Blade Sailing

Abid

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You sure pilots "understand" more than button presses? From November 2022 AAIB, 737 crew and here we are talking engine thrust settings in terms of "feel".


That sounds like an item for pre-take-off roll checks. He had an exception (brakes did not hold at 70% thrust run up check and aircraft started moving ... so his all procedure went bye bye and he put all his passengers and himself at high risk and he lacked the skill and feel to see something was not happening right and correct it before leaving the ground)
9. Completes the appropriate checklist.

There was a terrible fatal accident of an airliner (regional) over Buffalo, NY where the captain could not recognize the airliner was in a stall. Basic stick and rudder stuff. Instead, he went from 10,000 feet all the way to the crash in a stall. You have to have procedures but also have the skill and feel and have the understanding when to apply what procedure or when to use what.
 

Tyger

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Some takeaways from that Buffalo accident:
The pilots’ performance was likely impaired because of fatigue, but the extent of their impairment and the degree to which it contributed to the performance deficiencies that
occurred during the flight cannot be conclusively determined.
All pilots, including those who commute to their home base of operations, have a personal responsibility to wisely manage their off-duty time and effectively use available rest periods
so that they can arrive for work fit for duty; the accident pilots did not do so by using an inappropriate facility during their last rest period before the accident flight.
Colgan Air did not proactively address the pilot fatigue hazards associated with operations at a predominantly commuter base.
Operators have a responsibility to identify risks associated with commuting, implement strategies to mitigate these risks, and ensure that their commuting pilots are fit for duty.

The captain had not established a good foundation of attitude instrument flying skills early in his career, and his continued weaknesses in basic aircraft control and instrument flying were not identified and adequately addressed.
Remedial training and additional oversight for pilots with training deficiencies and failures would help ensure that the pilots have mastered the necessary skills for safe flight
 

MikeBoyette

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From one of the google links:
proceeding mechanically and repetitiously; being mechanical and repetitious in nature; routine; habitual: rote performance;rote implementation; His behavior became more rote with every passing year.

The problem of principle of primacy (what you were initially and primarily exposed to) can override rote learnt behavior. So airplane transitioning pilots will go back to their airplane technique if all they have learned in flying and taking off gyroplane in transition is by rote of following the POH.
Now we can all sit there and keep saying they did not follow the procedure or that their training is inadequate. That really is not correct. They memorized a series of actions to do on takeoff and they did them ok but they really have not enough clue about why those actions are being done the way they are being done and what are the caveats to the series of actions because exceptions in an aviation career are the rule. They will occur.


You can clearly see even on this forum that the in depth understanding of transitioning airplane pilots on retreating blade stall and where it can happen including on takeoff which we term as Blade Sailing or Blade Flap on takeoff is really missing.
Now if they came to me for a checkride, we probably would not have even ended up going flying because this is clearly an area in the oral that you can test by giving them questions. The current batch of instructors and examiners are in my honest opinion a bit too easy on this area of knowledge. We can blame the FAA and say they must baby feed us to ask specifically thorough questions, but FAA will say we have given you leeway as an examiner and instructor to choose. Use it for where you see accidents happening
I. TASK: PRINCIPLES OF FLIGHT

REFERENCES: FAA-H-8083-21; Gyroplane Flight Manual.

Objective. To determine the applicant exhibits knowledge of at least
three (3) of the following aerodynamic principles:

1. Autorotative airflow and reverse flow.
2. Blade flapping and coning.
3. Dissymmetry of lift.
4. Lateral stick force/position change with airspeed.
5. Load factor effects in level flight and turns.
6. Retreating blade stall.
7. Rotor system characteristics.
8. Stability and controllability.

E. TASK: BEFORE TAKEOFF CHECK

REFERENCES: FAA-H-8083-21; Gyroplane Flight Manual.

