Fatal - Magni M16, near Caposile airfield, Italy

TyroGyro

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63-yro pilot, crashed and burned shortly after take-off...



I believe this is the first fatal in Italy (in one of the "Big Three" gyros) since 2016, and only the second-ever in that country. [Italy has about 200 registered modern gyros.]
Italy, along with the UK and Germany, has among the best gyro safety records in the world.

The next report mentions 30 hours experience, although unclear whether total or on the new machine. Elsewhere described as an experienced pilot.


This was the third worldwide M16 fatal this year. [simple randomness, I'm sure]

Sincere condolences to all affected.
 
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fara

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Another sad news. My condolences to friends and family. 30 hours in a gyro is not experienced at all. That is barely getting to Sport Pilot level for a 40 year old let alone a 63 yo
 

Vance

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In my opinion based on my observation most 63 year old pilots can fly a gyroplane well by the time they have 30 hours of gyroplane experience.

Everyone is different and it depends on their background and currency.

I feel jumping to conclusions before an investigation is completed is counterproductive.
 

TyroGyro

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It's not clear whether that was all he had - or just on that particular machine.
 
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fara

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In my opinion based on my observation most 63 year old pilots can fly a gyroplane well by the time they have 30 hours of gyroplane experience.

Everyone is different and it depends on their background and currency.

I feel jumping to conclusions before an investigation is completed is counterproductive.

This was not a conclusion. This was a comment on the post calling the pilot experienced pilot from one of the sources cited.

30 hours is definitely not experienced. Its the time for a young capable very talented person to be amply ready to pass a strict SP check ride from a hard examiner who doesn't let too much slide. Not all us mortals. That is why its a minimum. FAA does not say this is what you should expect. It leaves it to instructors and examiners.

Lets think this through. Average time for an airplane private pilot license completion is 62 hours
A sport pilot does not do the following compared to a private pilot
1) No night flight (4 hours)
2) No controlled airport T/O and Landing (4 hours)
3) No under the hood time (2 hours)
4) No radio navigation (5 hours)
5) Cross country flights half the length (2 hours)

That's about 13 to 17 hours of work in flight. 62-17 = 45 hours. To be generous we can say 42 hours.
42 hours in a rotorcraft not an airplane. That's not much really IMHO.

So the rest of the skills in flight are the same between a private and sport pilot and those skills take private pilot students 42 hours on average to master. Now why would then a sport pilot be all good in 20 or 30 hours at 60+ years of age?
They aren't. That's the whole problem. I think we need to look at these things and adjust our and potential student's expectations. 62 hours for private pilot is average not just hours for 60+ year old students. Are private pilot students in general somehow less capable and talented than sport pilot or gyroplane, trike, or Light Sport Airplane students? That's a logical question that arises for us Sport Instructors to answer then? My answer. I doubt it. In fact I could say given that those students generally tend to be younger seeking private pilot, they are likely to be more capable and so on.
The numbers don't add up here at all and in my experience the numbers portray the reality I have seen. And yes definitely, everyone is different but certainly trends and averages are there
 
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Vance

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This was not a conclusion. This was a comment on the post calling the pilot experienced pilot from one of the sources cited.

30 hours is definitely not experienced. Its the time for a young capable very talented person to be amply ready to pass a strict SP check ride from a hard examiner who doesn't let anything. Not all us mortals. That is why its a minimum. FAA does not say this is what you should expect. It leaves it to instructors and examiners.

Lets think this through. Average time for an airplane private pilot license completion is 62 hours
A sport pilot does not do the following compared to a private pilot
1) No night flight (4 hours)
2) No controlled airport T/O and Landing (4 hours)
3) No under the hood time (2 hours)
4) No radio navigation (5 hours)
5) Cross country flights half the length (2 hours)

That's about 13 to 14 hours of work in flight. 62-17 = 45 hours. To be generous we can say 42 hours.
42 hours in a rotorcraft not an airplane. That's not much really IMHO.

