Back Country Gyro Ops. Equipment, mods, techniques.

Resasi

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
8,085
Location
London/ Kilifi Kenya
Aircraft
Gyrs, RAF 2000/Mgni/Bnsn/Hrnet/Mrlin/Crckt/MT-03/Lyzlle AV18-A/Prdtor. Pax ArrowCopter
Total Flight Time
100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
I feel however to start diving in and discussing ideas etc along these lines that we are starting to further drift and hijack Sanmans thread which is basically asking why there are not more gyrocopters out in the bush / backcountry compared to fixedwings.
Some of what we are discussing is builders corner stuff some flying techniques & some learned about that from that.
Am wondering if enough interest is it worth starting a separate thread just for say” Back Country Gyro Ops”
We could move some of this info over to that & go from there. I am more than happy to share my experiences including bent metal ones , not only to maybe save someone alot of R&D but also may help my mistakes not being made by someone else. If folks keen then someone start it as I am severely challenged on these electronic devices and forum layouts etc.
Pete

Jungleman (Pete) from New Zealand had been posting some fascinating details and photos of his gyro experiences in some truly spectacular scenery where he lives.

He operates two gyros that have been modified by him to cope with the type of flying he does, and has a wealth of experience flying over what he regards as "Tiger Country.” A Sport Copter and a Magni. Both have been modified to cope with the type of terrain he operates over and lands on.

He had politely requested that perhaps a separate thread be started rather than ‘drift’ Sanman’s origional thread. https://www.rotaryforum.com/threads/gyroplanes-vs-bush-planes.1146039/

He, along with others has already posted some very interesting information in that thread with regard to safety precautions, equipment modification for the Tundra tires, and techniques for landing and taking off on various surfaces.

This can either be read there, or, as he suggested some could perhaps be copied and posted on this thread for those who would be interested in gyro operations, away from the general types of airports and country that most fly from, and. would like more information on this rougher alternative, from the few, who either through work, necessity...or simply adventure, are experienced in.

I am certainly interested hence the purpose of this thread.
 
Last edited:

Burrengyro

Gold Supporter
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
56
Location
Ireland
Aircraft
ELA07S and Montgomerie Bensen (project)
Total Flight Time
300
Jungleman (Pete) from New Zealand had been posting some fascinating details and photos of his gyro experiences in some truly spectacular scenery where he lives.

He operates two gyros that have been modified by him to cope with the type of flying he does, and has a wealth of experience flying over what he regards as "Tiger Country.” A Sport Copter and a Magni. Both have been modified to cope with the type of terrain he operates over and lands on.

He had politely requested that perhaps a separate thread be started rather than ‘drift’ Sanman’s origional thread. https://www.rotaryforum.com/threads/gyroplanes-vs-bush-planes.1146039/

He, along with others has already posted some very interesting information in that thread with regard to safety precautions, equipment modification for the Tundra tires, and techniques for landing and taking off on various surfaces.

This can either be read there, or, as he suggested some could perhaps be copied and posted on this thread for those who would be interested in gyro operations away from the general types of airports and country that some would like more information on from the few who either through work, necessity...or simply adventure.

I am certainly interested hence the purpose of this thread.
Hi Leigh and Jungleman Pete,
Definitely an interesting specialized offshoot from Sanmans Gyros vs Bush planes thread. Thanks for posting! This also feeds into short field takeoff techniques as used in Pete's and Wolfy's areas of gyro operations. It's difficult to separate the build issues and the resulting performance issues. With reference to Wolfy's gyro build and to Pete's modifications to his gyros, are there any ELA gyro pilots out there who have made similar bush gyro modifications to ELA07 type gyros? Please share photos and experiences?
(Leigh, if I am off track, take out the big the big stick!😊)
Many thanks, John H
 

loftus

Super Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
1,047
Location
Ponce Inlet, Florida
Aircraft
Aircam
Total Flight Time
700 hours
I've really been enjoying this thread. I think a really big issue taking any aircraft back country is the increased maintenance required. Add saltwater exposure to that as Pete alluded to and you can double the maintenance requirements again, Stock up on SaltAway and ACF-50.
Pete, you already alluded to prop wear and tear, anything special or extra maintaining the rotor head and what if any increased wear and tear have you noticed on any of the rotor components.
 

Resasi

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
8,085
Location
London/ Kilifi Kenya
Aircraft
Gyrs, RAF 2000/Mgni/Bnsn/Hrnet/Mrlin/Crckt/MT-03/Lyzlle AV18-A/Prdtor. Pax ArrowCopter
Total Flight Time
100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
Certainly a topic I am interested in. Bush charter and desert operations in fixed wing which I have experienced, were very removed from gyro ops in small single or factory two seaters over the more remote areas, which some of us have access to.

