Accident Kingsland Texas - Sport Copter Vortex - N924WG - 9-9-21

Rattler 1

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Vance

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The ASIAS report reads: "AIRCRAFT LOST CONTROL AND WENT DOWN INTO THE WATER AND SUNK, KINGSLAND, TX."

Water landings often don’t work out well.

When reading an accident report I am relieved to read “highest injury: none.”

It is sad to read “damage: substantial.”

Condolences to the pilot for the loss of the aircraft.
 

Tyger

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I have had occasion to fly over forested areas where the only clearings looked to be small lakes and ponds.
If my engine were to quit, I think I'd choose the water over the trees...
 

All_In

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When flying FW's over thousands of forests where lakes are the only option to land without impacting trees I've selected the procedure and where on the lake I would land.

I would stall out a FW selecting a very shallow edge of the lake or eddy clam zone in a bend of a river with one wing almost to the shore so that I could walk the wing to shore. That is if all goes perfectly. You can see the sandy shallows on lakes and many rivers and or sandbars on rivers.
I practice stalls and short spins for this procedure and can come straight down at less than 40knts and it should stop FW's from flipping over upsidedown.

In a gyro what if you did a true vertical descent into the water near the shore that is only chest-high or lower? Then keep your blades from hitting the water until they stop??
Would you tip over anyway?
 
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Vance

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In a gyro what if you did a true vertical descent into water that is only chest-high or lower? Then keep your blades from hitting the water until they stop??
Would you tip over anyway?
It depends on how soft the bottom is and many other factors.

In a gyroplane emergency water landing I would likely do a stop and drop landing rather than a true vertical descent.

When the blades hit the water with a large amount of stored kinetic energy it is going to get ugly quickly.

This is conjecture as I have not yet made a water landing in a gyroplane.
 

Vance

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I have had occasion to fly over forested areas where the only clearings looked to be small lakes and ponds.
If my engine were to quit, I think I'd choose the water over the trees...
There are many difficult choices to make in a gyroplane emergency landing without much time to make them.

I would likely chose the water over the trees.

I have found that clearings grow as I descend in an emergency.

In a water landing, particularly if the water is very cold I would want to be as close to shore as practicable.
 

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Not sure over 10,000+ logged FW, 260+ ultralights, sailplane, hang-gliders
It depends on how soft the bottom is and many other factors.

In a gyroplane emergency water landing I would likely do a stop and drop landing rather than a true vertical descent.

When the blades hit the water with a large amount of stored kinetic energy it is going to get ugly quickly.

This is conjecture as I have not yet made a water landing in a gyroplane.
I do not have experience with stop and drop however that is the procedure I should have described for a gyro.
Pulled a few emergency landing stop and drops macs out of fields at Mentone and one at Bensen Days. They all kept their blades from hitting the ground. The two that went into tall corn bent the blades but they kept them off the ground and did not tip over.
Those are only my observations of accidents that used the same procedure.

Vance, assuming you settled on a slight incline less than 15 degrees with water lap high. Then could you keep your blades out of the water, removing the ugliness as they kept them off the ground on their stop and drops?
 

chrisk

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Fortunately, hypothermia is not an issue this time of year in Texas. As for the terrain, it tends to be populated with housing. I'm guessing the gyro took off at 2KL, and then had an engine failure over the water? Not a lot of great choices for a landing. Of course, I could be wrong on the location

 

Vance

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I do not have experience with stop and drop however that is the procedure I should have described for a gyro.
Pulled a few emergency landing stop and drops macs out of fields at Mentone and one at Bensen Days. They all kept their blades from hitting the ground. The two that went into tall corn bent the blades but they kept them off the ground and did not tip over.
Those are only my observations of accidents that used the same procedure.

Vance, assuming you settled on a slight incline less than 15 degrees with water lap high. Then could you keep your blades out of the water, removing the ugliness as they kept them off the ground on their stop and drops?
In my opinion there are too many things involved to have a definitive answer.

For example; a Cavalon with the doors on would likely float before water was waist high and tip over.

If I landed in the water I would want to keep my blades out of the water as long as practicable to reduce the stored kinetic energy regardless of how deep I imagined the water might be or how suitable the bottom might be for supporting the aircraft.

Unfortunately as the rotor slows and the blades lose lift my ability to manage the aircraft diminishes.
 

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Not sure over 10,000+ logged FW, 260+ ultralights, sailplane, hang-gliders
If I landed in the water I would want to keep my blades out of the water as long as practicable to reduce the stored kinetic energy regardless of how deep I imagined the water might be or how suitable the bottom might be for supporting the aircraft.
OK that's the in the water procedure I was suggesting and I will use it with a stop and drop as I described.