So the rest of the skills in flight are the same between a private and sport pilot and those skills take private pilot students 42 hours on average to master. Now why would then a sport pilot be all good in 20 or 30 hours at 60+ years of age?
They aren't. That's the whole problem. I think we need to look at these things and adjust our and potential student's expectations. 62 hours for private pilot is average not just hours for 60+ year old students. Are private pilot students in general somehow less capable and talented than sport pilot or gyroplane, trike, or Light Sport Airplane students? That's a logical question that arises for us Sport Instructors to answer then? My answer. I doubt it. In fact I could say given that those students generally tend to be younger seeking private pilot, they are likely to be more capable and so on.
The numbers don't add up here at all and in my experience the numbers portray the reality I have seen. And yes definitely, everyone is different but certainly trends and averages are there
In my opinion Abid one of the reasons the average hours of dual instruction for a fixed wing private pilot certificate is so high is because most learners don’t fly regularly. They typically stretch their dual out over more than a year. There is a lot of dual expended learning what they forgot between lessons.

Another reason is many of the fixed wing time builder flight instructors aren’t very good. They want to build hours more than they want to teach. It is not unusual for a Private Pilot to have had two or three flight instructors because CFIs have left for a real job with the airlines.

I have seen many fixed wing primary students finish up their private pilot single engine land in the minimums with one of my flight instructor mentors and age doesn’t seem to have much to do with it.

A gyroplane flight instructor has no time building goal because there is nowhere to go. Hopefully he is instructing for the love of it because he won’t last long if he is a flight instructor for the money

In my opinion your well thought out and nicely articulated theory about average hours of dual for fixed wing private pilot is fundamentally not applicable to a gyroplane learner who flies regularly with a good flight instructor.

I do not share your opinion about people in their sixties and find that many in their sixties learn very quickly; particularly those who have had continuing education in their careers like fire fighters or doctors. Experienced aviators are quick to pick things up because the principles are the same.

It takes as long as it takes and someone is ready for their proficiency check ride when both their flight instructor and they feel they are ready.
 

fara

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In my opinion Abid one of the reasons the average hours of dual instruction for a fixed wing private pilot certificate is so high is because most learners don’t fly regularly. They typically stretch their dual out over more than a year. There is a lot of dual expended learning what they forgot between lessons.

Another reason is many of the fixed wing time builder flight instructors aren’t very good. They want to build hours more than they want to teach. It is not unusual for a Private Pilot to have had two or three flight instructors because CFIs have left for a real job with the airlines.

I have seen many fixed wing primary students finish up their private pilot single engine land in the minimums with one of my flight instructor mentors and age doesn’t seem to have much to do with it.

A gyroplane flight instructor has no time building goal because there is nowhere to go. Hopefully he is instructing for the love of it because he won’t last long if he is a flight instructor for the money

In my opinion your well thought out and nicely articulated theory about average hours of dual for fixed wing private pilot is fundamentally not applicable to a gyroplane learner who flies regularly with a good flight instructor.

I do not share your opinion about people in their sixties and find that many in their sixties learn very quickly; particularly those who have had continuing education in their careers like fire fighters or doctors. Experienced aviators are quick to pick things up because the principles are the same.

It takes as long as it takes and someone is ready for their proficiency check ride when both their flight instructor and they feel they are ready.

Hi Vance
I think going from zero to hero in 20 - 25 hours unless you have previous recent aviation experience is highly suspect not only in gyroplanes but also in trikes where I trained 52 pilots and many add-ons over 3700 hours. Its not just gyroplanes. I saw 2 flight schools offering zero to hero in 2 weeks in SP courses in airplanes at Winter Haven and Lakeland eventually have to give it up because those expectations are not realistic. I am seeing they are not realistic unless I drop my standards for my students. Part 141 schools do something in that vein but those are a different breed of students and those times to achieve private pilot licenses from Part 141 are also included in average of 62 hours.
Of course it takes what it takes but when we keep saying FAA rule requires 20 hours and they keep finding on the web oh look I can be a pilot in 20 hours without a medical. No matter what, the guy is showing up hoping he will be done in less than 20 - 30 hours and if he isn't, he isn't happy because the expectation was something unrealistic to begin with. Better start with a more realistic expectation and of course it then takes what it takes. I find it ironic that its the retired customers who don't have the time to commit to learn to fly with it takes what it takes. There is always something that needs their time even though they are not obliged to do any work. Its a self imposed prison. I just find it interesting at a personal level and wonder what I will do in retirement.
We shall agree to disagree. Fly safe.
 
