Flying my Xenon in the Colorado Rockies

DavePA11

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Nov 16, 2015
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Hi Rob,

Yup - that is the one I bought, and thanks for the info on it. Look forward to reading through it. I have about 800 hours flying off airport so this should be fun once I find a Husky to buy. Tried off airport flying in SC M912, but had to stick with level surfaces and hard to find.
1144982

Is this your gyro? The folks at the hanger in Salida said it was okay to take a look at it.
1144983
 

ventana7

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Dec 17, 2003
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1,535
Location
Salida, Colorado
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Xenon Gyroplane, Cessna 182
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Yep. That’s mine.

I have several yearly versions of Fly Idaho. Some of those strips give me sweaty palms while I’m sitting on the couch
 
Last edited:

ventana7

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Salida, Colorado
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Xenon Gyroplane, Cessna 182
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One of my airpark neighbors moved here from Buena Vista. He claims THAT city has the most windy weather!
I don’t wanna say it’s windy here BUT....

The constant strong wind whipping around here was wearing out our wind socks so fast, that we decided to go to aluminum ones. The new ones are 2 1/2 feet long tapered aluminum tubes we painted orange. Thing is none of the pilots noticed the difference and they are accurate most of the time anyway.

TRUE STORY

Rob
 

DavePA11

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I use to take the SC M912 out on very windy days to have fun. Couldn’t fly the fixed wing plane, but was a blast with the gyro.
 

ventana7

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In the flat lands it’s fun on windy days. My favorite was hovering take offs and landings. In 30 knots I could fly backwards or fly over the runway and just reduce power til I was zero ground speed then reduce a bit more to touchdown

In the Rockies though 30 knots usually comes with 1,500. Foot per minute downdrafts
 

DavePA11

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Never experienced any 1,500 fpm downdrafts. Flew around the mountains in NH, but didn’t hit any downdrafts there. How do you know where hey will be around the mountains here?
 

ventana7

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If it’s blowing 25 knots or more from the west it will be rough. The wind blowing perpendicular to the mtns causes it to smoothly flow up the west side of-the mtns with nice fun comfortable updrafts, then tumble roughly down the east side like a waterfall . Sometimes we get mountain waves that are a series of up and down drafts extending 60 miles downwind from the. Mtns.
 

DavePA11

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I rode some nice waves across the small mountains in Connecticut with my PA-11 once. That was a blast. Nose down and still climbing with power reduced... I am sure nothing like here around Rockies.
 

WaspAir

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Colorado front range
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Bell 47G-3B-1 / A&S 18A / Phoebus C, etc.
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stopped caring at 1000
The wave itself is powerful but glassy smooth. It is the rotor (the weather type, not the aircraft blade type) that will break your aircraft. We had a SuperCub tow plane come back to the former Black Forest Gliderport (just north of Colorado Springs) after a rotor encounter with more dihedral on the left wing than the right. This stuff is not for the faint-hearted or uninformed/ill-prepared.
 

ventana7

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Joined
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Location
Salida, Colorado
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Xenon Gyroplane, Cessna 182
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The wave itself is powerful but glassy smooth. It is the rotor (the weather type, not the aircraft blade type) that will break your aircraft. We had a SuperCub tow plane come back to the former Black Forest Gliderport (just north of Colorado Springs) after a rotor encounter with more dihedral on the left wing than the right. This stuff is not for the faint-hearted or uninformed/ill-prepared.

Must have been some serious wind shear.
My wife and I were coming back to Centennial in a C182 once after a trip down south (Don't remember if it was Santa Fe or Phoenix), but I flew about 45 or 50 miles east of the Front Range until I found smooth enough air to fly north. When we were abeam of Denver we headed west and bucked into it for half an hour til we got to Centennial.
 

WaspAir

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Yes, especially in the winter, there can be a nice long tube of rotor turbulence parallel to the mountains. I once rode on an Aspen Airways flight (Convair 580) from Denver to the Springs that went right down the rotor the whole way and we were tossed around like a dog's toy. (There was an elderly couple on board who thought it was the best thing since the roller coaster at Elitch Gardens, and they laughed and whooped with their arms up the whole trip, while other passengers looked to be in abject terror.) Drifting just a few miles to the east would have cured it, but the pilots were determined to keep their needles centered on the navaids.

The saving grace for the rotor is that one can often get above it if the ground obstruction that caused it isn't too tall. That's not practical for the wave itself.
 
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