Flying in the Window!

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,739
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
For the last 4 days we have had mist in the morning and gusty winds in the afternoon. There is a window of opportunity between when the fog burns off and the winds pick up. I vowed to catch that window today.

SMX went VFR at 9:55 but the ceiling was still a little low for me.

I hurried through my tasks and arrived at the airport at 10:30. It was looking like a nice day to fly. There was a little haze but mostly high clouds and blue skies. A ground person would say it was a clear day and so did the ATIS but as we climb into the heavens our world expands and things in the distance seemed shrouded in mist.

The local terminal area forecast predicted winds at 270 degrees at 18kts gusting to 28kts by 2:00. It is almost 5:00 now and Papa has winds at 300 degrees at 11kts.

I found two small problems on my preflight so I did not push out of the hangar until 11:30.

I called ground and received an enthusiastic “good morning Vance, Experimental Gyroplane 142 Mike Golf runway 30, taxi via Alpha.”

It was a little cool, 47 degrees F and that slowed the warm up.

The magneto check went well; I switched the transponder to mode C and changed to tower frequency as we approached the hold short line. “Experimental 142 Mike Golf, runway 30 clear for takeoff, straight out with a slight right approved.”

The blades seemed a little slow to come up but when they did it was quite suddenly. The Predator tried to leap into the air like a spirited mare. She climbed out quickly and I pulled the power back at 800 feet and rumbled across the valley at 70kts IAS.

The water tower came into sight and I checked SBP’s ATIS, sky clear wind 280 at 18kts. So much for my weather window.

I called San Luis Tower 13 miles to the south and was to report a 2 mile left 45 for runway 29.

It sounded a little busy with an RV flying closed traffic and several inbound aircraft.

The ocean always takes my breath away. Avilla looked mysterious in the mist like it might have dinosaurs or a big monkey.

We rumbled down the beach making about 40 kts of ground speed.

We slipped though the pass and around the bend, SBP came into view and I called the 2 mile 45.

Things were sounding a little hectic in the tower. “Experimental 142 Mike Golf, if you don’t mind I would like to extend your down wind and call your base.” I love it when they talk like that. I was number 3 behind the RV. I was three miles out when he called my base. I never saw the RV. I ran her up to 90kts of indicated airspeed and was making a little over 70 kts of ground speed. He cleared two aircraft to take off ahead of me and extended the downwind of a Learjet, number two behind the gyroplane.

I expected the ramp to be full but it was not.

The Learjet pulled up behind The Predator as I was sitting down to lunch. The all pointed and looked as they passed and a woman in their party posed for pictures leaning against The Predator provocatively. It seemed to me the fuel truck was connected to the Learjet for a long time.

I was still working on my window so we were off by 1:00 with a left crosswind departure to the south along the 101. There were some emergency vehicles on the 101 north and a several mile long traffic back up. It reminded me of the wonderful freedom that flying brings.

I popped over the hill and descended to 500 feet over the Pacific. I love the way the coast line curved into the mist. There were lots of seagulls and some pelicans flying low over the water as we made our way south past the Oceano Airport.

It was a little bumpy over the Santa Maria Valley but nothing like they had predicted. I was number two behind an RV; I don’t think it was the same one.

I am back at the hangar now and I need to get home to Ed. She was training a new person today and the 25th is when she does her auto pays so she probably needs to be held.

I didn’t see John King this morning but he seems to be getting along with Ed.

Thank you, Vance
 

Attachments

scottessex

Sling-Wing Pilot
Joined
Nov 12, 2003
Messages
11,094
Location
central, ga
Aircraft
Dominator 582
Total Flight Time
200+
Thanks for the flight Vance, I enjoyed it. I have not been able to fly lately because of some bruised ribs, but hopefully I will feel better in short time.
I did help Mama Gyro plant some flowers today but it is not the same Thanks..... :)
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,739
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
I will be looking for the window.

I will be looking for the window.

Glad to have you along Wayne.

You have had so many aviation adventures that I take it as a high compliment that you enjoy flying with me.

Glad to have you along Scott, I know it is no substitute for flying as pilot in command.

Sorry to hear about your ribs.

How did you hurt them?

The key is to not laugh.

I am flying up to Hollister Friday for the Hollister Air Show on Saturday and Sunday.

I hope I can find a window.

There are often 50kt winds around King City in the afternoon.

I am staying with Mike.

Ed is driving up after work.

Mike’s wife is a big quilter and has her own quilting room. Ed is a quilting enthusiast too and she would love to have a quilting room.

Thank you, Vance
 

Monarchist

MTO Sport Owner
Joined
Apr 20, 2007
Messages
1,066
Location
Austin, TX
Aircraft
MTO Sport, R22/R44, Cirrus SR22-G3 Turbo, Bonanza B35-N (dead engine), Aurora Butterfly
Total Flight Time
800
You have a beautiful ship and a beautiful part of the country to fly her in. Your exploits and your well-written reports make you an excellent ambassador for our sport. I could read this kind of stuff all day! Hopefully will be writing about my own flying adventures later this year...
 

Frank

Newbie
Joined
Apr 13, 2011
Messages
8
Location
Knoxville, TN
Aircraft
Cessna 172
Vance,

I've been lurking here for awhile and enjoy your reports tremendously.

Weather permitting on Monday I hope to enjoy my first ride in a gyro with Tim O'Connor. If nothing else to get an up close introduction.

Frank
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,739
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
I look forward to your flying adventures.

