Emergency Landings

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A good suggestion John.

I was sloppy with my use of the language.

Not everyone knows that the best way to look for wires is to look for the poles.

I have read that the number one cause of helicopter crashes is wire strikes.

There have been many gyroplanes destroyed from wire strikes.

Mark Shook was killed when he hit wires over the Colorado River. Flying as low as he was he could not see the poles along the banks because of the trees.

I have some specific wires I show clients to help them understand how difficult the wires are to see and I have them fly over the polls rather than the wires. One end of the Avilla Pass is blocked by power lines coming from the power plant in Diablo Canyon. They are huge and there are two sets of them marching over the hills. The light has to be just right to see the wires and I have to look left or right to find the structures that support the wires. Coming from the north the first few poles are hidden by the hills.

I have one wire in a canyon near the Twitchell reservoir that I like to use as an example of how hard wires and poles are to see. It is a single wire suspended on two wooden poles covered with black creosote.
Would it not be great of reflectors of some sort be required to be placed on top of telephone poles or transmission lines? Or something to increase visibility from the air. The expense and effort would be considered prohibitive as viewed by some.
 

DavePA11

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If flying down a river and your friend from above tells you no wires along this stretch of the river don’t believe them. Keep looking for poles or places where a wire would naturally be placed. Or don’t fly low… :)
 

All_In

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For spot landing contest practice what do you pilots of gyro do for losing height?
The only one I can find doing much of anything at actual contests is Roy Davis at the Dubai world games in 2015.
He seems to be using the same maneuver that I am for spot landings. Slight slip turns to reduce height.


Is there any other gyro maneuver to fine-tune your altitude?
 

Vance

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I pull power to lose height.

In my opinion a spot landing contest has very little in common with an emergency landing.

In a spot landing contest:

You control when to reduce engine power.

You don’t need to see if you can get the engine making power again.

You know which way the wind is blowing.

Your landing zone has already been selected for you.

You have plenty of time to develop a plan.

There are not likely to be obstacles on your flight path.

There are not likely to be wires along your flight path.

The suitability of your landing zone is not likely to change as you get closer.

There is very little at stake.

You usually get more than one try.
 

Vance

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If you want to win a spot landing contest be consistent on air speed and altitude and adjust where you pull the power.

Not all spot landing contests have the same rules so get a clarity on the rules.
 

Vance

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For spot landing contest practice what do you pilots of gyro do for losing height?
The only one I can find doing much of anything at actual contests is Roy Davis at the Dubai world games in 2015.
He seems to be using the same maneuver that I am for spot landings. Slight slip turns to reduce height.

Is there any other gyro maneuver to fine-tune your altitude?
I watched the video several times and because we don’t know which way the wind is blowing I am not able to tell if Roy is in coordinated flight.

From the position of the rudder it appears to me Roy was in coordinated flight during his descent.

I do not see evidence of a slip or skid.
 

All_In

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That is the same maneuver I'm doing only I do it much higher not just before he's over the threshold. I do not have the trust in my skill level to do it that low.

OK will try just the turns next time without the slip and see the results.
Yes I know I have time in an actual spot landing contest.
I'm making it harder by letting Henry cut power whenever he wants so it's kind of a mix between an emergency landing and then we turn it into a spot landing contest.
It just flying for FUN to learn and has nothing to do with the test standards YET.
 
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Grodou

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Your post has already developed further but I'd like to share 2 observations I made while practicing emergency landing a few weeks ago...


1. The comfort of Bose noise suppression was partially responsible for me losing a few extra seconds in realizing the instructor had fiddled with both magneto's and the propeller was not turning anymore. It happened just when I had already reduced power by much to prepare for my next self intended maneuver and expected a loss of height... while I was working my best to show him that I was not gluing my eyes on the instruments like I used to. Took my probably 5 sec + time to have him confirm it was an intentional power outage for instruction purposes !!!
Retrospectively, I think I'd notice earlier on a cross country flight... but still the delay made me feel uncomfortable and reconsidering my helm !!!

2. During same exercise, and since he confirmed having shut down the engine...
(Our position was VERY comfortable : 1000ft AGL approx - on a downwind course approx 200 meters from RWY.)
I decided to go directly above favorable ground AKA the runway center with 500 m available in both directions during a vertical descent with a great view on the whole RWY. That would give me the time to assess the low changing wind one last time before committing to take her down.
Then a communication misunderstanding took place.
Instructor rejected my option and requested the standard Downwind-Base-Final approach. (He mostly trains fix-wings, at least more than gyro's but owns both) By the time I realized what he wanted there was already less air under our rotor ! He insisted that I engage in a tight spiral descent, as a compromise between both our expectations... There was plenty of room for achieving a nice landing, but still I felt VERY uncomfortable for the second time in 2 minutes !!! During debrief we agreed that he would from now on express his requirements/expectations immediately before the students engage in his own or tell him from the start he's free to do so.


Just wanted to mention the way equipment and communication did affect my performance that day, in hope that it helps someone else on this topic.

Cheers,
Fred
 

Vance

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Thank you for the input and sharing your experience Fred.

It reads like you have a good relationship with your flight instructor and a good flight instructor.

If I am going to pull the power for a simulated emergency landing we cover my expectations in the briefing as far as outcome rather than procedure because part of the lesson is coming up with a plan and executing it.

In your situation I would have let you do it your way and then done it my way so you could see the effect of the different procedures.