---
I was not thinking of a Rotax 4 stroke or your Lycombing having an engine out.
I was thinking of my Genesis G1 Rotax 2 stroke that has had engine-outs with a higher probability of actually happening. I'll practice it until automatic.
Note: All points east out of San Diego are over real mountains with forest, medows, and reservoirs.
However, with my single place G1, there should always be a small clearing where I can land and not the water compared to my FW.
And I will fly high enough to fly from one landing zone to the next.
 

Vance

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Put in the simplest terms a stop and drop is where you run out of airspeed (stop) before you run out of altitude and drop to the ground.

The closer to the ground (or water) you are when you stop the slower the rate of descent.

A typical gyroplane will descend between sixteen hundred and eighteen hundred feet per minute in a vertical descent,

A normal engine off approach to land will be around a thousand feet per minute and you can slow that further with a round out and flare.

In other words land normally but about a foot above your touch down point.

The higher you are above the ground (or water) you are when you stop the faster you will be going vertically when you touch (or splash) down.

You can use an aggressive flare to help slow the rate of descent.

Keep in mind that a flare does not work with no forward air speed so the timing should be precise.
 

WaspAir

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If you have an actual engine out over inhospitable terrain, TO HECK WITH THE AIRCRAFT. Consider it a total write-off, and do whatever enhances your personal survival. Worrying about preserving the blades should be down around number 58 on your top ten list of concerns. Spare parts for your body are much harder to get.

When blade tips hit the water, they will pretzel and stop incredibly quickly. First water contact of a blade may be behind you with the disc at a typical gyro angle.
 

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If you have an actual engine out over inhospitable terrain, TO HECK WITH THE AIRCRAFT. Consider it a total write-off, and do whatever enhances your personal survival. Worrying about preserving the blades should be down around number 58 on your top ten list of concerns. Spare parts for your body are much harder to get.

When blade tips hit the water, they will pretzel and stop incredibly quickly. First water contact of a blade may be behind you with the disc at a typical gyro angle.
I'm not worrying about the blades or aircraft!!!

It's my back and neck if/when the mast breaks off as I've seen on many wrecks that worries me.

In deep water, I would turn the blades into the water when it is about chest high and one hand on the seat belt release.
 

Vance

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It's my back and neck if/when the mast breaks off as I've seen on many wrecks that worries me.

In deep water, I would turn the blades into the water when it is about chest high and one hand on the seat belt release.
I feel you may be imagining a level of control at that point that is unlikely.

Rotors slow quickly and the ability to control the aircraft is lost.

The idea of it sinking straight down seems unlikely.
 

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Thank you for helping me figure out emergency water landings.
They would be my last choice.

  1. Near the shore
  2. Do a zero roll landing on the water.
  3. Let the blades hit the water, which will roll you over stopping the blades.
  4. Swim out
 

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if the water is not frigid, why not get to about 10 feet and roll out. the gyro will go down and to the left so I might opt for a right hand roll out. if your concern is getting hit by the gyro, jump out higher....
Orrrr........never fly over anything you can't land on
 

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if the water is not frigid, why not get to about 10 feet and roll out. the gyro will go down and to the left so I might opt for a right hand roll out. if your concern is getting hit by the gyro, jump out higher....
Orrrr........never fly over anything you can't land on
What will the gyro do once I jump out?
Pitch up maybe back up and cut my head off?
I do not have the experience to know what happens once my weight is gone and why I'm asking what is the emergency water landing procedure you all practice?
 
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All_In

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Got to know Bob Hover, when we hired a helicopter to repair his airshow loaner at our FBO.
We lifted his forced landing AeroComander 500 Strife, off the mudflats at Brown Field into the shade of our nose dock.

He told me to keep flying/steering the aircraft even after the crash until it stops.
 
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C. Beaty

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I did a water landing many years ago in the Gulf of Mexico about 100 yards offshore when the wire running my electric fuel broke at a soldered joint; near Christmas and a bit chilly but no danger from the cold. The water was about 10 feet deep and it seemed like forever before it settled on the bottom and stopped tumbling but I suppose it was all of 15 or 20 seconds. I banged the quick release button on my es-military seat belt and popped to the surface, shoes, helmet and all and slowly paddled ashore. The beach was lined with Damyankee tourists, not one of whom had removed his shoes like he might have been hitting the water for a rescue, who mainly wanted to know how fast and how high it would go. By and by, one of them offered me a ride back to the airport where I was able to pick up my trailer and borrow 2 ski ropes for hauling my gyro out of the water.
I picked up a couple of helpers for hauling it out of the water and since I was already cold and wet, swam back out and attached the ski ropes. We hauled it out of the water and the only real damage was the rotor blades; Hughes 269 ex-helicopter blades that looked like they’d been walked on by a herd of elephants.
Hauled it home, left it in an air conditioned shop to dry out after removing the spark plugs. After a several days days drying, my trusty Mac started right up. I don’t remember how long I flew it before replacing the Mac with a much modified VW.
 
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