I look forward to your flying adventures.

Thank you John,

I am glad to have you along and look forward to your writing.

You have demonstrated ability to articulate thoughts that you are unfamiliar with that should make your flying posts particularly interesting and your aviation progress fun to follow.

Writing about my flights has helped me to understand feelings that might have gone unexplored if I had not been trying to communicate the magic of a particular experience with people on the forum.

As an audience the forum readers are both easy because they like everything about gyroplanes and difficult because they will spot anything disingenuous.

Thank you, Vance
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,739
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
Different than a 172.

Different than a 172.

Thank you Frank,

I appreciate the compliment.

I worry when there is nothing particularly challenging in a flight.

It seems a better story if I am late, lost, have mechanical difficulties or weather challenges.

For me every flight is special.

I read what I have written and it seems so lifeless compared to the experience.

I am pleased you enjoy coming along on even the simple flights where everything goes well.

I am delighted if my posts help to motivate you to get over the hump and into the air in a gyroplane. I feel you will find it is very different than you fixed wing experience.

I find more pleasure in flying than I imagined I might and my posts only scratch the surface of the joy I have found.


In my experience just spending time with Tim will be a very rewarding.

His level of focus and energy is an inspiration to me.

I hope you will write about your experience and take some pictures.

I have many wonderful memories of my early flights that you have an opportunity to rekindle.

Thank you, Vance
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,739
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
The Window is Now!

The Window is Now!

I should be out flying because the window is now, AKA 8:15 am.

The terminal area forecast for SMX at 10:00 AM calls for winds at 300 degrees at 15kts gusting to 25kts and at 1:00 winds at 300 at 22kts gusting to 32. SBP is only slightly better.

I am working with my weather program, Weathermeister, trying to understand the weather and plan tomorrow’s flight to Hollister. Even though the flight direct is only 128 nautical miles we will be flying across at least four distinct weather systems

It is currently IFR at Hollister with 100 foot ceilings and minimum IFR at Salinas.

It is clear here and looks like a lovely day to fly.

I still remember trying to fly to Watsonville on this same date 4 years ago when I was still a student pilot and needed all the sign offs to go cross country. We had overcast till 1:00 and then a line of thunderstorms from Paso Robles all the way to Watsonville. I drove Mike, my live in CFI crazy with calls because he was at SBP and had a view of the Cuesta grade. I made quite a few calls to Lockheed Martin. I ended up taking the truck.

Hollister is further inland so it should have less fog than Watsonville but I still have the wind howling down past King City in the afternoon.

I was just on the phone with Jim Belland sharing stories about trying to deal with weather, Jim in his sloop and me in the gyroplane. It is a very different world than traveling in a car and sort of different than touring on a motorcycle.

Weather planning is becoming an oxymoron for me.

I am becoming confused on a higher level.

Thank you, Vance
 

gyroman

Never-ending gyro builder
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
617
Location
Alvin, TX
Aircraft
Building a Honeybee
Total Flight Time
15 minutes
Another great story Vance!

Thanks for taking us along.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,739
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
Off to Hollister!

Off to Hollister!

Thank you for coming along Toby.

I appreciate the kind words.

Hope to see you on your visit to California and maybe go flying.

I am off to Hollister.

It is 6 am and the winds at San Luis Obispo are already 330 degrees 18 gusting to 24 and forecast to get worse.

My heading past SBP is 335 degrees.

Visibility is unrestricted because the wind has blown the fog away.

I hope to depart at 7:00 AM local time.

Thank you, Vance
 

StanFoster

Newbie
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
16,880
Location
Paxton, Il
Aircraft
Helicycle N360SF
Total Flight Time
1250
Vance- Lovely story and beautiful pictures once again. I had to laugh at your "Flying in the Window" title. Barbara and I were watching American Idol the other night...and ker wham.....I was on the floor looking up at a skylight just when a dove came flying into the window. I dont see how it didnt knock itself out. I went outside and didnt see any dove laying around.

Stan
 

gyroman

Never-ending gyro builder
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
617
Location
Alvin, TX
Aircraft
Building a Honeybee
Total Flight Time
15 minutes
Hey Vance,

I land in Burbank around 6pm on Memorial Day, leaving Saturday June 4th morning.

I hope I can get some time away from work to meet up with you, it would be a honor and pleasure to meet you and see the Predator...
 

Arnie Madsen

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Messages
4,352
Location
Southport Aerospace - Manitoba Canada
Aircraft
Bell 47 G2
Vance - your picture #4 with The Predator in front of the Lear Jet is unique. Look at all the aircraft in the background , the green scenery in front , the green scenery farther back , and the mountains even farther back.

Not to mention the color co-ordination of all four aircraft in the picture.

This is a one in a thousand photo.

There seems to be a gift that follows you around Vance. Not sure how else to say it.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,739
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
You have a sharp eye Arnie

You have a sharp eye Arnie

Thank you Arnie,

Ed is trying to teach me about composition but my motivation for the picture was much simpler.

I liked the idea of a Learjet extending the downwind for an experimental gyroplane. I feel it is probably a little bit of class envy slipping in there, either aviation of fiscal. I missed the picture of the pose because I was ordering. The waitress noticed it.

I missed the things you saw and I am grateful for the lesson, I see it now because you have described it so well.

I also see a wonderful divergence of design and purpose.

I will leave the art up to Ed but when she is not along I have to pull double duty.

I love my new camera and life does treat me well.

Thank you, Vance
 
Top