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Doug Riley

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In my experience, teaching both sailing and gyro-flying for a couple decades, there IS a difference between mature adult learners on the one hand and teen/20-somethings on the other. The younger ones have faster reflexes. They learn a motor skill with FAR fewer repetitions than their parents.

We older folks are accustomed to being competent in life (especially if we've been successful enough to afford such an expensive pastime). We may struggle when charged with a new set of tasks in which we are decidedly INcompetent. Kids don't mind bumbling; they're used to it.

On the downside, the younger ones have short attention spans and relatively poor judgment. They don't necessarily process the downstream consequences of what they do. This is probably attributable to both slow physical brain maturation and limited experience in life.

Most learners reach a stage at which they are competent but "brittle." That is, they can do the task but have to employ 100% of their brain power in the process. A novel distraction -- engine out, a bee in the cockpit -- is enough to overwhelm them. I suspect that most pilots in the 20-50 hour experience range fit into this category. I'm not sure there's a hard-and-fast rule about the effect of age on "brittleness."
 

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Doug As usual I agree with you. I have a few hours training with Mark Sprigg and after each lesson I spend some time journaling to more deeply communicate to him and to self-examine the experience. One of the things I have noticed is an opportunity to experience what I know as "sensory saturation". What I am experiencing here is the early moments in an environment where all of my "feedback channels' are fully employed by multiple and simultaneous inputs and processing the appropriate responses of those inputs are potentially impaired. Nothing bad has happened but I certainly sense the start of freezing up. I attribute this to several factors 1) being a concern about damaging Marks $100k machine; 2) the excitement of anticipation, 3) the complexity of balancing operating activities that are new and 4) just not having enough experience to coordinate the feel yet. Its one thing to dream and imagine rolling down the runway on a takeoff roll but the actually experience is something just different and as a result gives you different elements to process. Finally I'm creeping up to that age (60) where my neuro-motor responses are beginning to diminish and realize this could be a factor down the road.

Mark teaches out of Jack Edwards in Orange Beach AL. I think this is/was the busiest non-towered airport in the country though a new tower may be completed by now. My first experience attempting TO there had me watching for traffic (5-6 planes in pattern), listening to the radio, controlling the pre-rotator and cyclic with my right hand watching the rotor speed build, feathering the brake and throttle inputs with my left hand while rolling onto the active and lining up position and steering with rudder from the hold short. Not the lineup first and then pre rotate of some types. Busy for sure but nothing extraordinary but more things to control than I had previously experienced.

The feeling of being overwhelmed can happen very quickly and I feel from a training standpoint attention to this issue needs to be addressed to determine a pilots propensity for, if and when it might tend to occur. I think also this neuromuscular response dynamic is really something we greyhairs should honestly pay attention to and represents a significant risk.

I would recommend to any student pilot the post flight journaling to be time well spent processing the lessons.
 

fara

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I notice that this gyroplane was M-16 Plus meaning powered by the Rotax 915iS engine. I see the gentleman and his is fairly light frame and I see the eye witnesses report

"witnesses saw the ultralight make two or three circular turns and then fall to the ground from about 50 meters high. in the tremendous impact with the ground the gyro caught fire"

This is loss of control and it happens when rotor thrust is diminished and power is kept in at a high setting. Meaning a likely low G event. That is not speculation. That is a tell tale sign of loss of control due to low g event. Magni M16 is not known for getting to that state without a series of incorrect pilot inputs or control circuit failure. I will speculate that control circuit for a 30 hour old gyro is highly unlikely to fail if assembled by professionals at the Magni factory. In general when properly assembled the metal control rods and 8mm or 10 mm rod ends can handle many many times more load than what will ever be experienced in normal use.

Also:
"Falzes had recently bought it, he didn't even have 30 hours of flight"

Its not clear if the pilot had only 30 hours in gyroplanes or pilot had only 30 hours in "this" gyroplane and many more in some others.

If pilot had only 30 hours in gyroplanes total and was flying a 915 powered light machine one up, I think he could have highly benefitted from more training in that specific or at least like model powered by the same engine from a competent instructor.

