ELA Eclipse 10 N70WP 1/17/24

Abid, to be perfectly clear, I am not suggesting that instructors tell their students to ignore the POH and routinely start their takeoff rolls at low RRPM. More or less the opposite, in fact.

I AM suggesting that instructors give their students the opportunity to experience low RRPM ground ops. These experiences can include an actual takeoff starting from low RRPM -- probably demonstrated by the instructor with student following along on the controls. The takeoff accidents we're seeing here show us that new pilots simply don't understand their rotors very well. Memorizing a POH sequence is not the same as understanding the WHY.

In the real world, there are times when a pilot must be able to bring a rotor up to flight RPM from a low value.* A newbie should understand that this is a painstaking process, which can easily lead to damage if done wrong... but that it IS possible. Such experience should, if anything, help incentivize the newbie to prerotate adequately per the POH.

Again, I firmly believe that training should go beyond blindly memorizing procedures, and should include the WHY. Only if you have the WHY in mind can you hope to work through novel challenges as they occur.
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* I had to hand-prerotate the 28-foot Dragon Wings on my tandem Dominator on a couple occasions. A more ornery rotor design for this purpose would be hard to come by. It was tedious as hell, but it saved flying days when the prerotator just wasn't cooperating.
 
Abid, to be perfectly clear, I am not suggesting that instructors tell their students to ignore the POH and routinely start their takeoff rolls at low RRPM. More or less the opposite, in fact.

I AM suggesting that instructors give their students the opportunity to experience low RRPM ground ops. These experiences can include an actual takeoff starting from low RRPM -- probably demonstrated by the instructor with student following along on the controls. The takeoff accidents we're seeing here show us that new pilots simply don't understand their rotors very well. Memorizing a POH sequence is not the same as understanding the WHY.

In the real world, there are times when a pilot must be able to bring a rotor up to flight RPM from a low value.* A newbie should understand that this is a painstaking process, which can easily lead to damage if done wrong... but that it IS possible. Such experience should, if anything, help incentivize the newbie to prerotate adequately per the POH.

Again, I firmly believe that training should go beyond blindly memorizing procedures, and should include the WHY. Only if you have the WHY in mind can you hope to work through novel challenges as they occur.
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* I had to hand-prerotate the 28-foot Dragon Wings on my tandem Dominator on a couple occasions. A more ornery rotor design for this purpose would be hard to come by. It was tedious as hell, but it saved flying days when the prerotator just wasn't cooperating.

Oh ok. I got you. Yes completely agree. Students should be shown and I think under guidance practice starting with lower rotor RPM and then building the disc wing up and taking off and understand the difference in procedure and most importantly why it is different. Completely on board with that. In fact I believe that is essential.
 
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My instructor used to engage me in conversation just after a landing, and I think part of what he was doing was distracting me till the rrpm decayed too low for a full-power takeoff. He always then cautioned me to look carefully at the rrpm before rolling into the next takeoff. In this way I learned to build that rrpm slowly back up from a relatively low number without using the prerotator.
 
What is low rotor RPM in the context of an AutoGyro 2017 Sport [for example].
 
What is low rotor RPM in the context of an AutoGyro 2017 Sport [for example].
I’d say around 130. AG MTO 2017 flies around 380 to 400 RRPM. A bit higher than most gyros.
 
Minor injuries, substantial damage

AIRCRAFT ATTEMPTING TO TAKEOFF ROLLED OVER ONTO ITS SIDE, YUMA, AZ.
  1. Why is your post #1 so cryptic?
  2. What is your INTENT with this post?
  3. How did you come to learn of this event?
  4. What was the date it occurred?
  5. How are you connected to the pilot or aircraft?
  6. What's the N# and pilot's name?
 
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All of the AutoGyro products I have flown recommend two hundred to two hundred twenty rotor rpm before releasing the pre-rotator button.

Why do you suppose they recommend 200-220 RRPM before PTO release?
 
