Blade Sailing

chrisk

Gyroplane CFI
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The discussion on "safer pattern etiquette" has some subtleties. I've seen pilots fly a long final at 60 mph, and perform a vertical descent from 500 ft agl on a 30 degree glide slope. The problem being the twin flying at 140 mph behind him on a 3 degree glide slope. That twin pilot is not looking up for conflicting traffic, and gyroplanes are hard to spot. That is a mid air waiting to happen.

For me the safe flight profile is a tight 500 foot AGL pattern with the descent starting on the base leg. This allows for a steep approach, allows for a good view of final, and puts you on final in a spot where fixed wing traffic can spot you. That said, when there are many aircraft in the traffic pattern, I feel it is generally better to be on the same glide slope as fixed wing traffic and generally at a high forward speed. You haven't lived until you've been in the pattern with 3 fixed wings, two gyros, and a helicopter. --Time to leave and do some ground reference maneuvers.
 

GyroChuck

Gyro's are more fun
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Our previous Airport Manager realized the different characteristics of our Gyroplanes. He allowed us to fly an opposite pattern and use the taxiways for TO's and landings. The helicopter flight school also used the taxiways for TO's and landings.

The new Airport Manager no longer allows Gyroplanes to use the taxiways. But the Helicopters still use the taxiways for TO's and landings.
 

Burrengyro

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Hi Greg, Waspair and all,
Chrisk's comments describe exactly what I was trying to convey in my earlier posts with regard to fixed wings and gyros in the same pattern at the same time. If I am number 1 for landing in the pattern and a fast fixed wing is number 2, I am either going to land with the most appropriate maneuver and exit the runway as expeditiously and as safely possible (if I have the time) or I am going to exit the pattern to allow the faster aircraft to land first and then join the pattern later. We always give way to helicopters at our airfield because they are operating commercially and we are operating for pleasure. (Apologies to crows and fixed wings for the awkward metaphor in my earlier post.)

The CFI's I was lucky to train with in Ireland and in the UK were top class. S turns were an option to shorten the distance between the point of descent on finals to the point of landing, if I got the point of descent too close to the threshold and only if it was safe to do so. A go-around was the other safe option.

Much of my S turn practice is to hone skills which might be needed if I have to land in a small field due to an engine failure, etc. The other piece of it would be to get as much experience as safely as possible with S turns when the airfield was not busy to observe the rotor and landing performance in different wind speed conditions. I have only 400 or so hours of gyro flying experience so I appreciate and defer to those on this forum who have loads of hours of gyro experience. I am of the opinion that you just have to steadily and hopefully, safely, expand one's experience envelope, while taking good advice on board.

Abid, I will not be attempting that nose down corkscrew maneuver by the ELA pilot at Bensen Days!!! :eek: Many thanks. John H
 

Abid

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At Zephyrhills on a weekend if weather is VFR it’s not uncommon to have a Gyroplane, 2 to 3 fixed wings, a trike or two in a pattern on runway 05/23 with some fixed wings calling GPS approach from 10 miles out.
Add traffic like the jump plane taking off and landing on runway 01/19 with glider tow and glider operations on that runway as well. Gliders downwind goes right through 05/23 downwind.

This setup is typical not atypical here and there is no control tower.

We do a 1/3 mile downwind at 1000 feet AGL. The whole pattern is close in including base leg. If you are doing a full stop we touchdown close to the exit. We do an early crosswind turn if jump plane or glider tow is on the roll on other runway. It all works. It’s sometimes scary for new students.

Generally I am flying the pattern at 60 knots. That’s not too far off from a 172 flying at 70 knots. I see a lot of single engine fixed wings do a pattern where if they had engine out on base or final they would never make it to the runway. This is routine. They are a mile out with a 12 knot headwind at 500 foot with a Hershey bar wing. Good luck.
 
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Greg Vos

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The discussion on "safer pattern etiquette" has some subtleties. I've seen pilots fly a long final at 60 mph, and perform a vertical descent from 500 ft agl on a 30 degree glide slope. The problem being the twin flying at 140 mph behind him on a 3 degree glide slope. That twin pilot is not looking up for conflicting traffic, and gyroplanes are hard to spot. That is a mid air waiting to happen.