In general, I would highly recommend people take proper and enough training and take transition training when going from one model to another or when switching to a 915 powered model from a 912 for instance. There is such a thing as too much power if you have no idea how to handle it. Its simple but that does not mean it comes naturally necessarily.
 
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DonBishop

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I think we can all agree this is a sad event, regardless of our opinions on experience. I'm a fixed wing guy looking at transitioning to a gyro (but still keeping my Mooney!) for the sheer joy of flying one. I'm 60, and anticipate getting through the training fairly quickly, but not at the expense of my learning to fly safely. These conversations are valuable to me, and I really appreciate the civility of the conversations. That said, I hope to NEVER be the topic of any post on this forum.
 

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DonBishop - Highly recommend training in same make and model Gyro that you plan to solo in. I have found pilots of the high performance fix wing planes tend to focus on flying by instruments. Focus on what’s happening outside the cockpit with the gyros rather than the glass panel. Best of luck in the transition. Gyro flying is a lot of fun, but seeing lots of accidents during the beginning of the transition. Also recommend getting training from multiple instructors and don’t rush the training. What gyro are you planing on buying?
 

DavePA11

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So based on these two accidents this week we know the M16 can spill significant amount of fuel on impact during an accident to cause fires.

Do pilots of M16 carry fire extinguishers?

It also appears base on accidents the AR-1 is less likely to have issue with fire on impact which I assume is due to the AR-1 metal fuel tank? Great reason to consider AR-1 instead of Magni since burns are the worst to recover from.

Are there fire extinguishers that go off on impact available so potentially be mounted under fuselage to help prevent these huge fire balls?

safecraft seems to have a system
 
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Sv.grainne

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I don't know if a fire extinguisher in an open area such as a crash site would do any good. I installed a Halon system in the engine room of our sailboat sized based on the confined engine space.
 

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Maybe fuel tank bladders are the answer to prevent large amounts of fuel from spilling on impact?
 

TyroGyro

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So based on these two accidents this week we know the M16 can spill significant amount of fuel on impact during an accident to cause fires.

It's a sad fact that about 75% of Eurotub fatal accidents (all models) are accompanied by post-crash fire.

One or two of such accidents were deemed to be otherwise survivable, but mostly not.
 
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fara

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It's a sad fact that about 75% of Eurotub fatal accidents (all models) are accompanied by post-crash fire.

One or two of such accidents were deemed to be otherwise survivable, but mostly not.

I doubt most of those accidents are survivable but a few may be and for those its really bad way to go. Also, its harder to determine what may have happened if everything is charred up.
 

Resasi

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Lost a friend Johny Camm in Kenya due a post crash fire and ruptured seat fuel tanks on a Dominator, another friend Ivan Smith escaped but suffered badly burnt hands trying to free Johny when his safety belt wouldn’t unbackle. Johny died while being cassevaced back to Europe.

Rotor impact while in a low turn close to the ground while landing in poor light was apparently the case.

There are substances that can be put in fuel tanks to help reduce post crash fire. Foamex has quite a long record in this field.

 

500e

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As @Illini85 says
The feeling of being overwhelmed can happen very quickly and I feel from a training standpoint attention to this issue needs to be addressed to determine a pilots propensity for, if and when it might tend to occur. I think also this neuromuscular response dynamic is really something we greyhairs should honestly pay attention to and represents a significant risk.
@Vance said

In my opinion Abid one of the reasons the average hours of dual instruction for a fixed wing private pilot certificate is so high is because most learners don’t fly regularly. They typically stretch their dual out over more than a year. There is a lot of dual expended learning what they forgot between lessons.

Another reason is many of the fixed wing time builder flight instructors aren’t very good. They want to build hours more than they want to teach. It is not unusual for a Private Pilot to have had two or three flight instructors because CFIs have left for a real job with the airlines.

I was 60 when I first flew a helicopter & have no fixed wing time, overload was there for quite a while, the muscle memory takes longer to implant at that age..
I still Don't know how I would react in an emergency & we always did autos to the ground, so my flying is on the conservative side.
Took a fair bit longer than minimum time to learn & I still have reoccurring training to catch bad habits before they take root.
 
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