Fatal - MTOSport 5Y-KWV, Kenya

TyroGyro

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I can’t speak for other countries but here in Australia the gyro hours flown are not a true representation of the current situation due to the reluctance of some certified pilots to record their hours.
Then there is the ‘mustering pilots‘ who on average would do up to 1000 hours a year but unfortunately don’t officially record their hours due to the legality surrounding commercial gyro operations.
The significance of accidents per hours flown appears to be misunderstood by some people, but is extremely important to insurers when calculating the exorbitant premiums we are now faced with.

Hi Rick

I have focused exclusively on the Big-3 "Eurotub" manufacturers, principally because:-

1) the data on accidents, machines & hours is accessible, albeit with some difficulty, as opposed to unknowable
2) The factory-built Eurotubs are at the vanguard of the current gyro renaissance. Most newbies will be flying one of these machines, and into the future.
3) I have a maths & stats background, so was up for the task.
4) I fly one !
 
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Rick E

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Hi Rick

I have focused exclusively on the Big-3 "Eurotub" manufacturers, principally because:-

1) the data on accidents, machines & hours is accessible, albeit with some difficulty, as opposed to unknowable
2) The factory-built Eurotubs are at the vanguard of the current gyro renaissance. Most newbies will be flying one of these machines, and into the future.
3) I have a maths & stats background, so was up for the task.
4) I fly one !
Is it an enforced component of your licensing system to report hours flown?

Being the person responsible for sourcing insurance for Aussie gyro pilots I find the thread very interesting, great work.
 

TyroGyro

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It is required to give an annual estimate for insurance purposes in the UK.

Actual lifetime total hours on a machine are recorded from time to time by the authorities (CAA/LAA). The exact trigger events prompting those recordings, I am still unsure of, as a newbie.

Annual/100hr Service or Permit Renewal?
 

Tyger

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Do you think Tyger, that the addition of full enclosures is making the underlying gyro safer, about the same, or less safe? Do you think they are generally well engineered conversions or do you think they are being treated as benign add ons?
I am no engineer, but in general I think enclosed tandems are never going to be as stable as open ones. The aerodynamic problems the enclosures cause are not confined to issues of yaw. I know that Magni have been trying to come up with an enclosed tandem for many years, but they have yet to bring one to market, not for lack of interest or desire, but because they have not been happy with the aerodynamics involved.
I seems clear that not all amateur builders understand the problems enclosures can cause. I assume you saw this link, which TyroGyro recently posted in another thread:
https://www.bea.aero/uploads/tx_elydbrapports/BEA2018-0201.en.pdf
"Witnesses and gyroplane pilots and builders indicated that the installation of a canopy that completely encloses the cockpit significantly modifies the behaviour of a gyroplane. They stated that, after installing a cockpit canopy on an existing airframe, a lack of yaw control had been observed and that it is difficult to counteract the engine effects. The tail assembly must therefore be modified accordingly (position, dimensions) in order to obtain sufficient control at low speed. They pointed out that a two-seater gyroplane is usually more difficult to fly with a cockpit canopy than without."
 
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TyroGyro

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And yet, Calidus and ELA-10, in terms of fatals/hulls seem to be the safest factory-built gyros flying today!
About a 1 in 200 fatal/hull rate....

The French accident is a tragic case of "leave well alone" or "stop now - can't you see where this is going?"
 
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Tyger

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And yet... assuming that they actually are safer, it is hard to imagine that the canopies are what is making them so. Would you like to attribute their apparent greater statistical safety to any particular design element?
 

TyroGyro

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Professional design?

I genuinely don't know. I just follow the stats.
 

Tyger

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LOL... okay. I meant amongst the other factory-built models.
 

TyroGyro

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I don't know. They are the fastest gyros.

My instructor always said "Airspeed, Airspeed, Airspeed !"

Maybe? They have more Energy? That's all I can offer....
 
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WaspAir

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Control over airspeed, and judgment about what speed to choose in each situation, are important, but otherwise, your instructor's admonishment sounds like a fixed wing stall avoidance mantra to me and not terribly meaningful for gyros.

Faster does not seem to translate to safer in my understanding.
 

TyroGyro

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What are your views on the tradeable "buckets of energy" theorem proposed by so many 'gurus' in the sport, WaspAir?

Height/Speed/RPM/RRPM
 

WaspAir

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What are your views on the tradeable "buckets of energy" theorem proposed by so many 'gurus' in the sport, WaspAir?

