A question for gyroplane pilots.

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,674
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
Nobody in their right mind on a gyro 'just pulls the stick back willy nilly’... and if he does, he had had some serious gaps in his instruction. Bit like nobody should ‘just slam the throttle forward.’ It’s piss poor procedure to begin with, and can have potentially severe consequence, violent ‘P'factor swing, engine failure, uncontrollable roll at low airspeeds with insufficient aileron/rotor authority, and one gets the drift.:)
It happens more often than it should Leigh. For some; old habits die hard.
 

Philbennett

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
132
Location
London
Vance sorry but you are mixing the issues here. This accident was the classic head off down rhe runway having forgotten to bring the stick back - there are many similar accidents. So why would not balancing on the mains or feel through the stick be a better clue than the stick just not being in the right position???

Is the stick fully back? No? Then dont start the ground roll. That is way essier to remember???

I didnt suggest the POH replace the instructor - you introduced the POH in your last post!!!

The technique i suggest in YouTube videos has zero to do with this and its advocated for the reason i give in this thread not foe how you imagibe. If you have flown with pilots that have done that badly then even done badly then thats just bad technique.

This accidemt could not have happened using either the technique of a POH, one i suggest or any combination because they ALL initially have the stick fully back before the ground roll....
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,674
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
Vance sorry but you are mixing the issues here. This accident was the classic head off down rhe runway having forgotten to bring the stick back - there are many similar accidents. So why would not balancing on the mains or feel through the stick be a better clue than the stick just not being in the right position???

Is the stick fully back? No? Then dont start the ground roll. That is way essier to remember???

I didnt suggest the POH replace the instructor - you introduced the POH in your last post!!!

The technique i suggest in YouTube videos has zero to do with this and its advocated for the reason i give in this thread not foe how you imagibe. If you have flown with pilots that have done that badly then even done badly then thats just bad technique.

This accidemt could not have happened using either the technique of a POH, one i suggest or any combination because they ALL initially have the stick fully back before the ground roll....
It appears to me the pilot in this accident was doing pattern work and thought he had the cyclic in the correct position and it appears to me he did not.

You asked for the correct technique for takeoff Phil.

That is why I introduced the POH.

Then you criticized the POH for not describing what wrong looks like.

I do not share your affection for debate Phil.

It appears to me based on the pilot's narrative that rotor management and takeoff technique had everything to do with this accident and it appears to me you don't.

In my opinion there is nothing there to debate.
 

Rotormouse

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
89
Location
Cornwall, UK
Aircraft
G-BVDJ Cricket gyro
Total Flight Time
112 hrs fixed-wing, 200+ gyro, & too many to remember on gyro-glider
Coincidentally, me and a pal both aborted take-offs yesterday (he flies with no instruments whatsoever) on a hot day with barely a breath of wind. At no time was I watching the airspeed – and he definitely wasn’t! In my case, as soon as the prerotator dropped out, the Dragon Wings lost all interest. I gave them to the half way point to wake up, but it was obvious that they didn’t want to know. I got off on the second attempt having driven the prerotator harder, which I hate doing but needs must occasionally. My friend tried again with his McCutchens, but after a second abort called it a day with the machine in one piece.

'The discussion above about blade management on the face of it has do direct relevance to the bloke hurtling down the runway full power stick forward. But hours of muscle memory would probably mean he'd never get in that situation.'


Contradiction. ‘Blade management has no direct relevance to hurtling down the runway’ – yet as Brian says – if they’d been taught proper blade management, they wouldn’t be hurtling down the runway.

Gyro-gliders may have been consigned to museums and labelled old fashioned, but that doesn’t prevent people learning aerodynamic spin-up if they can’t reach to pat the blades up. Get them going slowly with the prerotator and let nature do the rest. I’ve been teaching that since 1997, but if it’s not jazzed up and computerised to attract the I-Pad generation, it’s deemed old fashioned and therefore has no value. The accident rate disagrees. Slick marketing replaced common sense where training is concerned.

A properly trained gyro pilot should not be hurtling down the runway, or ‘forgetting’ where the stick is.

Vance is spot on.

 

EI-GYRO

21st Century Crankhandler
Joined
Oct 31, 2003
Messages
2,155
Location
Dublin, Ireland
In any situation where a sequence of actions is required, a person who realizes he has missed an item from the sequence, is very likely to perform that missed action reflexively and immediately, and probably excessively, to 'correct' for the omission. More so if he is stressed. A 'bunched' sequence is more prone to errors.