I certainly feel that Pete’s observations on Spot, sat-phone, lifejacket, were important bits of kit. Denis has some brilliant snap on/off side light weight carrier/platforms where a basic light compact EDC pack with some basic emergency items can be quickly fitted for those longer more ambitious cross country flights one has a yen to do.

Techniques for getting into and out of sand bars and rougher landing areas are also interesting, from those who do them on a fairly regular basis, as Pete, Wolfy, and mustering pilots undoubtedly do. Realising of course that these are folks who do it professionally, and are well acquainted with the risks and dangers inherent.

Gyros are certainly more tolerant of windy conditions, and as a few have observed, can within their load limitations and tire size, make good bush craft. Certainly lots of 'Bear Country’ in the US to fly over.
 

Jungleman

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
64
Location
Jackson Bay. New Zealand
Aircraft
S64 Crane, MD 500 , Magni M16 & SC M912
Certainly a topic I am interested in. Bush charter and desert operations in fixed wing which I have experienced, were very removed from gyro ops in small single or factory two seaters over the more remote areas, which some of us have access to.

I certainly feel that Pete’s observations on Spot, sat-phone, lifejacket, were important bits of kit. Denis has some brilliant snap on/off side light weight carrier/platforms where a basic light compact EDC pack with some basic emergency items can be quickly fitted for those longer more ambitious cross country flights one has a yen to do.

Techniques for getting into and out of sand bars and rougher landing areas are also interesting, from those who do them on a fairly regular basis, as Pete, Wolfy, and mustering pilots undoubtedly do. Realising of course that these are folks who do it professionally, and are well acquainted with the risks and dangers inherent.

Gyros are certainly more tolerant of windy conditions, and as a few have observed, can within their load limitations and tire size, make good bush craft. Certainly lots of 'Bear Country’ in the US to fly over.
Resasi.
Thank you for setting up & introducing this thread.
With your skills are you able to bring paste across the pertinent posts from Sanmans thread.
Sanman we are not abandoning you just trying to keep discussions etc going in their respective directions etc. By all
means ask & participate at your will.

Loftus.
I will put together a bit on my maintenance etc over the next couple of days.
I have in the past been shy of putting pen to paper aviation wise. However a couple of years ago a friend in AOPA NZ pressured me into doing some. His argument being most of us like reading about aviation when grounded but not many are willing to write. I could see his point.
They are however helicopter but mostly in the bush. One I did for a friend who has a well known hunting magazine in NZ .We fly alot of hunters into the hills with helicopters and he wanted an article explaining helicopter performance in more layman terms rather than the text book stuff that even us comercial pilots at times have trouble fathoming.
For my trouble he offered me the latest lightweight sleeping bag from his sponsor, so how could I say no to that.
The other a brief of my helicopter journey over the last 35 years & leading into the gyros.
If your interested I could post them here. I do think those new to gyros may get something out the the performance one. Lets face it in these lockdown times we really need rotary reading material.
They are in PDF so not sure if they will attach into these threads or not
Anyway let me know.
Pete
 

Gyrolion

Newbie
Joined
Aug 30, 2014
Messages
13
Location
QLD Australia
Aircraft
Magni M22 M16 M24 R44 R22 C177 C172
Pete, keep the excellent information coming! Regarding the PDF files, simply click 'attach files' at the bottom while you are posting on the forum.
 

Resasi

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
8,085
Location
London/ Kilifi Kenya
Aircraft
Gyrs, RAF 2000/Mgni/Bnsn/Hrnet/Mrlin/Crckt/MT-03/Lyzlle AV18-A/Prdtor. Pax ArrowCopter
Total Flight Time
100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
Resasi.
Thank you for setting up & introducing this thread.
With your skills are you able to bring paste across the pertinent posts from Sanmans thread.
Sanman we are not abandoning you just trying to keep discussions etc going in their respective directions etc. By all
means ask & participate at your will.
Pete will try and bring across some of what I think are important lessons/tips that you have posted, please feel free at any time to correct or ask for an edit to be made if I have got something wrong, or you wish me to simply bring across the whole post. Here’s a start.

Some of those subsequent posts with the large pics will strain my pretty meagre computer skills, so any one else who could assist Pete with bringing those do please join in and get them across, they certainly belong in this thread as amazing examples of Pete’s bush flying skills and his very scenic playground,

Some of Pete’s advice:-

I always wear a high quality full dry suit, life jacket, often carry small single man raft, 2 PLB’s. A spot tracker and satphone. Heated under clothes for the winter & extra lipo battery that would get through a night if say stuck above the snow line.