Objective. To determine that the applicant:

1. Exhibits knowledge of the elements related to the before
takeoff check, including the reasons for checking the items and
how to detect malfunctions.
2. Positions the gyroplane properly considering other aircraft,
surface conditions, and if applicable, existing wind conditions.
3. Divides attention inside and outside the cockpit.
4. Accomplishes the before takeoff checklist and ensures that the
gyroplane is in safe operating condition.
5. Reviews takeoff performance airspeeds and expected takeoff
distance.
6. Describes takeoff emergency procedures, to include low speed/
high speed blade flap situations.

7. Ensures no conflict with traffic prior to takeoff.
8. Utilizes proper rotor spin-up procedure.
9. Completes the appropriate checklist.
Please forgive my ignorance. Just never heard or read that word before.
 

Mayfield

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It appears we often have a lot of agreement searching for an argument in this, and similar, threads.

I believe the points that Phil, Abid, Chuck, and others make are not mutually exclusive.

Training is paramount, but everything we can do helps. The GWS helps. Tow trainers of all types help. Repetition helps. In depth understanding of how the system, and the machine, works helps.

You are not going to hand start the blades on most of the more modern gyros. You just can't reach them. You can, however, pre-rotate to, or slightly beyond, where auto-rotation is possible. Most rotors with airfoils based on the 8H12 will begin to auto-rotate at speeds as low as 70 rpm or so if the disc tilt/inflow airspeed is carefully adjusted. As Abid points out, 130 rotor rpm should give an adequate cushion against excessive flap if a modicum of care is taken. At that point you can very safely demonstrate how the rotor rpm will increase, or decrease, depending on disc tilt and airspeed,

If we can get time in a towed trainer and hand start the rotor, it can't help but increase your feel for and understanding of auto-rotation. Do we “need” to? No, but it is awesome to understand as much as possible about any endeavor.

It is my opinion, based only on my education and experiences, that the further we humans get from our 1G, near sea level, standard pressure, 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen, two-dimensional environment, the more important it is that we understand the mechanisms that got us there.

There is nothing wrong with ”rote” level understanding. Most of us learned to multiply by memorizing the multiplication tables. But later, hopefully, we learned how multiplication works and how that led us into other forms of math.

In my mind, it is imperative that we understand how the machine, that is cradling our fragile bodies in the alien environment that our intellects were able to get us to, works.

Jim
 
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Abid

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It appears we often have a lot of agreement searching for an argument in this, and similar, threads.

I believe the points that Phil, Abid, Chuck, and others make are not mutually exclusive.

Training is paramount, but everything we can do helps. The GWS helps. Tow trainers of all types help. Repetition helps. In depth understanding of how the system, and the machine, works helps.

You are not going to hand start the blades on most of the more modern gyros. You just can't reach them. You can, however, pre-rotate to, or slightly beyond, where auto-rotation is possible. Most rotors with airfoils based on the 8H12 will begin to auto-rotate at speeds as low as 70 rpm or so if the disc tilt/inflow airspeed is carefully adjusted. As Abid points out, 130 rotor rpm should give an adequate cushion against excessive flap if a modicum of care is taken. At that point you can very safely demonstrate how the rotor rpm will increase, or decrease, depending on disc tilt and airspeed,

If we can get time in a towed trainer and hand start the rotor, it can't help but increase your feel for and understanding of auto-rotation. Do we “need” to? No, but it is awesome to understand as much as possible about any endeavor.

It is my opinion, based only on my education and experiences, that the further we humans get from our 1G, near sea level, standard pressure, 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen, two-dimensional environment, the more important it is that we understand the mechanisms that got us there.

There is nothing wrong with ”rote” level understanding. Most of us learned to multiply by memorizing the multiplication tables. But later, hopefully, we learned how multiplication works and how that led us into other forms of math.
.
In my mind, is imperative that we understand how the machine, that is cradling our fragile bodies in the alien environment that our intellects were able to get us to, works.