A good number of the takeoff accidents seem to follow this pattern.

A more 'spread out' sequence is probably less prone to omission, and more likely to be corrected soon enough if omitted. It may also reduce stress.

In that regard, I would think the Magni sequence, with the stick coming back BEFORE completion of prerotation, is probably better.

It seems to me that the training regime might benefit from closer attention to human factors, along with the necessary technical skills.
 

EI-GYRO

21st Century Crankhandler
Joined
Oct 31, 2003
Messages
2,155
Location
Dublin, Ireland
This accident was the classic head off down rhe runway having forgotten to bring the stick back - there are many similar accidents.
Having paid close attention to accident types over the last 25 years or so, the 'classic head off .....' you describe does not feature much until the arrival of the two-seat trainers. Perhaps it did happen with the single-seaters and they just swept up the bits and went home, lesson learned. Perhaps they were overshadowed into obscurity by the fatalities record. Perhaps the rotor management training was better.

The fact that you refer to it as a 'classic' type, should be ringing alarm bells in the training fraternity.
 

Philbennett

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
132
Location
London
It appears to me the pilot in this accident was doing pattern work and thought he had the cyclic in the correct position and it appears to me he did not.

You asked for the correct technique for takeoff Phil.

That is why I introduced the POH.

Then you criticized the POH for not describing what wrong looks like.

I do not share your affection for debate Phil.

It appears to me based on the pilot's narrative that rotor management and takeoff technique had everything to do with this accident and it appears to me you don't.

In my opinion there is nothing there to debate.
? Saying there is nothing to debate is a view but you seem to have taken a view and are forcing a round peg in a square hole.

Yes the stick was in the wrong position but the point I'm making is that the error the pilot makes is not driven by any technique that is taught - because no technique says put move the stick as was initially reported and at no point has there been any mention of RRPM's which most taught techniques in 2019 do.

Many point to gyro glider time as a potential solution and I've no experience on them so can't really take a view specifically but what you can be sure of is that if the technique is not as per the one used on your final aircraft I'm not sure how that translates. Yes I fully understand the sentiment that suggests you can feel the rotors / onset of blade sailing but if the technique being taught on the ultimate aircraft is - pre-rotate to 200 and pull the stick back, start the ground roll.... you can not sail the blades that way [it is mathematically/aerodynamically impossible]. You sail the blades, hit the tail by not following that process.

We an spin our wheels around which manages that error - feeling the blades or just making sure you pull the stick fully back - but beyond an intellectual chat in 2019 in the UK as others have said training on gyro gliders etc just isn't going to happen. Why? Not because anyone has any particular hatred of them or doesn't think it would be of purpose BUT now we introduce other issues, like...

Which gyro glider? What regulations or maintenance exist? [I can tell you none exist and the big accident at Kemble highlighted that issue] Where can you get one? Who trains the trainer on one? Where do you operate it from? What is the maintenance? How do you credit time on a gyro glider into the licence application? [Current UK guidance document has this wording:- f Crediting of experience:
I The exercises “Wheel Balancing” and “Rotor Management” may only be counted up to a maximum of 2 hours for credit towards the flight time requirements for licence issue.

Ii Training in an authorised gyro-glider, under the supervision of an instructor can only be counted up to a maximum of 2 hours. ]

Don't shoot the messenger I didn't invent this stuff and indeed if you are attending the US meeting you could ask someone who did the question... With this wheel balancing/gyrogliding is a great benefit as may well be why not have much more time available to be credited?

Then you may move to single seat aircraft and again in the UK its another tale of woe in many areas. First of all if you learn on a single seat aircraft then currently in the UK you are limited to flying a single seat aircraft. Secondly as with a gyro glider where do you get one from because the old ones are limited by the very fact they are 30-40 years old and if you damage the rotors the regulatory process in the UK puts you in a spot right now because replacements are a big point of debate in terms of what blades and from who right now.

We have what we have and in many ways EI-Gyro hits the nail on the head with the human factor point. As a group wishing for times past and in some ways not all was a rose garden - I really enjoy Shirley's books but some of the antics whilst entertaining are pretty shocking at times and maybe in those days you don't talk of sailing blades but you do talk of filling tyres with grass, cable ties, no check A and conversations with St.Peter.