Height/Speed/RPM/RRPM
I respect the H-V avoid region. Otherwise, rrpm takes care of itself, and airspeed between 0 and Vne is pilot's choice.
 

fara

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I'm not claiming it to be a perfect test, but it is relatively easy and inexpensive to do and I think it might give an indication of potential instability in a hard sideslip or slow flight with a strong crosswind, etc. Do you have a better test?

If you mean sideslip for x-wind landing factor, there isn't much of a problem. Otherwise sideslips are useless in a gyroplane. You don't need them to lose altitude for instance. Stability criteria can be found in standards. You are simply looking for static stability to external forces. Aircraft should tend to return towards original position to small disturbances. It's a basic simple flight test at different speeds. Usually the problems arise the faster you go. Not slower. Gyroplanes with canopy require pilots to use rudder when a change in speed and specially change in engine power happens. That is the only respect that they are "harder" to fly. Lazy feet pilots have an issue. Open cockpit gyroplanes have less of an effect in this. In rotary wing there isn't a wing (longitudinal) interaction when yaw disturbance is introduced from the wing (circle/rotor disc). The classic dutch roll test in airplanes. One wing does not start to produce higher lift than the other due to air with yaw rotation it sees but the tail (horizontal) does have a contribution but usually minor and controllable
The other way they are harder is there is no wind on you so you better watch your ASI or you will fall behind the plane
 
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Greg Vos

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In terms of hulls involved in fatal accidents, AutoGyro-GmbH is the 'safest' of the factory-built machines.

Just under 1% [including the two fatals this month]

Magni 1.6%

ELA 4.5%
Please explain your comment safest of the factory built machines? ....
 

Greg Vos

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"In terms of hulls involved in fatal accidents,..."

Then I give the percentages, by manufacturer.
Safest built is a contentious subject...as an example Auto Gyro has seen some terrible welding in a number of airframes and that part is done in the factory under the so called German precision...
I think sometime we need to look at what statistics do not tell us? ie: what stats do not reveal is also worth consideration.

Thank you for your efforts in showing us the data as you do it’s always of interest and I’m sure no small task to collect 👍
 

fara

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If you mean sideslip for x-wind landing factor, there isn't much of a problem. Otherwise sideslips are useless in a gyroplane. You don't need them to lose altitude for instance. Stability criteria can be found in standards. You are simply looking for static stability to external forces. Aircraft should tend to return towards original position to small disturbances. It's a basic simple flight test at different speeds. Usually the problems arise the faster you go. Not slower. Gyroplanes with canopy require pilots to use rudder when a change in speed and specially change in engine power happens. That is the only respect that they are "harder" to fly. Lazy feet pilots have an issue. Open cockpit gyroplanes have less of an effect in this. In rotary wing there isn't a wing (lateral) interaction when yaw disturbance is introduced from the wing (circle). The classic dutch roll test in airplanes. One wing does not start to produce higher lift than the other due to air with yaw rotation it sees but the tail (horizontal) does have a contribution but usually minor and controllable
The other way they are harder is there is no wind on you so you better watch your ASI or you will fall behind the plane

Here is a great example of a airfoil affecting rudder effectiveness in the same aircraft model instead of a thin plate (a La Magni type) showing you that just area and further back placement are only a part of the equation.
KitFox offers their standard thin flat tail and as an option offer what they call a Speedster tail which is a thicker symmetrical airfoil tail that has gap seals or no gap between vertical stab and rudder that enhance rudder effectiveness and yaw stability
 
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Philbennett

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I respect the H-V avoid region. Otherwise, rrpm takes care of itself, and airspeed between 0 and Vne is pilot's choice.

Agree. This is useful language and a great answer. It is the attempt to either dumb down or find some desperate desire to find alternative explanation with "folksy" language that finds people swimming in dangerous waters. If it takes longer to learn things properly then it just takes longer or you need to put more effort into the learning. One conclusion some refuse to face, because it isn't very commercial, is that not everyone should fly and some doing flight training should be told as much.
 

Doug Riley

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For beginning students (especially those just soloing) an obsession with airspeed is no bad thing. Many newbies tend to slow down without noticing it. Flying behind the power curve sneaks up on you, as it's nice and smooth; you may not notice until you need to climb out and can't.

I think that, for a SPORT aircraft as distinct from a working aircraft, robust slip-roll stability is quite important. Small gyros are too slow, too fuel-inefficient, too expensive and too limited in payload to make good cross-country cruisers. Yes, you can DO it as a novelty, but Mom's minivan this isn't.

As a result, people are going to want to play with the aircraft's maneuverability. Given that reality, a slip (even a hard one) should not be a coffin corner in this type of aircraft -- any more than a Pitts ought to be incapable of recovering from a spin.
 
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