus. I love the progress I see and I expect that most here would progress more quickly.

500 hours has just come, one day at a time.

Hello Kai, about my battle with overconfidence; throughout my life I like to push things and often without a full understanding of the ramifications. I try to rein in my enthusiasm and temper my exuberance with my low fear threshold.

I imagine how difficult it would be to explain to Ed’s children that I have killed their mother.

I have not slacked off on my preflight inspections and maintenance.

I have become more casual in my flight planning with way points every ten miles instead of every five. Sometimes I don’t do my in flight fuel remaining calculations and modified ETA carefully enough. I seem willing to fly in winds and conditions that would have kept me on the ground just a year ago. Lately I have been flying further into the wilderness where a crash is less likely to be found.

I have found it is too easy for me to imagine that something is always going to work just because it has. In my post flight debriefings I try to identify risk and work to mitigate it in the next flight.

Thank you, Vance
 

MarkG

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
246
Location
Mountain View, AR
Aircraft
2019 Camaro 2SS
Total Flight Time
800+
Congrat's Vance on the 500 hr mark!!! So lets see..... if your at around 500 hrs, the Predator must be in the neighborhood of around 700hrs...... Not sure how many Gary put on it but I had around a buck and a quarter.......

Congrat's again!!
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
16,298
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2400+ in rotorcraft
She is a great aviation partner!

She is a great aviation partner!

Hello Mark,

When I purchased The Predator from Gary she had around 190 hours. I soloed at 197 hours and she now has 715.9 hours. There were some training flights and a night cross country with Terry and my two practical tests and I don’t log them as pilot in command.

The reliability has been remarkable with a very low cost per hour for maintenance and repairs. The O-290G was singing along and I only replaced it because I got a deal on the IO-320B1A.

The paint on the fabric is getting a little rough and I feel I will need to redo the fabric before the end of the year. I need to make the top of the rear body a little stronger too because not matter how much I tell people they still have a tendency to use the body edge to push themselves out of the seat.

I have replaced the rotor head bearings twice and the teeter bearings three times. I have had one new front tire and twice I have replaced the mains. I have relined the brakes once. I changed out the brake fluid once. I replaced all the rod ends once and the ball bearings in the control system twice. I went thru two engine starters and two pre-rotator motors. I added a rotor brake and have installed new pads four times. I clean and rotate the sparkplugs every 25 hours. I rebuilt the Slick magnetos and I went thru the Bendix magnetos when I first installed the IO-320. The fuel injection has also been gone through. I service the fuel filters at each oil change and have gone through the gascolator twice. I replaced all the fuel lines and gas cap gaskets once. The rudder cables still look good.

She is a great machine and my love for her grows with each passing hour as pilot in command.

I am grateful for the opportunity to enjoy you cleaver design and hard work.

Thank you, Vance
 

okikuma

Member
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
1,969
Location
Santa Clarita, CA
Hi Vance,

Congradulations on your 500 hour mile stone. We all on this forum enjoyed reading every hour of your flying experiences. Too Cool!

Wayne
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
16,298
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2400+ in rotorcraft
Thank you for the kind words Wayne.

Thank you for the kind words Wayne.

I don’t post about most of my flying because it is generally inside of a 100 mile radius and I don’t want to be repetitive with the pictures and narrative. Most of my flights are less than two hours. From my perspective it is ever changing.

I love every minute of flying and I often learn something about my feelings and errors when writing about it.

As I become more enamored with flying I find that I am less able to articulate the feelings.

Even the posts about each hundred hours of flying help me to understand my progress.

I feel fortunate to fly as much as I do.

I feel fortunate to have a gyroplane that needs so little maintenance and makes up for my mistakes as a pilot.

I feel fortunate to have so many friends to share the adventure with.

Thank you, Vance
 
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