One advantage with the gyro is can flop onto a small spot with zero forward roll, then do some gardening with the fold up army shovel or drag a few logs away for take off.

Smoother gravel bars are fine. For the bigger rocks, generally baseball sized stuff with football sized sprinkled through, I like some wind to help get that nose wheel off earlier.

Beaches & river silt can be either super easy or very challenging. A large area I fly in is wilderness with landings only permitted below high tide. Which includes tidal areas up suitable rivers. This coastline is battered by predominant SW weather so the few beaches are are changing constantly. This area receives close to 7 meters of rain per annum so the river beds constantly changing also.

Slope on these beaches can be challenging. Obviously if the tide is out then an angled take off lessens the degree of slope. Some below high tide are so hard packed you cannot even see your wheel marks, perfect. But others have small custard soft patches & not always in the same area.

Nose wheels do not do custard soft well. Especially with a high power setting with considerable down force on the nose wheel due to the prop thrust to wheel couple & possibly 5 or six hours fuel on, & a few extra sandwiches as this is usually an all day affair when O go down there.

With the lateral slope take offs I have found a similar technique to a helicopter works best for me.If able left wheel on the down slope. Degree of slope depends on the cross wind direction if any.

Up slope wind considerably better than down slope as it is all about up slope stick / disc effectiveness to be able to lift the low side wheel. So spun up and stick full aft and ample up slope. During the roll I do not let the nose wheel come up until I have been able to lift the low side wheel off the ground and now level & from there its a normal take off. Now this is with the linked nose wheel. If the down slope wheel wont come up then I abort & come up with another plan. Last resort some serious benching with the army shovel.

If I let the nose up first and loose that link advantage then I find there is a good tendency for everything to start tracking down slope rather rapidly & in my case could be into into the sea.

I have not yet done much of this in the Sportcopter. Am thinking the castor will make the nose want to fall down slope so tabbing the up slope brake will be necessary for most of the roll. Will see how that works out in the future.

In play mode with say 1 hrs gas & no wind I work on a 60 meter ground roll. 15 kts of wind & under half that.
 

loftus

Super Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
1,047
Location
Ponce Inlet, Florida
Aircraft
Aircam
Total Flight Time
700 hours
Yes Pete, definitely interested in all you have to say. It's been super interesting thus far. Definitely not a run of the mill aviation story.
 

Jungleman

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
64
Location
Jackson Bay. New Zealand
Aircraft
S64 Crane, MD 500 , Magni M16 & SC M912
Yes Pete, definitely interested in all you have to say. It's been super interesting thus far. Definitely not a run of the mill aviation story.
Loftus.
Ok will do, just having trouble with the two mag articles compressing the pdf’s enough to be accepted.
Will get 3rd party assistance. I have not forgotten about your regarding “back country maintenance.” That almost sounds a little agricultural doesn’t it.

Resasi.
Thanks for bringing that stuff across.
Pete
 

Jungleman

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
64
Location
Jackson Bay. New Zealand
Aircraft
S64 Crane, MD 500 , Magni M16 & SC M912
Tyger.
You commented on my M16 step mod on Sanmans thread. I post here the approval info I provided to our authorities.
I know you are on smaller tyres and not necessary however if we want to fly these things when we are in our nineties
then maybe become a necessity. Not saying you are close yet to that requirement.
I am not sure if still the case that with the rear factory step you loose the ability of having the 20 litre rear locker as that area is taken up with supporting frame etc.
Also with this a screw cap on the aft end of the tube can make good stowage for a 3 piece fly rod. A larger diameter & thinner walled tube would give more room for that too.
Pete7684410F-B5E2-4F90-B936-13CF394DC8ED.jpeg24248A39-0AFF-4E37-96A1-0220DF6E042D.jpeg4CD93F43-063A-441D-BE36-C91BA6FBC8DA.jpeg47980B20-1423-4585-80EB-A30A421FC437.jpeg
 

Jungleman

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
64
Location
Jackson Bay. New Zealand
Aircraft
S64 Crane, MD 500 , Magni M16 & SC M912
Yes Pete, definitely interested in all you have to say. It's been super interesting thus far. Definitely not a run of the mill aviation story.
Loftus.
Here are the Backcountry Performance mag articles I mentioned above. Written five years ago. The main purpose & objective was to further educate the hunters that we fly into the hills further about why we have the weight limits we do and the bearing on those limits that changing conditions have. Also some layman principles of flight.
It is helicopter but I think quite a bit still relevant to gyros. Instead of “ Helicopters in the Hills” we could change it to “Rotors in the Hills” to avoid the thread drift police.
Sorry I could not leave it in PDF so other than a dropbox etc this is the best I could do. Let me know if you need some of the Kiwi slang interpreted. Remember we were dealing with a bunch of Kiwi hunters.
Pete