Why do you suppose they recommend 200-220 RRPM before PTO release?
Because they want you to have plenty of buffer to protect against possibility of rotor blade flap/sail and shorten your ground roll
 
  1. Why is your post #1 so cryptic?
  2. What is your INTENT with this post?
  3. How did you come to learn of this event?
  4. What was the date it occurred?
  5. How are you connected to the pilot or aircraft?
  6. What's the N# and pilot's name?
1. I posted the information I had from the FAA.
2, I feel there is value in discussing gyroplane mishaps.
3. FAA Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing
4. The date of the mishap is in the title of the thread.
5. I am not connected with the accident pilot or accident aircraft.
6. The N number is in the title of the thread, I don’t know the accident pilot's name.
 
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Problem with 130RRPM Abid is that the rotor tacho is neither graduated to that level nor can one be sure of the variance between machines - i.e. my 130RRPM is not your 130RRPM. Then there is no science / available data as to what my margin is to smashing the aircraft to bits.

As Vance rightly says the POH gives me a number and no other, indeed they [AutoGyro] removed the numbers given and process for "slow rotor" build up in newer versions for new models POH
 
(post #105) When I teach someone to fly an ELA Eclipse or an AutoGyro Calidus I encourage them to pre rotate and take off using the guidance in the Pilots Operating Handbook.

POH stands for PILOT Operator's Handbook, not STUDENT. When transitioning a seasoned gyro pilot into a high-RRPM, shaft-drive PTO eurotub, by all means go by the POH. However...

You also wrote later that you don't consider a 200-220 RRPM roll-out an 'advanced' procedure. This the "AHA!" moment, the root of the problem.

CFI's are citing the mfr's POH as basic gyro pilot training procedure while skipping Gyro 101 lesson 12, "How to bring the rotor up to speed using [only] the apparent wind during rollout, starting from 100-150 powered RRPM while releasing PTO clutch & wheel brakes simultaneously".

Throw the eurotub POH out the window for new students and forget completely about spinning up to 200-220 RRPMs.

Concentrate instead on getting students to UNDERSTAND and FEEL the rotor as relates to changes in TO speeds, lift, and transitioning from a dead stop to breaking ground.

Teach new gyro students how to TO from no more than 150 RRPM until it becomes routine and you won't see nearly so many TO crashes anymore.
 
Problem with 130RRPM Abid is that the rotor tacho is neither graduated to that level nor can one be sure of the variance between machines
I do not understand. Rotor tach not "graduated to that level"?? "Variance between machines"??? Horsefeathers.

Rotor speed is rotor speed, regardless of instrumentation and gyro type.

Many of us have flown a gyro WITH NO ROTOR TACH - took off, flew around, and landed just fine, TYVM.

In fact my first gyro lesson once the engine was running and the gyro was on the RW facing the wind was how to DETERMINE MINIMUM SAFE ROTOR SPEED for rollout WITHOUT the TACH.

You look up at the blades moving overhead and count them, and when they become a blur too fast to keep track of then the blades are moving fast enough to pull cyclic back to rear stop, then release foot brake and PTO clutch together and add just enough throttle to get the gyro moving forward 10-15 mph. As the rotor increases speed it will produce lift and when you feel the blades pulling back on the ship ease in more power until the nose pops, at which point the rotor is "ready to fly", so to speak. Then balance on the mains while smoothly adding power to WOT and let the bird break ground, keeping forward pressure on the stick to keep the nose down until you gain enough AS to climb, usually about 55 kts, then maintaining at least 45kts in climb.

If your CFI doesn't want to teach you how to fly w/o a rotor tach, then you need to find a new CFI. In fact, learn to fly with NO INSTRUMENTS. If you are already flying on your own, then practice it by ignoring them, including on TO and landings.

If your CFI wants to skip so-called "Rotor Management" (TO from no more than 150 RRPM when PTO clutch is released) in high RRPM shaft-PTO gyros, then you need to find a new CFI.
 
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You also wrote later that you don't consider a 200-220 RRPM roll-out an 'advanced' procedure. This the "AHA!" moment, the root of the problem.

CFI's are citing the mfr's POH as basic gyro pilot training procedure while skipping Gyro 101 lesson 12, "How to bring the rotor up to speed using [only] the apparent wind during rollout, starting from 100-150 powered RRPM while releasing PTO clutch & wheel brakes simultaneously".

Throw the eurotub POH out the window for new students and forget completely about spinning up to 200-220 RRPMs.