For me the safe flight profile is a tight 500 foot AGL pattern with the descent starting on the base leg. This allows for a steep approach, allows for a good view of final, and puts you on final in a spot where fixed wing traffic can spot you. That said, when there are many aircraft in the traffic pattern, I feel it is generally better to be on the same glide slope as fixed wing traffic and generally at a high forward speed. You haven't lived until you've been in the pattern with 3 fixed wings, two gyros, and a helicopter. --Time to leave and do some ground reference maneuvers.
The twin pilot should not be looking up… he should be aware of your position by means of RT ? Aviate, navigate, communicate …in most cases the airfield or airport has a circuit height listed, making your own pattern height ( you say 500Ft)) is not great airmanship ..IMO…I fly Helicopters into controlled airspace we are slower the many of the Fw traffic, it’s never an issue, I fly Helicopters into uncontrolled or unmanned airfields I adhere to the airfield joining and landing procedures…if any aircraft was joining overhead and there was a radio failure knowing pilots are in fact adhering to the regulations and circuit height regulations is what keeps us safe …as far as Gyros a 30degree descent is the preferred landing and safe approach, if the twin is a problem he has to simply extend his downwind led to accommodate your slower airspeed, once you have your position in the pattern unless your asked and your confirm your ok with it no one should try and jump position …I have many times had faster aircraft ask permission to pass and go ahead because my speed was holding them up, remember a gyro because its highly manoeuvrable you can make small circuits so you should never have to hold them up, good airmanship in a busy circuit is for you so say ABC is left hand down wind runway xx number 1 or 2 and soon every aircraft has a mental picture of who is where ..it’s really not difficult
regarding your last statement should I fly with a helicopter a 3 degree approach? Really 😳 no Sir you and I will not agree if your in an aircraft with a rotating wing you fly it accordingly, Saftey is the pilots priority and responsibility as is the pilot of the faster aircraft who has heard you call final approach Runway xx , you are final approach you have priority if the faster aircraft has cocked up his separation he does a go around …that too is good airmanship
 

chrisk

Gyroplane CFI
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The twin pilot should not be looking up… he should be aware of your position by means of RT ? Aviate, navigate, communicate …in most cases the airfield or airport has a circuit height listed, making your own pattern height ( you say 500Ft)) is not great airmanship ..IMO…
Please refer to the FAA circular https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_90-66B_CHG_1_Editorial_Update.pdf

12.1.3 In the case of a gyroplane approaching to land, the gyroplane pilot operating in the traffic pattern when landing on the runway may fly a pattern similar to the fixed-wing aircraft traffic pattern but at a lower altitude (500 feet AGL) and closer to the runway. This runway pattern may be on the opposite side of the runway from fixed-wing traffic only when airspeed requires it or for practice power-off landings and if local policy permits. Landings not on the runway must avoid the flow of fixed-wing traffic

I fly Helicopters into controlled airspace we are slower the many of the Fw traffic, it’s never an issue, I fly Helicopters into uncontrolled or unmanned airfields I adhere to the airfield joining and landing procedures…if any aircraft was joining overhead and there was a radio failure knowing pilots are in fact adhering to the regulations and circuit height regulations is what keeps us safe …as far as Gyros a 30degree descent is the preferred landing and safe approach, if the twin is a problem he has to simply extend his downwind led to accommodate your slower airspeed, once you have your position in the pattern unless your asked and your confirm your ok with it no one should try and jump position …I have many times had faster aircraft ask permission to pass and go ahead because my speed was holding them up, remember a gyro because its highly manoeuvrable you can make small circuits so you should never have to hold them up, good airmanship in a busy circuit is for you so say ABC is left hand down wind runway xx number 1 or 2 and soon every aircraft has a mental picture of who is where ..it’s really not difficult
I guess you have never experienced a pilot on the wrong frequency. Or confusion when multiple folks are in the pattern. And folks with straight in approaches (instrument in VFR typically).

regarding your last statement should I fly with a helicopter a 3 degree approach? Really 😳 no Sir you and I will not agree if your in an aircraft with a rotating wing you fly it accordingly, Saftey is the pilots priority and responsibility as is the pilot of the faster aircraft who has heard you call final approach Runway xx , you are final approach you have priority if the faster aircraft has cocked up his separation he does a go around …that too is good airmanship