B0505B9D-AF7D-469D-81FE-9953C906D1D9.jpeg733E0851-8379-4CB2-BACB-5D8511A6D7A0.jpeg17AB14CA-9854-49A0-B4B2-4C02E4C3A6E4.jpegAF1CE6A1-A258-4AF1-898F-DA1885F09ADC.jpeg5B318B8C-5242-4880-A92E-88724E4CCCDC.jpeg77BE0193-7B3E-4D0A-BBD2-9B5DF48235CF.jpeg6EF9970D-7AC9-4EE7-A36C-D9F723A76B2D.jpeg
 

wolfy

Gold Supporter
Joined
Dec 19, 2013
Messages
733
Location
western australia
Just out of interest I measured my 600x6 tyres today, they are in fact 420 mm diameter 16.5".
I wish I had the Alaskan tyres Pete has , but they are still quite effective when run soft.

wolfy
 

Jungleman

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
64
Location
Jackson Bay. New Zealand
Aircraft
S64 Crane, MD 500 , Magni M16 & SC M912
Hi Leigh and Jungleman Pete,
Definitely an interesting specialized offshoot from Sanmans Gyros vs Bush planes thread. Thanks for posting! This also feeds into short field takeoff techniques as used in Pete's and Wolfy's areas of gyro operations. It's difficult to separate the build issues and the resulting performance issues. With reference to Wolfy's gyro build and to Pete's modifications to his gyros, are there any ELA gyro pilots out there who have made similar bush gyro modifications to ELA07 type gyros? Please share photos and experiences?
(Leigh, if I am off track, take out the big the big stick!😊)
Many thanks, John H
John H.
Regards to converting your ELA. I have only flown one and that was 6 months ago. I did find it had similarities to the Magni so may work out ok. I have not heard of or seen any modified. What I could do as have 2 weeks hotel quarantine coming up is put together something covering from when I got into gyros & why / how I did my modifications. It was a reasonable journey & still on going. As I am sure you appreciate it is not simply a matter of bolting gear on and heading into the mountains. We have a saying in NZ & in Aus “ she’ll be right mate no worries”. Not quite applicable here.
In my younger years I flew a helicopter crop spraying in Northern California & my boss at the time interpretation of a Kiwi saying that was “ hold on we are about to have an incident” !!
Pete
 
Last edited:

Jungleman

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
64
Location
Jackson Bay. New Zealand
Aircraft
S64 Crane, MD 500 , Magni M16 & SC M912
Just out of interest I measured my 600x6 tyres today, they are in fact 420 mm diameter 16.5".
I wish I had the Alaskan tyres Pete has , but they are still quite effective when run soft.

wolfy
Wolfy.
Copy that. My Carlisles on the SC were around that. I suppose we can get away with running our tubed tyres softer
than fixed wing as we are not really using our brakes the same and not as much chance of spinning the tyre on the rim.
So yeah even though my rears are considerably larger your nose wheel is the same as mine. As we mentioned previously the issues start at the nose. And I have very solid proof that as will be seen by my future post on bent metal. Probably post heading of “ Flying the Nose Wheel or Not”
You got Badgers ( correction Wombats) over there ? Seen some burrows over here I reckon even would give a 35” grief.

I have two wishes at the moment , 1 more rate of climb for mountain down drafts. The 915 arriving soon will probably address that.
The second, a nose wheel that is almost impossible to bury. Have some ideas am working on there & no its not 4 wheels.
As far as take off roll goes I do not think the 915 will help much there and I am a bit chicken to use all that power on marginal ground anyway. Will be good once airborne for obstacle clearance though.
Hey some time in your build when your happy could you at say 60 knots poke in 15 degrees of right pedal and note how much right stick is needed to correct for left roll if any.
Cheers
Pete
 
Last edited:

wolfy

Gold Supporter
Joined
Dec 19, 2013
Messages
733
Location
western australia
Wolfy.
Copy that. My Carlisles on the SC were around that. I suppose we can get away with running our tubed tyres softer
than fixed wing as we are not really using our brakes the same and not as much chance of spinning the tyre on the rim.
So yeah even though my rears are considerably larger your nose wheel is the same as mine. As we mentioned previously the issues start at the nose. And I have very solid proof that as will be seen by my future post on bent metal. Probably post heading of “ Flying the Nose Wheel or Not”
You got Badgers over there ? Seen some burrows over here I reckon even would give a 35” grief.