I try not to do two things that make the learner nervous in a single flight.

I know my performance drops off after I have scared myself and I expect it is more so with a student pilot.
 

Resasi

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During initial fixed wing flight instruction my instructor included a 'fan stop’ on every sortie. Towards the end, occasionally two.

Subsequently, as a flight instructor I did the same, up to and including exec jets. Never had it on large transport category, although Ed Sullenberger, and others have been obliged to demonstrate their proficiency in this particular exercise
 

anthom

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For spot landing contest practice what do you pilots of gyro do for losing height?
The only one I can find doing much of anything at actual contests is Roy Davis at the Dubai world games in 2015.
He seems to be using the same maneuver that I am for spot landings. Slight slip turns to reduce height.


Is there any other gyro maneuver to fine-tune your altitude?
The gyroplane has the unique ability to descend practically vertically down. This is especially important when a normal glide speed approach is overshooting. It is easy to build forward speed again prior to flaring based on the height velocity graph for the machine.
Another classic maneuver is to do a 360 degree simulated engine out if right over the landing spot if sufficient height is available.
Some models are hard to descend vertically based on my experience.
 

PeterFromLA

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One way to extend your final float is to try to "overspin" (no really a correct term) your rotor by increasing your forward airspeed. One may say that would eat altitude faster, but amazingly enough it loads the rotor which in turn provides longer float before touching down, so you end up landing a bit further.

On the opposite of that... if you are trying to shorten the landing distance by doing s-turns on the way down, make sure those are very gentle. Sharply executed turns would load your rotor and extend your float.
 

Tyger

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During initial fixed wing flight instruction my instructor included a 'fan stop’ on every sortie. Towards the end, occasionally two.
Subsequently, as a flight instructor I did the same, up to and including exec jets. Never had it on large transport category, although Ed Sullenberger, and others have been obliged to demonstrate their proficiency in this particular exercise
Chesley Sullenberger? I am pretty sure you don't mean Ed Sullivan. :giggle:
 

All_In

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Thank you all for the answers. Most helpful!!
 

Grodou

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Thank you for the input and sharing your experience Fred.

Since a visual can sometimes be better than words lost in a translation... Engine OUT at time 1:50...

Side note : The FFPLUM (french microlight federation) covers the costs of a yearly 'REV' (CFI supervised session to review basics). It is a no-cost flight and I take full advantage of it every time.
 

JETLAG03

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Since a visual can sometimes be better than words lost in a translation... Engine OUT at time 1:50...

Side note : The FFPLUM (french microlight federation) covers the costs of a yearly 'REV' (CFI supervised session to review basics). It is a no-cost flight and I take full advantage of it every time.
@Grodou Thanks for mentioning this, I was not aware, the value covered is 60euro per pilot per year. As I have not flown for a while I intended to book a one hour refresher lesson with my instructor and this will pay half of my lesson. He charges 2 euros per minute the engine turns.

Happy chappie

phil
 

wolfy

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Don't forget for those practicing with turbo charged engines they really should be idled back a good while before shutting down.
Which makes it a bit hard in a gyro unless you go super high, the engine at idle gives pretty much the same glide anyway.

wolfy
 

Doug Riley

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Depending on prop design and pitch, engine-idling can either stretch a glide or shorten it, compared to ignition-off. It's worth exploring both flight regimes in your particular gyro.

Like Anthom, I will sometimes slow up intentionally to lose altitude when I'm too high. Once you slow to, say, 10 mph below your best glide speed, your flight path will steepen noticeably. Be gentle with your back stick -- this is not to be a mid-air landing flare.

You must have a sense of when to speed up again. This recovery must take place at least a hundred, and probably more like two hundred, feet off the deck -- you will initially drop like a stone when you apply forward stick pressure to speed up.

I perform final approaches at idle whenever possible. It's good practice. This is not, however, safe or even possible at all airports. Fixed-wing traffic catching up to you from behind on "ten mile final" will not be looking UP and may not see you on your 45 mph steep approach.
 

All_In

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Depending on prop design and pitch, engine-idling can either stretch a glide or shorten it, compared to ignition-off. It's worth exploring both flight regimes in your particular gyro.

Like Anthom, I will sometimes slow up intentionally to lose altitude when I'm too high. Once you slow to, say, 10 mph below your best glide speed, your flight path will steepen noticeably. Be gentle with your back stick -- this is not to be a mid-air landing flare.

You must have a sense of when to speed up again. This recovery must take place at least a hundred, and probably more like two hundred, feet off the deck -- you will initially drop like a stone when you apply forward stick pressure to speed up.

I perform final approaches at idle whenever possible. It's good practice. This is not, however, safe or even possible at all airports. Fixed-wing traffic catching up to you from behind on "ten mile final" will not be looking UP and may not see you on your 45 mph steep approach.
Vertical descents are the most fun and I also tried slowing up to 20 mph. I can only see if I'm going to hit my target once I dive down to the best glide/landing speed of 60 mph. When I hit 60 and see the glide slopes target at the altitudes I tried so far it is a crapshoot. It can be 200 past the target now I have no room for a spiral. Would have just done a spiral or S turns if not with a CFI and playing to learn.

PS:
If the wind is calm I can find the altitude to pull out that is closer to the target each time. But the winds pick up, slow down, or change direction and it becomes a crapshoot and I'm guessing where to pull out.
 
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