Flying my Xenon Gyroplane in the Colorado Rockies

ventana7

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Flying my Xenon in the Colorado Rockies


We recently had a thread that intimated that flying over unlandable terrain was poor piloting. While I agree with the sentiment- depending on where you live it is sometimes easier said that done.

Here is a video clip of what is one of my easier routes out of the Arkansas River Valley from my home airport of Salida, Colorado at 7,500'. There is a road along the river and in most places I could land on either fields or the road itself. The video clip does not look like it but I was always within gliding distance to the road.

I appreciate the sentiment of flying over landable terrain. For me I have a line of 14,000' peaks 8 miles west of my airport. I can go north up the valley a ways to Leadville- the highest airport in the US at 9,934'. Farther than that leads to another line of 14,000' peaks.

I can go directly south at 10,000' to get over Poncha pass and into the San Luis Valley which will lead me to routes east or west. To get east to the front range I have to fly about 11,000' to get over La Veta Pass.

Rob Dubin
 

Sky Gonso

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Enjoyed your video.
I'm in the Lake City area. I have found 2 places that train on gyros one in Spanish Forks UT and the other in Colorado Springs. Do you know of any one closer that offers training?
 

dunc

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I can HIGHLY recommend Mike Burton. of Pegasus Aviation Group in nearby Nephi UT. See http://www.pegasusag.com. Although they are an AutoGyro retailer, he is well experienced in many other makes/models. It is well worth the short, scenic, drive!
 

j bird

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I thought Mike moved there operations to Petaluma, Ca.
 

PW_Plack

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Yep! Pegasus closed up shop in Nephi at the end of May for the move. I'm not sure there's any gyro training happening in Spanish Fork now, either, so call before you plan. Airgyro's website says they've moved to Florida.
 

ventana7

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Salida, Colorado
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I reached out to [email protected] . I'll see what I get back. The link to Colorado Springs training is dead, so that is out.
Thanks Ed Leugemors
[/QUOTE

Aspen Flying club has gyro training through their affiliate American at Front Range Airport. They have a Calidus $129/hr wet. Not sure how many gyro FIS they have

Also a few gyro pilots there too.
 

Sky Gonso

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"His email contact is [email protected] He is CFI for gyroplane, Helicopter, Airplane/multi eng. Let us know what he says "

Cobus Burger reports that he is waiting on a LODA (Letter of Deviation Authority ) and may be available later this year with a Magni M24 and M16.

"Aspen Flying club has gyro training through their affiliate American at Front Range Airport. "

3 places in Denver, I may have to go there, we'll see how it works out.

Thanks to all
Ed Leugemors
 

DavePA11

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Hey Ventana - Been reading your website over past week or so, and amazing adventure on the seas. What ever brought you back to land locked state? Thought you would stay along one of the coasts? I use to take week off to sail along the Chesapeake when I was younger, and that was an adventure, couldn’t imagine sailing to the places you have over the years. I still remember feeling the land sway after getting off the boat from being on the water for a week. Ha...
 

ventana7

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Messages
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Location
Salida, Colorado
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Xenon Gyroplane, Cessna 182
Total Flight Time
960
Hey Ventana - Been reading your website over past week or so, and amazing adventure on the seas. What ever brought you back to land locked state? Thought you would stay along one of the coasts? I use to take week off to sail along the Chesapeake when I was younger, and that was an adventure, couldn’t imagine sailing to the places you have over the years. I still remember feeling the land sway after getting off the boat from being on the water for a week. Ha...
Glad you enjoyed the website.

I’m a Colorado native and even though I spent 17 years on a sailboat going around the world, the mountains are my true home.

For me it was more about the travel and visiting different cultures than the actual sailing. Sailing is OK, skiing is my passion. Been skiing for nearly 60 years and love it as much today as I ever did.

If you were bored enough to read about my sailing circumnavigation, you might like my other website about flying my Sparrowhawk gyro to all the lower 48 states. A record that lasted 14 years and which James Ketchell will be breaking any day now as part of his around the world flight.😀

Rob

Www.gyroamerica.com
 

DavePA11

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I’ll check it out! Thanks. I moved out to Colorado for work, and really haven’t done much other than look for a Husky to buy. I’ll have to try skiing again. I do live in mountains west of Evergreen and do some hiking but don’t want to run into mountain lion so rarely make it to the top. Maybe get a ski pass this winter since don’t have to worry about the mountain lions. Was hiking around red rocks and ran into a rattle snake. It was about 2 feet on my right side rattling away... I backed up and ran back down the trail. Ha. I don’t like snakes.
 

DavePA11

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Rob - What part of the US did you like the most while on your gyro trip around the US? Florida was probably hot and humid. Did it rain a lot in Washington state? Did you have any mechanical problems with the gyro? Land on any roads or stop at any McDonald’s on the way? Ha.

I only flew one long cross country in my PA-11 out to Oshkosh from Boston area and found out the seat was for show and not for sitting... on way back I stuffed extra foam on top of the metal seat frame. Ended up flying from back seat to stretch legs too. Can do that from the front.