Here are links to AAIB reports of some similar UK accidents.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5aa7e1db40f0b66b625e2b0e/Rotorsport_UK_Calidus_G-CIYU_04-18.pdf


 

Tyger

Active Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
281
Location
Germantown, NY
Aircraft
Magni M16
Total Flight Time
225
Probably no more than 22degC (Google it).
Google what? Are you suggesting I don't/can't understand ºC? I was hoping to be told the actual temperature, which seemed to be causing a problem with takeoffs.
Anyway, 22ºC is not what I would call a hot day, certainly not as it applies to flying.
 

thomasant

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
916
Location
Katy, Texas
Aircraft
AR1, Dominator Single
Total Flight Time
3400+
Vance sorry but you are mixing the issues here. This accident was the classic head off down rhe runway having forgotten to bring the stick back - there are many similar accidents. So why would not balancing on the mains or feel through the stick be a better clue than the stick just not being in the right position???

Is the stick fully back? No? Then dont start the ground roll. That is way essier to remember???
I believe I am missing some information, and we are making some assumptions here.

He reported that he had previously been lifting off the runway at about 56 miles per hour and on the fourth takeoff roll he noticed the airspeed had reached 60 knots. He then applied slight aft control stick. The gyrocopter rapidly pitched up, nose high into the air and began to yaw to the right. He said that he heard a loud bang and the gyrocopter quickly struck the runway. He recalled the engine had stopped running when the gyrocopter came to a stop.

So he had done three successful take offs using, we hope, the prescribed T/O procedure. I'd like to point out that there is no mention from the accident pilot that the stick was not initially back during the fourth take off roll, according to his description. Could he have applied "slightly aft control stick" after his rotors were properly spooled up and he was at 60 kts and simply lost control?

Normally after a touch and go, the rotors have sufficient flight RPM after touch down, and doing another take off should not be a problem as far as RRPM is concerned. If however he had forgotten to bring the stick back as you describe, there could have been a rapid loss of RRPM and possibly a high speed blade flap instead.

In this scenario, application of the "slight aft control stick" caused a rapid pitch up and right yaw. He heard a loud bang and the gyro quickly struck the runway. I believe the pitch up and yaw were enough to cause a rotor blade strike if the gyroplane was low.

IMHO, I do not feel that there was a blade flap at all, because he would have felt the forces on the cyclic and described it. I have experienced the onset of high speed blade flap in a tandem Dominator during a take off with a student pilot, and the stick forces are tremendous.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,674
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
My take on this mishap based on what I have seen some client do and the pilots description is that he was not keeping the cyclic all the way back as he increased his takeoff roll and when he did more the cyclic back the retreating blade stalled and the advancing blade sailed the retreating blade into the tail.

I have had clients get tired of hearing me say nose down and plant the nose without realizing the rotor is slowing down instead of speeding up with increased airspeed.

Many of my clients want to know where exactly the cyclic needs to be and reject my proposal that all the way back is the place to start.

Learning to balance on the mains seems like to hard a task for some and as Phil's video shows some people balance on the mains badly.

Many fixed wing pilots are taught to center the controls on the takeoff roll and at some indicated airspeed (Vr) to pull back on the controls to rotate.

Vr Rotation speed. The speed at which the pilot begins to apply control inputs to cause the aircraft nose to pitch up, after which it will leave the ground.
 

MilesW

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
41
Location
Murchison Shire - Western Australia
Aircraft
Sportcopter M912
Total Flight Time
1400+ Gyro
Google what?

Are you suggesting I don't/can't understand ºC? I was hoping to be told the actual temperature, which seemed to be causing a problem with takeoffs.
Anyway, 22ºC is not what I would call a hot day, certainly not as it applies to flying.


"uk climate averages October" would be the the obvious starting point.

 

EI-GYRO

21st Century Crankhandler
Joined
Oct 31, 2003
Messages
2,155
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Google what? Are you suggesting I don't/can't understand ºC? I was hoping to be told the actual temperature, which seemed to be causing a problem with takeoffs.
Anyway, 22ºC is not what I would call a hot day, certainly not as it applies to flying.
Was only suggesting you google the item to get the F number, which you guys seem to still use.
I just answered the question you asked. Maybe I should have left it to Shirley.

How hot is a problem depends on your power available, weight, runway length etc.,
Flying a low powered machine keeps you honest.
 

Philbennett

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
132
Location
London
My take on this mishap based on what I have seen some client do and the pilots description is that he was not keeping the cyclic all the way back as he increased his takeoff roll and when he did more the cyclic back the retreating blade stalled and the advancing blade sailed the retreating blade into the tail.

I have had clients get tired of hearing me say nose down and plant the nose without realizing the rotor is slowing down instead of speeding up with increased airspeed.