Below is an instrument approach for a helicopter. I believe it specifies 3.1 degrees. Aparently this is safe to do in zero visibility with a rotating wing.
1650633398827.png
 

Greg Vos

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Please refer to the FAA circular https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_90-66B_CHG_1_Editorial_Update.pdf

12.1.3 In the case of a gyroplane approaching to land, the gyroplane pilot operating in the traffic pattern when landing on the runway may fly a pattern similar to the fixed-wing aircraft traffic pattern but at a lower altitude (500 feet AGL) and closer to the runway. This runway pattern may be on the opposite side of the runway from fixed-wing traffic only when airspeed requires it or for practice power-off landings and if local policy permits. Landings not on the runway must avoid the flow of fixed-wing traffic


I guess you have never experienced a pilot on the wrong frequency. Or confusion when multiple folks are in the pattern. And folks with straight in approaches (instrument in VFR typically).



Below is an instrument approach for a helicopter. I believe it specifies 3.1 degrees. Aparently this is safe to do in zero visibility with a rotating wing.
View attachment 1154713
How often are helicopters doing an IF approach at a GA field where Gyroplane is operating your example is simply to discredit ..I F helicopters are normaly catA and seldom in my gyro flying do I join in with aircraft doing IF approaches ..the document says safe to do at 3.1 I doubt it’s a R22 or a GA chopper ? IF equipped Heli is not the same I also would not be in my gyro with zero or low visability.. but I guess at 500ft in your circuits it’s ok?
 

chrisk

Gyroplane CFI
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How often are helicopters doing an IF approach at a GA field where Gyroplane is operating your example is simply to discredit ..I F helicopters are normaly catA and seldom in my gyro flying do I join in with aircraft doing IF approaches ..the document says safe to do at 3.1 I doubt it’s a R22 or a GA chopper ? IF equipped Heli is not the same I also would not be in my gyro with zero or low visability.. but I guess at 500ft in your circuits it’s ok?
I don't fly a helicopter, so this is my observation. And its based on a helicopter school training students, mostly in R22 and R44. Most helicopters fly around a 500 foot pastern and typically smaller then fixed wing traffic. Periodically they fly a shallow pattern and I have had students who are instrumented rated helicopter pilots comment they are flying an instrument approach. --Is that safe in a R22? I'm not sure and I can see the concern if there were an engine failue. In a gyroplane, with no collective, and outside the HV curve, I have no safety concerns with a shallow approach. --Though it likely means an off field landing if there is a power failure. Which is ok if there are open fields on final.
 

WaspAir

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How often are helicopters doing an IF approach at a GA field where Gyroplane is operating your example is simply to discredit ..I F helicopters are normaly catA and seldom in my gyro flying do I join in with aircraft doing IF approaches ..the document says safe to do at 3.1 I doubt it’s a R22 or a GA chopper ? IF equipped Heli is not the same I also would not be in my gyro with zero or low visability.. but I guess at 500ft in your circuits it’s ok?
Few GA helicopters are approved for actual IMC, but practice in VMC is extremely common, and that's when the gyros will be buzzing about as well.

I am an instrument instructor in helicopters, and we typically use trainers that do not have stability augmentation systems, autopilots, full back-up systems, or anti-ice equipment, but we can file and fly IFR in VMC legally, with the pilot being trained under the hood and the CFII acting as safety pilot.

As to the safety of flying a shallow approach in light of possible engine failure, it is in the nature of instrument flight that the risks in case of engine failure are greatly amplified, and safety compromises must be accepted by the pilot making the go-no go decision. Safe IFR operation, especially at night, requires placing great trust in the powerplant. It is necessarily substantially more dangerous than normal VFR flying. If not conducting such a training exercise, there is no justification for adopting the additional risk.
 