Longest flight in gyro was around three hours up coast of Maine then back. The gyro I had wasn’t the best for cross country flights, but fun flight along coast out over the water... It wound be fun to take AR-1 or similar for a long trip.
 

alanbarker

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Glad you enjoyed the website.

I’m a Colorado native and even though I spent 17 years on a sailboat going around the world, the mountains are my true home.

For me it was more about the travel and visiting different cultures than the actual sailing. Sailing is OK, skiing is my passion. Been skiing for nearly 60 years and love it as much today as I ever did.

If you were bored enough to read about my sailing circumnavigation, you might like my other website about flying my Sparrowhawk gyro to all the lower 48 states. A record that lasted 14 years and which James Ketchell will be breaking any day now as part of his around the world flight.😀

Rob

Www.gyroamerica.com
Rob, I'm a new guy here, and just came across your post. I've started reading your log about your flight around the country. What a great adventure, and wonderful that you had your "crew" to support you along the way! I met James yesterday in Newport, RI. We had a nice talk; he's getting his gyro ready to cross the Atlantic.
 

ventana7

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Salida, Colorado
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Xenon Gyroplane, Cessna 182
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Rob, I'm a new guy here, and just came across your post. I've started reading your log about your flight around the country. What a great adventure, and wonderful that you had your "crew" to support you along the way! I met James yesterday in Newport, RI. We had a nice talk; he's getting his gyro ready to cross the Atlantic.
Welcome to the forum. Glad you had a chance to meet James. We’ve been emailing back and forth but never got to connect. He’s doing an awesome job, and Eddie and the support team he has are superb.

My trip was a personal thing and we did almost no publicity til the end. We just explored America slowly. If we found a place we liked we would pull out the bikes and hang around awhile, if not we would move on .

Rob
 

ventana7

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Rob - What part of the US did you like the most while on your gyro trip around the US? Florida was probably hot and humid. Did it rain a lot in Washington state? Did you have any mechanical problems with the gyro? Land on any roads or stop at any McDonald’s on the way? Ha.

I only flew one long cross country in my PA-11 out to Oshkosh from Boston area and found out the seat was for show and not for sitting... on way back I stuffed extra foam on top of the metal seat frame. Ended up flying from back seat to stretch legs too. Can do that from the front.

Longest flight in gyro was around three hours up coast of Maine then back. The gyro I had wasn’t the best for cross country flights, but fun flight along coast out over the water... It wound be fun to take AR-1 or similar for a long trip.
It sounds funny but the Midwest was one of my favorite places to fly. Iowa in a car is pretty boring, but from 500’ it’s beautiful. I loved flying across west Texas at 50’AGL or lower, as I could have landed anywhere. You can read about my forced landing into traffic on a busy street in Jacksonville. I love cross country fliying. My Sparrowhawk, was not the best XC machine , but did the job. My Xenon is quite civilized by comparison. Flew lots of XC in Australia in FW also.

For me often, it’s not the places, but the people you meet. Having lunch with crop dusters at some tiny airport in farm country. On the way back from Osh kosh to Colorado once we landed in podunk 10 minutes before dark and a blinding rainstorm. All 3 hotels were full as it was high school reunion. Total strangers gave us a new car to drive to the next town for a motel. They never even asked our names. Had lots of experiences like that.

Rob
 

alanbarker

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Welcome to the forum. Glad you had a chance to meet James. We’ve been emailing back and forth but never got to connect. He’s doing an awesome job, and Eddie and the support team he has are superb.

My trip was a personal thing and we did almost no publicity til the end. We just explored America slowly. If we found a place we liked we would pull out the bikes and hang around awhile, if not we would move on .

Rob
Rob, I'm 67 and still looking for a few more adventures. It may be crossing the country on a bike or trike, or perhaps doing something like what you accomplished. Great story, and thanks for taking the time to document it!

I'm just beginning looking into gyro's. I'm thinking open air, quick build like an AR-1, MTO, or Magni. If you had to choose today, any thoughts? Thanks!
 

DavePA11

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Alan,

They are all good and have their differences. Highly recommending going with gyro where you can get training, build assist and support. Figure out what you want to do with it. If cross country then pick one with good cruise speed such as the tandems instead of side by side. If you are on the east coast the AR-1 is manufactured right here in the US, and you can do the build and get training right in Florida. Other manufactures are over seas except for Sportcopter. Magni makes a great gyro too. I think it’s safer to do training on the same model of gyro you expect to fly so another reason for AR-1. The Magni M22 would be my second pick for open gyros that can cruise around 100mph.

Not all mechanics are willing to work on gyros so need to find someone near you to sign off on condition inspections if your not listed as the builder. I had a hard time finding someone in the MA area that would sign off on condition inspection so had local Rotax service center do the annual maintenance on the 912 engine then I did check list with local A&P. Most A&Ps have no knowledge of gyros or rotor systems unless you go with helo mechanic.

If you buy used make sure you inspected it since not all builders have same skill levels especially when it comes to wiring radios and other avionics! Highly recommend aviation grade wire too.

Dave
 
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