Many of my clients want to know where exactly the cyclic needs to be and reject my proposal that all the way back is the place to start.

Learning to balance on the mains seems like to hard a task for some and as Phil's video shows some people balance on the mains badly.

Many fixed wing pilots are taught to center the controls on the takeoff roll and at some indicated airspeed (Vr) to pull back on the controls to rotate.

Vr Rotation speed. The speed at which the pilot begins to apply control inputs to cause the aircraft nose to pitch up, after which it will leave the ground.
I'd tend to agree with Thomasant in that the touch and go was a cause of issue (post 59) If that opinion is shared now the stick position is nuanced depending upon residual rotor RPM and as such keeping the stick all the way back may or may not have been appropriate. As example try that in a Cavalon having just touched down and then commencing a further take off will certainly lead to a tail strike. Depending upon how you then react will determine if the aircraft starts to rotate around the tail or a pretty ugly climb out.

If any learning is to be had from the accident story it seems to me to highlight a cautionary tale around solo touch and go's.

As it happens I don't know anyone telling gyroplane pilots (students or otherwise) a take off technique that uses Vr. Do you know anyone?
 

EI-GYRO

21st Century Crankhandler
Joined
Oct 31, 2003
Messages
2,155
Location
Dublin, Ireland
? Saying there is nothing to debate is a view but you seem to have taken a view and are forcing a round peg in a square hole.

R; You both have different views , but you are not as far apart as it seems

Yes the stick was in the wrong position but the point I'm making is that the error the pilot makes is not driven by any technique that is taught

Comment; Plenty of technique, not enough knowledge.

Many point to gyro glider time as a potential solution and I've no experience on them so can't really take a view specifically but what you can be sure of is that if the technique is not as per the one used on your final aircraft I'm not sure how that translates.

R; The technique may transfer in varying degrees, according to type, but the knowledge of rotor management acquired will apply to any machine.


Yes I fully understand the sentiment that suggests you can feel the rotors / onset of blade sailing but if the technique being taught on the ultimate aircraft is - pre-rotate to 200 and pull the stick back, start the ground roll.... you can not sail the blades that way.

R: With a strong enough headwind, you can. One guy did it in the UK. A toss-up as to whether it was blade flap or he just levered it off, either way, the machine laid down for a rest.

We an spin our wheels around which manages that error - feeling the blades or just making sure you pull the stick fully back - but beyond an intellectual chat in 2019 in the UK as others have said training on gyro gliders etc just isn't going to happen. Why? Not because anyone has any particular hatred of them or doesn't think it would be of purpose BUT now we introduce other issues, like...

Which gyro glider?
R; Bensen, single seat or dual side-by-side. On a towline, not a tow-boom.

What regulations or maintenance exist?

R: No regulations. While on the towline, it doesn't rate as an aircraft.

[I can tell you none exist and the big accident at Kemble highlighted that issue].

R; If you can leave four critical bolts out of a rotorhead, no amount of regulation will help. (Shirley could brief you on that one, but be careful, it is still raw with her). Also it was one of the only two fatal gyroglider accidents I know of, the other being equally weird.

Where can you get one?

R; Easy. Build one.

Who trains the trainer on one?

R; Shirley, for one, probably Tony Melody, for another. I would venture to suggest that almost anyone who has flown one will do fine. Even me, although I have no desire to instruct.

Where do you operate it from?

R: Anywhere flat and 600 metres long will do. The longer the better.

What is the maintenance?

R; Make sure the rotor bearing and wheel bearings are good, and all bolts fitted and tight.

How do you credit time on a gyro glider into the licence application?

R; The two hours allocated to rotor management should cover it.

[Current UK guidance document has this wording:- f Crediting of experience:
I The exercises “Wheel Balancing” and “Rotor Management” may only be counted up to a maximum of 2 hours for credit towards the flight time requirements for licence issue.

R; This low credit resulted from people 'milking the system'. Five hours would be more sensible, in my opinion.

Training in an authorised gyro-glider, under the supervision of an instructor can only be counted up to a maximum of 2 hours.

R; I wonder what an 'authorised' gyroglider is.

Don't shoot the messenger I didn't invent this stuff and indeed if you are attending the US meeting you could ask someone who did the question.

R; No one is shooting anyone, and I fully agree re the meeting.

With this wheel balancing/gyrogliding is a great benefit as may well be why not have much more time available to be credited?

R; Fully agree.

Then you may move to single seat aircraft and again in the UK its another tale of woe in many areas. First of all if you learn on a single seat aircraft then currently in the UK you are limited to flying a single seat aircraft.

