Autogyro Cavalon N635BC

Doug Riley

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
6,643
I guess the statute of limitations has run on this incident.

I was on base for a southbound landing at Stormville, NY, carrying a little power. But said power was waning, as it always did when my VW was burning up rod-end bearings.* I was going to land short.

Green Haven Prison adjoins the airport on the north, so "short" meant the prison grounds. I fluttered in, got my rotor stopped and tied it off with my belt. As I was pushing the gyro toward the road for a slog back to the airport, some prison guards rolled up in a pickup and shouted "You Ok?" "Yup" I said. They drove away.

Next some bikers rumbled up on their Hogs and one said of my gyro, "Jesus, that's a suicidal-lookin' thing." Under the circumstances, I didn't feel like arguing the point.

Nobody followed up, called the FAA or otherwise gave me a hard time.
________________________
* Which it did frequently.
 

loftus

Super Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
1,098
Location
Ponce Inlet, Florida
Aircraft
Aircam
Total Flight Time
700 hours
I guess the statute of limitations has run on this incident.

I was on base for a southbound landing at Stormville, NY, carrying a little power. But said power was waning, as it always did when my VW was burning up rod-end bearings.* I was going to land short.

Green Haven Prison adjoins the airport on the north, so "short" meant the prison grounds. I fluttered in, got my rotor stopped and tied it off with my belt. As I was pushing the gyro toward the road for a slog back to the airport, some prison guards rolled up in a pickup and shouted "You Ok?" "Yup" I said. They drove away.

Next some bikers rumbled up on their Hogs and one said of my gyro, "Jesus, that's a suicidal-lookin' thing." Under the circumstances, I didn't feel like arguing the point.

Nobody followed up, called the FAA or otherwise gave me a hard time.
________________________
* Which it did frequently.
Funny story. And no one even offered you a ride? :)
 

Doug Riley

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
6,643
No ride offer. But then, I had my gyro to push back to the airport -- and the prison directly adjoins the airport. Not that long a push.

I did that push a few times. So much for the "reliable" 4-stroke VW.
 

Brian Jackson

Platinum Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2004
Messages
3,329
Location
Hamburg, New Jersey USA
Aircraft
GyroBee Variant - Under Construction
No ride offer. But then, I had my gyro to push back to the airport -- and the prison directly adjoins the airport. Not that long a push.

I did that push a few times. So much for the "reliable" 4-stroke VW.
A "few times?" I'd heard the recidivism rate is pretty high but damn. Of course you get instant street cred when the inmates ask what you're in for.
 

Doug Riley

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
6,643
Green Haven is (or was then) a Max. Some bad dudes. My base-to-final would take me nearly over the yard, inside The Wall. I did not care to visit in there. My deadstick was outside The Wall, on the nice golf-course-like grounds. Piece of cake.

Thankfully, my other unplanned landings were elsewhere around town.
 

DavePA11

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
1,028
Location
USA
Doug, what were the causes of the unplanned landings so can learn from those to prevent them?
 

Doug Riley

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
6,643
Dave: This probably should be in a VW engines thread.

Briefly, in the case of my Stormville deadsticks (4 of them, IIR), the problem generally was burnout of the big-end bearings in the con rods. At the time (70's) I followed the advice of a then-reigning authority on VW engines, Ted Barker. He claimed that an oil cooler wasn't needed; just bypass it, said he. I was all for simplicity, cheapness, and lightness, so I did.

Best guess: I actually should have had the biggest damn oil cooler I could buy. Only a guess, though; I ran out of money while in college and gave up gyroing for several years.

I never figured out the cause for sure. When I got back in, it was with a Rotax 447. While not perfect, it proved more reliable than my home-brewed VW conversion. I never flew a X-C with the VW, but flew them all the time with the Rotax.
 

gyroplanes

FAA DAR Gyropilot
Joined
Mar 18, 2004
Messages
6,095
Location
Lansing, Illinois (Chicago South Suburb)
Aircraft
(1) Air Command, (1) Barnett, (1) Air Command 2 place kit, (1) Sycamore gyro
Total Flight Time
2650
I guess the statute of limitations has run on this incident.

I was on base for a southbound landing at Stormville, NY, carrying a little power. But said power was waning, as it always did when my VW was burning up rod-end bearings.* I was going to land short.

Green Haven Prison adjoins the airport on the north, so "short" meant the prison grounds. I fluttered in, got my rotor stopped and tied it off with my belt. As I was pushing the gyro toward the road for a slog back to the airport, some prison guards rolled up in a pickup and shouted "You Ok?" "Yup" I said. They drove away.

________________________
* Which it did frequently.
A new gyro guy in our club, on one of his first flights, found himself near Stateville correctional facility just south of the Lewis University airport in Romeoville, IL. He flew around the prison "sightseeing" heading back to the airport, he saw a cluster of police cars also heading towards the airport. He said he was wondering if they were following him, so he turned toward the nearby Joliet airport and so did they. He got wise and started flying nap-of-the-earth. Bob got wiser and flew were there were no roads, he was out of airports and decided to high tail it back to his house. He said he flew low and swooped down on the street near his house. Taxiing to his house, a squad car rounded the corner lights on. Bob told me the cop heard the radio chatter and knew Bob (who was a well known businessman) was his first guess as he knew Bob was just starting to fly gyros. Bob said they were both Masons and a few secret handshakes later, it was all over. Bob became the second builder of a Marchetti Avenger gyro. Bob was a good friend of Frank Marchetti and a neighbor of Dick Wunderlich.
 

Tyger

Super Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
1,342
Location
Clermont, NY
Aircraft
Magni M16
Total Flight Time
420
I assume Bob is/was the "new guy"...
Let me get this straight... he thinks cops are chasing him, by road, for flying over a prison so, instead of landing at any nearby airport, where he might have to have a chat with them, he lands on a public street near his house hoping no one is going to notice??
Hard to say if he broke any rules by flying around a prison, especially one right next to an airport, but I suspect he did by landing on a public road when there was no emergency...
 

Greg Vos

Active Member
Joined
May 26, 2019
Messages
398
Location
Cape Town
Aircraft
R44/22 H269/300 MD 500 Magni (all); Xenon RST; DTA; ELA; MTO Trojan
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Stoped counting at 2000
I assume Bob is/was the "new guy"...
Let me get this straight... he thinks cops are chasing him, by road, for flying over a prison so, instead of landing at any nearby airport, where he might have to have a chat with them, he lands on a public street near his house hoping no one is going to notice??
Hard to say if he broke any rules by flying around a prison, especially one right next to an airport, but I suspect he did by landing on a public road when there was no emergency...
🤣🤣🤣.. yes well put
 
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