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Greg Vos

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Wasp as you point out and I eluded to ..very few Helicopter’s are approved for IMC … so why bring it into this discussion ..if not to discredit my point of the 10 degree landing profile that is the norm for helicopters ? & 30 Degrees for Gyroplanes
I get concerned when CFI’s who are responsible for demonstrating good airmanship suddenly deviate from standard practice and don’t encourage basic disciplines

in fact it’s disappointing because the newbies pick up on what is said here and and it’s our responsibility to strive for compliance, safety culture is our hallmark after all.
as for S turns on Final approach ? No I don’t like it ..a aircraft behind could get confused with a S turn and misinterpret if for some kind of sudden emergency….final approach should be just that nothing more nothing less.

im glad we have at least ironed out the myth that S Turing or any other high G manoeuvre will increase the Rrpm to enable a smoother or more controlled landing …..I would love to be in a ground school class with an instructor who is trying to sell that …that’s that day I hand in my instructor rating


as for helicopter practising IF approaches into ILS and controlled airspace in SA I doubt we will find gyroplanes being welcome during this time …in fact if we want to fly into an airport that supports ILS they will only allow it if they are not busy it’s certainly not the norm and the tower will discourage Gyroplane traffic I’m sure
 

Philbennett

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Interesting on circuits and what is suitable. Thr only reason to fly tight in is to make the field in the event of engine failure. We can argue that the 747 size PA28 circuits are not helpful to them either!!! I suppose the idea (if i relate to the UK) is to help with noise and spread it about? Maybe?

Anyway the key is fly the circuit others would expect because if you are going to meet another aircraft its in the circuit. Communicate well and assess the varying risks. In the UK if we are talking Eurotubs i know of only a handful of engine failures in a gyro and most relate to 914 turbo issues. I think only 1 occured in the circuit but that was on climbout having just taken off.
 

WaspAir

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I have no data, but doubt that gyroplanes get run over from behind in the pattern any more often than Rotaxes quit.

It seems reasonable to me to take precautions against both.
 

chrisk

Gyroplane CFI
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At Zephyrhills on a weekend if weather is VFR it’s not uncommon to have a Gyroplane, 2 to 3 fixed wings, a trike or two in a pattern on runway 05/23 with some fixed wings calling GPS approach from 10 miles out.
Add traffic like the jump plane taking off and landing on runway 01/19 with glider tow and glider operations on that runway as well. Gliders downwind goes right through 05/23 downwind.

This setup is typical not atypical here and there is no control tower.

We do a 1/3 mile downwind at 1000 feet AGL. The whole pattern is close in including base leg. If you are doing a full stop we touchdown close to the exit. We do an early crosswind turn if jump plane or glider tow is on the roll on other runway. It all works. It’s sometimes scary for new students.

Generally I am flying the pattern at 60 knots. That’s not too far off from a 172 flying at 70 knots. I see a lot of single engine fixed wings do a pattern where if they had engine out on base or final they would never make it to the runway. This is routine. They are a mile out with a 12 knot headwind at 500 foot with a Hershey bar wing. Good luck.
I bet it is even more fun when its a zero wind day and both runway directions are available. Anyway with that much traffic, a mid-air is an eventuality. I just never expected this. https://www.wfla.com/news/two-skydivers-injured-after-mid-air-collision-in-zephryhills/
 

Greg Vos

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I bet it is even more fun when its a zero wind day and both runway directions are available. Anyway with that much traffic, a mid-air is an eventuality. I just never expected this. https://www.wfla.com/news/two-skydivers-injured-after-mid-air-collision-in-zephryhills/
Both directions will be available I agree …once a RW has been chosen and an aircraft is say downwind RW 23 it would be bad airmanship to suddenly arrive and you announce your using RW 05? Or am I missing something ? don’t you guys have the same rules at your unmanned airfields ? If a pilot did that he would get serious QRM from other aircraft in the circuit ..and possibly a word or two from our regulator if it was reported.

in our case clubs and unmanned airfields have a published joining procedure we also have circuit height regs and in many cases we do have a lower circuit height for micro light traffic ( as an example at FAWN, circuit height is 1200Ft, for the FW guys and we expect them at this height until we hear them calling Final Approach then we assume they at say 900Ft (FAWN is 400Ft) giving 500Ft AGL as they descend to land micro lights ( trikes have a height of 1000Ft and despite there slower speed seldom ever hold up Fw or gyroplanes in the pattern
 

chrisk

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Both directions will be available I agree …once a RW has been chosen and an aircraft is say downwind RW 23 it would be bad airmanship to suddenly arrive and you announce your using RW 05? Or am I missing something ? don’t you guys have the same rules at your unmanned airfields ? If a pilot did that he would get serious QRM from other aircraft in the circuit ..and possibly a word or two from our regulator if it was reported.