Concentrate instead on getting students to UNDERSTAND and FEEL the rotor as relates to changes in TO speeds, lift, and transitioning from a dead stop to breaking ground.

Teach new gyro students how to TO from no more than 150 RRPM until it becomes routine and you won't see nearly so many TO crashes anymore.
For me a part of the value in studying accidents is to learn what people aren’t learning from their flight instructors that are causing accidents.

It is my observation that most takeoff mishaps are just like the one in the video where the pilot pulls the cyclic rearward with too little rotor rpm and too much indicated air speed.

In my opinion knowing how to nurse the rotor up to flight rpm would not have helped this pilot.

In all of the pilot operating handbooks I have seen the pre-rotator is on the minimum equipment list.

I find it useful to spend time showing my learners how a rotor works, what happens if you have too little rotor rpm for the indicated air speed and what to do when the rotor shakes the cyclic (cyclic forward, slow down or stop and start over).

If everything is just right in The Predator I might see 100 rotor rpm from the pre-rotator in no wind conditions with the cyclic forward. The starter has an eight second duty cycle. All of the learners I teach in The Predator know how to accelerate the rotor from 80 rotor rpm to 180 rotor rpm with minimum help for the pre-rotator.

After sixteen hours of dual one of my best learners flying The Predator landed, centered the stick and opened the throttle doing what he had been taught to do during a touch and go in an airplane. It was a “MY AIRCRAFT” moment. He is smart and technically astute and I had consistently counseled .

I only know of one client who hit their empennage with the rotor in their aircraft with minor damage and they learned in The Predator and had transition training into his aircraft from another flight instructor. He let the tower rush him in windy conditions and simply forgot. As he put it; “I did everything you told me not to do.”

I have not heard of any of my clients who have learned in their own aircraft and hit anything with the rotor.

There is a lot to teach in a fairly short period of time with dual instruction so beyond exploring the feel and theory of rotor rpm and indicated air speed I allocate rotor management time as appropriate.

I strongly recommend a pre-takeoff check list that is reviewed before every takeoff.

For some it is best to say it out loud during the takeoff process.

The mishap in the video is typical; the pilot thought he had the cyclic full back until he watched the video.
 
Of the 43 CFIs I have flown with all taught rotor management and all encouraged looking outside and not focusing on the instruments.

I have sometimes covered some of the instruments if I feel the learner is not following direction about keeping the eyes outside and using the instruments to calibrate the site picture.
 
I do not understand. Rotor tach not "graduated to that level"?? "Variance between machines"??? Horsefeathers.

Rotor speed is rotor speed, regardless of instrumentation and gyro type.

Many of us have flown a gyro WITH NO ROTOR TACH - took off, flew around, and landed just fine, TYVM.

In fact my first gyro lesson once the engine was running and the gyro was on the RW facing the wind was how to DETERMINE MINIMUM SAFE ROTOR SPEED for rollout WITHOUT the TACH.

You look up at the blades moving overhead and count them, and when they become a blur too fast to keep track of then the blades are moving fast enough to pull cyclic back to rear stop, then release foot brake and PTO clutch together and add just enough throttle to get the gyro moving forward 10-15 mph. As the rotor increases speed it will produce lift and when you feel the blades pulling back on the ship ease in more power until the nose pops, at which point the rotor is "ready to fly", so to speak. Then balance on the mains while smoothly adding power to WOT and let the bird break ground, keeping forward pressure on the stick to keep the nose down until you gain enough AS to climb, usually about 55 kts, then maintaining at least 45kts in climb.

If your CFI doesn't want to teach you how to fly w/o a rotor tach, then you need to find a new CFI. In fact, learn to fly with NO INSTRUMENTS. If you are already flying on your own, then practice it by ignoring them, including on TO and landings.

If your CFI wants to skip so-called "Rotor Management" (TO from no more than 150 RRPM when PTO clutch is released) in high RRPM shaft-PTO gyros, then you need to find a new CFI.
Funny isn’t it how once you get asked to describe something simple the more it gets complex…

no rotor tachometer you say… then you give no more than 150RRPM as a metric.. based upon what? Finger in the air? Much of what you advocate in that post trashes an aircraft because unlike models of old you can not pull the stick fully aft without some RRPM otherwise you strike the tail. That aside and as has been said none of which would have prevented the accident here.
 