Jim

You are correct that we really do not have much of a disagreement about what should be understood more.
I guess if there is any debate it is about the tactics in training used to get pilots to get that understanding.
The bottom line is that understanding or deeper understanding can only be tested via oral or practical application. It does not matter if the student coming for a check ride got that imprinted in his head via gyro glider or serious ground school lesson, as long as the imprint of the concepts is strong enough that the rote series of actions now have meaning and clear reasoning behind them, they are less likely (though not completely) to be overridden by primacy
 

GyroChuck

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Please forgive my ignorance. Just never heard or read that word before.
That is from the FOI or Fundamentals of Instruction. That is one of the tests a CFI has to pass.

I have to admit I had to use a lot of Rote training on that one .:(
 

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Well since I have never taken that test or even studied for it that makes since. Figures some person who works for the government would use such an obscure word. I consider my vocabulary pretty vast and that was not in it. I learned a new word today.
 

Mayfield

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I guess if there is any debate it is about the tactics in training used to get pilots to get that understanding.
The bottom line is that understanding or deeper understanding can only be tested via oral or practical application.
Absolutely Abid. To use a non-aviation example:

It isn't necessary that I be able to build a 2 stage scuba regulator, but I certainly should understand the principles by which it works and the basic mechanism if I'm going to dive. What causes a regulator to go free flow, why did a regulator start providing wet air. How do you “fix” either problem? Understanding how the machine works can prevent misdiagnoses and serious, even fatal, errors.

It's the same in aviation.

Jim
 

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Well since I have never taken that test or even studied for it that makes since. Figures some person who works for the government would use such an obscure word. I consider my vocabulary pretty vast and that was not in it. I learned a new word today.
The FAA realizes that many CFI applicants will have no prior teaching experience, and never studied any educational psychology. They put in the Fundamentals of Instruction material to try to address that. Teacher certification in many states is a one or two year graduate school program, and squeezing all that down to one multiple choice test could be considered laughable, but that's a practical reality. The psych content is cursory and decades out of date, but at least they try. The CFI ticket is supposed to be about whether you can teach, not how well you fly.
 

BEN S

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See we all are getting along so nicely....
I am curious if you were to question a newer student who has only used the newer ways to learn, what would their anxiety level be if an in flight electrical issue developed and ALL the dash gauges were inop?
Would that anxiety level be enough to have them make bad piloting choices?
Rote memorization only works as long as you are withing the learned parameters.
Understanding and experience get you home when you are thrust outside of those parameters.
The more understanding and experiences you have the better your chances of success.
 

Mike G

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Mike G, I would not be a target market for your GWS, however...I sure would love to fly a gyro equipped with it just to explore the limits set in to it and to compare those limits to my normal or even adrenalin pumping flight maneuvers.
Now, invent a time machine as well so I can see how close to calamity my younger piloting self was!
Ben I've replied to your post in the GWS thread
https://www.rotaryforum.com/threads/accident-prevention-with-the-gyro-warning-system-gws.1147322/
Mike G
 

Mike G

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I very much like the concept of the GWS and I believe it will help with "infrequent" gyro pilots. We can blame training, but gyros have two things going against them: 1) Much of the flying is seasonal, meaning there are long periods where the pilot hasn't flown. This provides an opportunity for the pilot to forget some important points. and 2) once someone gets their gyro certificate, they may not fly with a gyro instructor again. For example, an airplane and gyro rated pilot can meet all the legal requirements by flying with an instructor once every two years in an airplane. This allows sloppy habits to develop and go uncorrected.

As to the question: Would I install a GWS in my gyro? Maybe. But it would very much depend on the cost. And here, there are some concerns, particularly with the need to have the gyro manufacturer calibrate the system. Which makes me wonder if 95% of the benefit could be accomplished with a simpler system. An option would be to just sample Rotor RPM and Air speed. Then have the end user perform 10 or so calibration take offs and landings (per POH) to "auto calibrate" the system, so it knows the normal profile. And any deviation from the profile sounds an alarm. That said, I'd like to see a stick position sensor added (which doesn't have to cost very mcuh. A micro switch or optical sensor). With rotor RPM, stick position, and engine RPM (or airspeed), it seems like enough information is available to determine: 1) a take of roll was initiated. 2) the stick is in the proper position. and 3) sufficient rotor RPM exists. i.e. enough to detect the pilot is following the manufactures recommended take off procedure. No calibration is needed.
chrisk
I've replied in the GWS thread
https://www.rotaryforum.com/threads/accident-prevention-with-the-gyro-warning-system-gws.1147322/
to try to keep GWS info in one place.
Mike G
 