in our case clubs and unmanned airfields have a published joining procedure we also have circuit height regs and in many cases we do have a lower circuit height for micro light traffic ( as an example at FAWN, circuit height is 1200Ft, for the FW guys and we expect them at this height until we hear them calling Final Approach then we assume they at say 900Ft (FAWN is 400Ft) giving 500Ft AGL as they descend to land micro lights ( trikes have a height of 1000Ft and despite there slower speed seldom ever hold up Fw or gyroplanes in the pattern
Hi Greg,
This circular https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_90-66B_CHG_1_Editorial_Update.pdf gives a good overview of operating procedures at non-towered airports in the US. But in short, the vast majority of people use a radio and coordinate with others at the airport and use established traffic patterns. Cross winds and zero wind days are interesting. That said, radios are optional and people sometimes screw up and transmit on the wrong frequency. And sometimes people get lazy and fail to announce their pattern legs when practicing take offs and landings with a trip around the pattern. Is it bad airmanship? Yes, but it happens. Do I encourage it, no.

On zero wind days and 90 degree cross wind days, I remind my students to be very cognizant that landing traffic may be coming from either direction. That they need to look for landing traffic on both ends of the runway. Its has been more than once I have taxied with a student to the end of the runway (the one the wind usually favors), only to hear someone anounce they are on a 3 mile final for the opposite direction. Many times the student is busy with a run-up and completely misses the inbound call. --And yes, the inbound aircraft should overfly the field first, but that seems to happen less often with automated weather reporting. But even if they did overfly the field, they still might pick the opposite direction, as no one is established in the traffic pattern. Anyway, it usually leaves an impression on the student when I stop them from entering the runway and point out the traffic landing the opposite direction. Hopefully it leaves a strong enough impression that the importance of observing both ends of the runway is retained for many years.
 

Tyger

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Even more interesting is a non-towered airfield with crossing runways both in use at the same time, which was the case in Gulf Shores, AL the day I took my private pilot checkride.
However, since then, they've spent more than six million bucks building a control tower (and now staffing it). This was largely funded by the The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, of course:
 

N962GT

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Whats changed. It's always been called blade flapping. Who decided to change it to blade sailing. That kinda sounds fun to blade sail. LOL
Yeah...what he said. Making up new terms for an already difficult subject is not in the best interest of the sport.

Next knee-jerk reaction to Abid: Why present charts from your desk in Florida, aimed at a mainly USA audience forum, in KPH?
 

N962GT

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The reason is that rotorcraft blades are always "flapping", in the original sense of the word, and using the same word for two different (although related) things gets confusing.
In order to differentiate "normal" flapping from the problem being discussed in this thread, people have been using "sail" to describe the advancing blade flying upward when the retreating blade stalls. I imagine people use it because it's a lot shorter than saying "retreating-blade stall".
I'm late to the party, but...I was trained by Chris Burgess starting in 2005, then Steve McGowan, Gary Neil, Jon Carleton, and Desmond Butts, to call it blade flap.

I have yet to personally discuss this thing with any CFI or seasoned gyro pilot who calls it anything else, and/or who does not recognize it by this name. They will further explain it using terms such as retreating blade stall, etc., and though "blade sailing" has been tossed in there as well on occasion, the common chatter is always "blade flap".

I have been told by a CFI as recently as yesterday that ELA in Florida is cranking out new pilots on an assembly line without teaching ANYTHING related to what we all understand and know as blade flap.

This is horrifying to me.

TEACH YOUR STUDENTS ABOUT the damn BLADE FLAP before you sign them off to solo.

That's all I wanted to say.
 

Philbennett

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I wouldnt disagree with the sentiment but blades can always flap when stationary by the prevailing wind and just like how we use behind power curve for behind drag curve we can all likely get the point. Worrying your point re ELA!
 
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