Getting it home

MonkeyClaw

Newbie
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
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19
Location
Sedona, AZ
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Columbia 400, AR-1c on order
I'm heading to the Silverlight Aviation factory in a few weeks to do my build. It's still a ways off, but I've been fantasizing about how I'm going to get the machine home. The build is taking place in Zephyrhills, FL and I live in Sedona, AZ. I'm planning on finishing the build and heading home to wait for the check by the FAA. Silverlight does the first 12 hrs of the 40 hr flyoff, and then I would go out to finish off the flyoff while getting transition and additional training (I have my SP-Gyro license, so no issues with me doing the flyoff).

Of course, I would love to ferry it home. Throw some camping supplies in it and camp at a few different airports on the way. It's about 1700 nm, so it would be a good 20+ hours of flying taking into account winds and gas stops. I'd also need to think about weather, which can still be pretty convective during that time of the year. I have a lot of cross country FW experience, but this would be my first extended time in a gyro.

Other options are shipping and towing back in a trailer. Neither of those sounds like fun.

Is this the kind of adventure others would take? Cross country in a brand new build? I think it would be a lot of fun, and I'd much rather get those early hours in the more friendly environment out East and Midwest.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
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I feel it will be a great adventure.
I encourage you to take a flight that you will remember for the rest of your life.
My recommendation is to plan to follow the roads so if something goes wrong you can land near the road and you won’t have far to walk.
Plan well as there are a lot of airspace challenges along that route.
 

Rattler 1

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You need to go for it. After they fly it for 12 hours, the bugs should be minimal. You'll regret it if you don't.
 

Tyger

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I flew my new machine back from Perryville, MO to Hudson, NY, a straight-line distance of nearly 800nm, and did it all in one day. We did not actually fly in a straight line, of course, haha.
I had a very experienced pilot in the back seat to give me confidence, and to help me to dodge rainstorms and such. We took off at 0700 CDT and landed around 2100 EDT (after sunset), with five fuel/pee stops.
I won't ever forget it.
 
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GyroChuck

Gyro's are more fun
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I think you are forgetting one item. For thefirst 40 hours you are given a 25 mile test area around an airport you choose. You will not legally be able to fly the remainder of the test flight hours on a cross country flight.

You can ask for another flight test area at another airport such as your home airport. But as long as you still have flight test hours left you cannot legally fly from Florida to Arizona.

If you do decide to get your ship back to your home base and fly the remaining hours off. Be sure to get the DAR who certifies the gyro in Florida to add your home airport. Because your local DAR may not be able to add it for you. It will entail a trip to your local FSDO to have it added.

You should have some great flying time in your new gyro. Be safe have fun. I'm jealous.........
 

Tyger

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My impression was that he would finish flying off the remainder of those forty hours in Florida before departing for home...
 

GyroChuck

Gyro's are more fun
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My impression was that he would finish flying off the remainder of those forty hours in Florida before departing for home...
After rereading his first post I now agree with you.
 

Tyger

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Of course, I would love to ferry it home. Throw some camping supplies in it and camp at a few different airports on the way. It's about 1700 nm, so it would be a good 20+ hours of flying taking into account winds and gas stops. I'd also need to think about weather, which can still be pretty convective during that time of the year. I have a lot of cross country FW experience, but this would be my first extended time in a gyro.
I am not sure in what kind of FW you've done your XC flying, but doing a long trip in an open-cockpit aircraft takes a lot out of you, I can tell you!
If you can make that trip in under 30 flight hours, I'll be very impressed.
 

chrisk

Gyroplane CFI
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Round Rock TX
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I encourage you to fly it home. After the first 40 hours, most of the bugs should be worked out. As far as the route, I assume you will be going across northern NM? The distance between airports can be rather large (100+ miles), especially with headwinds. Plan conservative fuel stops. Expect 2 over night stops, if weather is good.

That said, I'm pretty sure you can find someone to ferry it home for you too.
 

Eric S

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Kingsland, TX
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I bet you could flight plan your stops at gyro friendly airports and never have to use your camping gear. We've got a bed, a cold beer and hangar space waiting for you in central Texas. Tools for maintenance too if you need it.

I've flown from here to Tucson in a Sport Copter Vortex single. Easy-peasy, but I had a motorhome chase vehicle for support.

Eric
 

Capt'n Gator

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I would suggest you hire someone like Greg Spiccola to fly with you, Greg is very experienced with long cross country trips in a gyro, he is also a great gyro CFI and you can maybe get some other endorsements on your trip. Tell him Gator sent you.
 

WaspAir

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I picked up a McCulloch J-2 once in Kentucky and flew it to northern California. Starter motor died immediately, FOD to the prop needed dressing before proceeding in Arkansas, needed a battery jump in Arizona, and the radio died while taxiing just after landing at the destination. Rapidly discovered a failed seal on a brake cylinder there. No ground support vehicle. A big adventure, but I met some nice people along the way.

I have usually done transcon gyro ferry flights by a southern route across Texas, southern NM and AZ, and then up central or coastal California as the terrain is more friendly than a direct assault on the Rockies.
 
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Tyger

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They say the Gadsden Purchase was made, along that southern route, just so that western travellers would not have to make that "direct assault", and with the idea of an eventual transcontinental railroad in mind.
 

chrisk

Gyroplane CFI
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I was thinking the direct route. The worst of it is north and west of Roswell. Still you can do all of it under 10,000Capture.PNGCapture2.PNG
 

Tyger

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Ooo, yah, but that sure looks like a LONG stretch of high-alt "nowhere" between BRG and SJN. Really bleak looking on the satellite imagery.
 

chrisk

Gyroplane CFI
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Round Rock TX
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Ooo, yah, but that sure looks like a LONG stretch of high-alt "nowhere" between BRG and SJN. Really bleak looking on the satellite imagery.
Yep! This is a great example of why you need to do flight planning and check the winds. A strong headwind can suck the range out of a gyro. 20 knots of head wind can make that 126 nm a 3 hour trip. That said, KGNT can be used to mitigate the wind (at the cost of going out of your way). And you should have a PLB with you. Look at satellite images. There is very little civilization along that path. No one will find you if you have an off site landing and your cell phone isn't going to work.
 

GyrOZprey

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Peter from LA ...flew his new AR1 from Florida (after 40 hr phase 1 completed) to California ... he has several YT videos documenting his journey!
He would be my "go-to-advisor" for this flight!
 

MonkeyClaw

Newbie
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Apr 10, 2019
Messages
19
Location
Sedona, AZ
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Columbia 400, AR-1c on order
Thanks everyone! The initial route would be determined by ease of flight/landing spots and ease of finding a place to sleep. I was hoping to use primarily UL gas, but I don't think that's going to be possible. I'd be flexible with time and route depending on the weather. I have a PLB that I keep in the FW and can bring with me. The gyro will also have ADS-B and I'm fine talking to ATC, although they often lose contact with lower-alt ops in the West. The machine also is being equipped with the extended tank, giving me 26 gallons total.

I'll check out Peter's videos, I watch a lot of his stuff anyway. Thanks for all of the suggestions and encouragement! I still have plenty of time to decide.
 
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