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You are not going to hand start the blades on most of the more modern gyros. You just can't reach them. You can, however, pre-rotate to, or slightly beyond, where auto-rotation is possible. Most rotors with airfoils based on the 8H12 will begin to auto-rotate at speeds as low as 70 rpm or so if the disc tilt/inflow airspeed is carefully adjusted. As Abid points out, 130 rotor rpm should give an adequate cushion against excessive flap if a modicum of care is taken. At that point you can very safely demonstrate how the rotor rpm will increase, or decrease, depending on disc tilt and airspeed,

If we can get time in a towed trainer and hand start the rotor, it can't help but increase your feel for and understanding of auto-rotation. Do we “need” to? No, but it is awesome to understand as much as possible about any endeavor.
A particularly valuable lesson that I was shown in a single seat gyro did not even involve starting the engine.

On a rather windy day, unsuitable for me to practice wheel balancing, I had not yet left the ground on the Bensen, I was handed over to one of our more experienced assistant Instructors who flew a Cricket.

He had me face the Bensen into wind then securely chock it. The rotors were secured with a tie down and I then got into the seat and strapped in. He carefully explained to me, reminding me on what I had been taught about blade flap/sailing, and the importance of not allowing too much air through the disc at too low an RRPM.

We went over the corrective action, in this case since the gyro was not moving...stick forward immediately and reducing the disc angle of attack. He explained that he would be remaining standing beside me during the exercise, and that he would take off the rotor tie down and would begin patting up the blades with me holding the stick forward.

At some stage he would stop patting, then it would be up to me by gently increasing the disc angle of attack, to build up the rotor rpm's. The blades I had at that time were Rotor Hawkes, a fairly mild mannered set of Rotors that can be patted up without too much difficulty.

We must have spent the next hour experimenting with various rotor speeds at which he would stop patting and me to coax the blades up to a decent RRPM. This obviously dependent upon the oncoming wind speed which was variable. It was a very simple, but very valuable lesson in the feel of, and sight picture of, blade acceleration and rotor blur, by varying the amount of air in through the disc by forward and backward movement of the control stick.

Cheap, easy to do, safe with an experienced gyro pilot right beside the student ready to assist at the slightest signs of trouble. An exercise that utilises time when the wind conditions are such that an inexperienced student would be unsafe on his own, and gives great experience in 'rotor management skills' a term often bandied about.
 

MikeBoyette

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Excellent example of what I’m talking about Leigh. This type of training should be included for every new student in my opinion.
 

BEN S

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Unintetionally lost my first set of blades this way!
Engine not running, blades spinning up and started rolling backwards to fast on soft sand. Brakes were locked up and skidding. Hit windrow on side of runway and up and over I went!
Expensive lesson, "your not flying till the blades stop moving!"
 

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And a simple...stick all the forward, would have stopped that backward movement.
 

BEN S

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Well gee Leigh...where were ya that day?!?😁
I had the best training, but forgot to engage my brand new brain cells. For some reason I figured being engine off I could just hive it a swing and climb in....wellllll
 

MikeBoyette

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Unintetionally lost my first set of blades this way!
Engine not running, blades spinning up and started rolling backwards to fast on soft sand. Brakes were locked up and skidding. Hit windrow on side of runway and up and over I went!
Expensive lesson, "your not flying till the blades stop moving!"
Almost did the same thing. I got lucky and remembered in time to dump the stick. The only blades I ever damaged was from shutting the roll down door for shop on them. They were tied so it bent both blades. Lucky I knew the guy who made them so I got replacements for cost. He told me I did him a favor. The new ones were smoother.
 
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