Problem with 130RRPM Abid is that the rotor tacho is neither graduated to that level nor can one be sure of the variance between machines - i.e. my 130RRPM is not your 130RRPM. Then there is no science / available data as to what my margin is to smashing the aircraft to bits.

As Vance rightly says the POH gives me a number and no other, indeed they [AutoGyro] removed the numbers given and process for "slow rotor" build up in newer versions for new models POH

The tiny space between 120 and 140 lines is 130 RRPM.
If in AG instruments (meaning German Road instruments), my 130 RRPM and your RRPM is not the same, perhaps we should use some aircraft grade instruments. The variance should be no more than 5% maximum across the range.

The context of this discussion started with Ron pointing out that beyond POH, CFIs should train their students in rotor management by understanding the relationship between stick position, acceleration of the aircraft, and airspeed being developed and the drag the rotor catches as it catches on to the speed. One way he suggested to do that would be for the CFI to demonstrate and even practice with the student starting with lower rotor RPM and building up to takeoff RRPM and speed from there. How that is done and what that procedure is and why that procedure is the way it is. Another way would be to simply taxi starting with lower rotor RPM up and down the runway or taxiway which may be a bit harder to do at airports others are flying at. I agree with him. Indeed, I did that with some instructors and older gyroplane pilots. Is it riskier than just going to 200 RRPM and going from there. Yes, it is. That is the reason it should be done with an instructor. It is a training exercise to learn and internalize rotor management, not a normal operating procedure. As we see and pretty much know these accidents are issues of reverting to muscle memory and not being truly present in the moment. That muscle memory has to be over-written and that is done by internalizing the process and we thinking humans do not easily internalize something till we really understand and get demonstrations to see what the effects are. Going to 200 RRPM and flying off never explains nor demonstrates what will happen from lower RRPM and why. Those connections are simply not being made. Then all it is, is a rote process not an understood one. Reverting to primacy of muscle memory then makes perfect sense.

I cannot speak for AG but we have tested AR-1 and from 140 RRPM starting out on tarmac runway, you cannot smash your gyro even if you smack in full power on a 914UL engine and accelerate quickly as long as you have the stick pulled back all the way. AG should do their testing and come up with that number as well. At least I know that if someone claimed to have gotten 140 RRPM or higher, the only way they are having a rotor blade flap (unless there was a storm) is by them not pulling stick all the way back.
 
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Problem with 130RRPM Abid is that the rotor tacho is neither graduated to that level nor can one be sure of the variance between machines - i.e. my 130RRPM is not your 130RRPM. Then there is no science / available data as to what my margin is to smashing the aircraft to bits.

As Vance rightly says the POH gives me a number and no other, indeed they [AutoGyro] removed the numbers given and process for "slow rotor" build up in newer versions for new models POH
PJB
Yes there is "science/available data" it's called the GWS, that's how Abid can quote 140 rpm for his gyro.
Mike G
 
PJB
Yes there is "science/available data" it's called the GWS, that's how Abid can quote 140 rpm for his gyro.
Mike G
Indeed Mike but unless and until that becomes available (the data) any number is a finger in the air. AG current rotor tachometer is graduated in 20rpm so if the maths may mean some rounding up.
I cannot speak for AG but we have tested AR-1 and from 140 RRPM starting out on tarmac runway, you cannot smash your gyro even if you smack in full power on a 914UL engine and accelerate quickly as long as you have the stick pulled back all the way.
in any event it seems that the big take away even at slow RRPM is pull the stick all the way back which seems very consistent with a standard take off.
 
PJB
The production version of the GWS has been available to manufacturers since August 2022 and the pre production version was available to them for trials about a year before that, but held up by Covid. Most never even replied to my email announcing the availability. Those that did say they are too busy.

I'm not sure I understand where you're trying to go with your question
"What is low rotor RPM in the context of an AutoGyro 2017 Sport [for example]."

Do you define "low rotor rpm" as:
the minimum below which you cannot bring the stick back for fear of hitting the tail (or prop)
the minimum below which you shouldn't go WOT
the minimum below which you shouldn't start to accelerate slowly to increase Rrpm
or something else??

Mike
 
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