Aerial Search For Gyros!

dick

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Messages
541
Location
DENVER COLO.
I've often wondered if there were a practicle use & need for these type aircraft. Because of their great mobility and visibility from the sky and cheep operating cost. Back around the mid 80's I recieved a call from Kurt Shaw "one of the owners of the Windryders Gyro company" he asked if I would be willing to help in a aerial search for a missing woman feared dead for the Greeley police department (a town about 50 miles north of Denver) I said sure if the weather was right, the time of year was October, could go either way around these parts. So he said he would pass it on to the lead Detective on the case. Sure enough a short time later a call came in and this gentleman asked if I could come out to a Church on Saturday and meet all the search crews for the sites "turns out there were more then one" and we would all be sent out to our locations. When We got to ours, "just on the northern outskerts of the town of Greeley turns out there was a big lake in the middle of the field with trees & hills. At the time I had a modafied Bensen style with Rotax 503 and no prerotator. After putting the Gyro together I asked the Detective on the case if he could block traffic on the county road so I could take off, he said sure. He sent one of his Police cruisers to do the deed. After take off I did a grid search over the lake real low and slow (could see all the way to the bottom no matter how deep) also did a sweep around & above everywhere else, took all of about 20 minutes or so flight time. The other people looking there were on horseback, motorcycles. atv's & walking. They still had about an hour to go to cover the area I just did. Forget about the lake there's no way they could have seen the way I did with no rotorwash. After my flight I landed in the field near the road as not to cause problems with traffic again. After slowing down & stopping the rotors I approched the Detective and said he would not find a body anywhere in the lake or on the surface anyhow. After going home and thinking about my first hand experince that day I realized there was a real need and use for these type aircraft. Later that evning while watching the local news, we found ourselves on tv. Sadly they had found that lady's body the same day at another location in a shed................Dick...........(Blood is thicker then water, but it ain't thicker then a dollar)..........Try loaning money to a relative!
 

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
Dick,

I am currently involved in a search for "missing coyotes." These animals are part of a study group and are tagged with radio transmitters. I'm using a gyro to overfly the habitat (30,000 acres) to see if I can pick up a signal from one of the collars belonging to members of the study group that have not been located recently.

I believe there is a great deal of useful "work" out there that fits exactly the capabilities of gyros. But gyros are, outside this community, still fairly unknown or at least "un-thought-of." Hopefully, little-by-little, some success stories may change that.

*JC*
 
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dick

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Messages
541
Location
DENVER COLO.
I believe there is a great deal of useful "work" out there that fits exactly the capabilities of gyros.
I agree JC, I was thinking aerial photos for property owners would be another good one. I don't know many ranch or estate owners who would't want to have a look see of what they have from above to view at from time to time...........Dick
 

GyroCFI

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
845
Location
Petersburg, Illinois
Aircraft
Snobird Tandem Adventurer
Total Flight Time
3500
back in '96

back in '96

I assisted local law enforcement and rescue units back in 1996 when a nursing home resident walked away from the nursing home in the middle of august. The corn was at full height and they needed some way to search the corn quickly as this person was in need of medicine. I searched several miles of corn in my AC Tandem with a spotter on board as well for a second set of eyes and to allow me to concentrate more on flying rather than spotting. I landed in a waterway and re-fueled for a second run at another set of fields. To make a long story short my spotter was able to find his blue shirt in the middle of a pretty large corn field. We were able to direct personell to his location.

I had another instance in '94 when there was a fatal crash at the airport I was training out of. I was able to lead the rescue/fire squads to where the crash site was by "hovering" over the site.

the local law enforcement has my contact information in case they need such assistance again, luckily, they haven't called me since '96
 

fiveboy

I FLY THE JUNGLE JET!
Joined
Jan 28, 2007
Messages
2,324
Location
Panama City Central America
Aircraft
AC Tandem Elite F30
Total Flight Time
Almost 200 hours
If gyro owners let local law enforcement know that this was available to them (provided they get you clearance to fly where they need you), Id bet there would be many a municipality who cant afford a helo that would take us up on it.

Trick here is right after they call (provided its not a secret type mission) , we have to call the local media.
 

greg spicola

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2004
Messages
1,101
Location
Brooksville FL
Aircraft
AR-1 /Dom 2 place/ Anything with Rotorblades/
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2600+ in gyros 510 in helicopter
This is a group that is always looking for volunteers with aircraft,
I saw the group in action in Orlando looking for Kylee Anthony.
Check them out http://www.texasequusearch.org/
 

dick

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Messages
541
Location
DENVER COLO.
To make a long story short my spotter was able to find his blue shirt in the middle of a pretty large corn field. We were able to direct personell to his location.

I had another instance in '94 when there was a fatal crash at the airport I was training out of. I was able to lead the rescue/fire squads to where the crash site was by "hovering" over the site.
That's real good Don, how doe's it feel to know that something you love doing was used to maby help save lives? Not everyone can claim that! How doe's that go? oh yea......."We always know by our actions who's lives were lost, but may never know by our actions how many lives were saved"...........Dick
 
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GyroCFI

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
845
Location
Petersburg, Illinois
Aircraft
Snobird Tandem Adventurer
Total Flight Time
3500
It was indeed a good feeling. I was an EMT in the county for over 25 years so all the public services are a pretty close knit group, fire, rescue, ems, police...

There are occasions where I'll be walking downtown (realize that the "town" is only 3000 people) and I'll see someone who I was on a rescue or EMS call to assist... Sometimes they recognize you, sometimes (usually because they were unconscious) they don't.
 
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