I have two wishes at the moment , 1 more rate of climb for mountain down drafts. The 915 arriving soon will probably address that.
The second, a nose wheel that is almost impossible to bury. Have some ideas am working on there & no its not 4 wheels.
As far as take off roll goes I do not think the 915 will help much there and I am a bit chicken to use all that power on marginal ground anyway. Will be good once airborne for obstacle clearance though.
Hey some time in your build when your happy could you at say 60 knots poke in 15 degrees of right pedal and note how much right stick is needed to correct for left roll if any.
Cheers
Pete
Yep agreed mate it's all about the nose wheel, if you can get the nose wheel through it you can take off.

Sort of an un related story but similar to if a small nose wheel is in soft ground.
At one stage I landed near a set of yards to set up some gates for the mob that was coming for yard up.
When I walked back to the gyro I noticed my nose wheel was very soft and with the nearest compressor in one of the buggies miles away I had no choice to try and take off as I was still searching for cattle.
So after back taxing I went to turn around but rolled the tyre off the rim.
I decided to try and take off thinking there was a bit of breeze and the nose wheel would be light fairly quickly.
I still only had a car starter for a pre spinner then so in the small breeze I wouldn't get the noes wheel light without a roll but I had to have a crack. So off I go giving it some gas hoping to get on the mains as soon as possible, the wheel was turning as normal for about 10 feet when suddenly the tyre wedged into the fork and stopped the wheel and gyro dead in its tracks. Well the inertia threw me into the seatbelt and because my hand was on the throttle the throttle went to full and with 100 horses pushing and little rotor thrust over we went in the 2 o'clock direction. No blood lost but a lot of bent aluminium.

I have had similar on salt flats where on otherwise solid ground the nose wheel just breaks the crust and sinks through. No bent aly though.

wolfy
 

Jungleman

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
64
Location
Jackson Bay. New Zealand
Aircraft
S64 Crane, MD 500 , Magni M16 & SC M912
Yep agreed mate it's all about the nose wheel, if you can get the nose wheel through it you can take off.

Sort of an un related story but similar to if a small nose wheel is in soft ground.
At one stage I landed near a set of yards to set up some gates for the mob that was coming for yard up.
When I walked back to the gyro I noticed my nose wheel was very soft and with the nearest compressor in one of the buggies miles away I had no choice to try and take off as I was still searching for cattle.
So after back taxing I went to turn around but rolled the tyre off the rim.
I decided to try and take off thinking there was a bit of breeze and the nose wheel would be light fairly quickly.
I still only had a car starter for a pre spinner then so in the small breeze I wouldn't get the noes wheel light without a roll but I had to have a crack. So off I go giving it some gas hoping to get on the mains as soon as possible, the wheel was turning as normal for about 10 feet when suddenly the tyre wedged into the fork and stopped the wheel and gyro dead in its tracks. Well the inertia threw me into the seatbelt and because my hand was on the throttle the throttle went to full and with 100 horses pushing and little rotor thrust over we went in the 2 o'clock direction. No blood lost but a lot of bent aluminium.

I have had similar on salt flats where on otherwise solid ground the nose wheel just breaks the crust and sinks through. No bent aly though.

wolfy
Ah mate, so we are both in the same club there & I am familiar with the flip to the 2 oclock & the uncommanded throttle
advance. Mine no blood lost either but a few concerning moments of possible large quantities of heat from the 60 litre drum in the back seat.
Pete
 

Burrengyro

Gold Supporter
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
56
Location
Ireland
Aircraft
ELA07S and Montgomerie Bensen (project)
Total Flight Time
300
John H.
Regards to converting your ELA. I have only flown one and that was 6 months ago. I did find it had similarities to the Magni so may work out ok. I have not heard of or seen any modified. What I could do as have 2 weeks hotel quarantine coming up is put together something covering from when I got into gyros & why / how I did my modifications. It was a reasonable journey & still on going. As I am sure you appreciate it is not simply a matter of bolting gear on and heading into the mountains. We have a saying in NZ & in Aus “ she’ll be right mate no worries”. Not quite applicable here.
In my younger years I flew a helicopter crop spraying in Northern California & my boss at the time interpretation of a Kiwi saying that was “ hold on we are about to have an incident” !!
Pete
Hi Pete, Narrow wheels are a problem. We had 3 days good weather with a few more coming before rain is forecast again and still our runway is too soft for the regular ELA tyres. Looking forward to your future posts on your gyro experiences. If you have any thoughts on down hill takeoffs, please share. You and Wolfy seem to have more rough country experience than most.
John H
 
Top