R; Limited? Surely you meant privileged!

Secondly as with a gyro glider where do you get one from because the old ones are limited by the very fact they are 30-40 years old and if you damage the rotors the regulatory process in the UK puts you in a spot right now because replacements are a big point of debate in terms of what blades and from who right now.

R; No regulations on gyrogliders. It isn't an aircraft officially, unless you release the towline, when it magically becomes one. So fit whatever hand-startable rotor is available to you.

We have what we have and in many ways EI-Gyro hits the nail on the head with the human factor point.

R: The human factors would be less of an issue if the rotor management training/practice was properly addressed.

As a group wishing for times past and in some ways not all was a rose garden.

R; It was a great adventure, and lots of fun, if you were patient and careful.

I really enjoy Shirley's books but some of the antics whilst entertaining are pretty shocking at times and maybe in those days you don't talk of sailing blades but you do talk of filling tyres with grass, cable ties, no check A and conversations with St.Peter.

You mean we shouldn't have straightened out our blades by running a 4x4 over them?

Here are links to AAIB reports of some similar UK accidents.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5aa7e1db40f0b66b625e2b0e/Rotorsport_UK_Calidus_G-CIYU_04-18.pdf



R; I rest my case.
 

Tyger

Active Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
281
Location
Germantown, NY
Aircraft
Magni M16
Total Flight Time
225
"uk climate averages October" would be the the obvious starting point.
Thanks so much.
I really wanted to know what she considered hot, or as proxy, what the actual temperature was on the day she was having the issue. UK-wide average October temperatures (avg high about 14ºC) would thus not have been too useful.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,674
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
This is the story the accident pilot is telling the FAA so he must have felt it was what his flight instructor taught. Otherwise he would have said he tried to rotate with insufficient rotor rpm rather than being focused on indicated air speed.

I feel in this accident the pilot felt he had exceeded his Vr speed and attempted to rotate with insufficient rotor rpm.

All of my fixed wing add on clients were taught Vr in a fixed wing and some of them forget to manage the rotor in early pattern work.

I know a Magni instructor that teaches to rotate at a specific indicated air speed checking that the rotor rpm is appropriate.

In my opinion rotating at a specific rotor rpm or indicated air speed is a poor practice.

I advocate keeping the eyes outside once the takeoff roll is initiated with an occasional instrument sweep to see the engine rpm is appropriate.

In my opinion putting the cyclic in a particular place other than full back for the takeoff roll is a poor practice.

In my opinion as the roll progresses and the nose rises the cyclic is used to keep the nose wheel near the ground as speed and rotor rpm builds.

I teach that the cyclic is controlled with pressure and feel rather than position.

I teach that the rotor will talk to you if things aren’t working out.

In my opinion keeping a hard linked nose wheel on the ground during the takeoff roll in a gusting cross wind is a poor practice.

In my opinion reducing the disk angle to increase acceleration is poor practice.

In my opinion when to advance the throttle based on rotor rpm depends on the machine. In The Predator I teach that the throttle can be advanced fully at anything over 180 rotor rpm.

In my experience a properly set up gyroplane will lift off when she is ready at some combination of indicated airspeed and rotor rpm that is not always the same.

I teach that this combination is revealed by balancing on the mains.

I feel that showing video of inept pilots unable to balance on the mains is a poor attempt to discredit a useful practice that is an important part of learning to manage the rotor.

In my opinion wheel balancing is used because it works and it is not because people are not cleaver enough to recognize a better way or the practice is somehow tied to history of no pre-rotator and single place machines.

Most of the pilot operating handbooks I have read for two place aircraft with powerful pre-rotators advocate wheel balancing.

I cannot teach someone to takeoff in a post and pattern work often consumes three to five hours of dual instruction with a primary student and two or three hours for an add on sport pilot rating.

A typical pattern lesson is around seven tenths of an hour (42 minutes) followed by a half hour of debrief and brief for the next mission focused on what was done well and how to do it better.

I need to cover regular takeoffs, cross wind takeoffs, short field takeoffs and soft field takeoffs.

In pattern work we are also working at maintaining airspeed and altitude to practical test standards, roll in and roll out of ninety degree turns, radio communications, pilotage and landings. This involves the cyclic, rudder pedals, throttle and radio.

Other flight instructors will have their own methodology and their own priorities.

These are simply my opinions and how I teach.

My opinions may change as I gain experience.

I still learn from every takeoff, every flight and every client.
 
Last edited:
Top