I agree the gyroplane accident rate is too high;

Resasi

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Did A and B gliding certificates at 16 as an Air Cadet. They were seriously fun machines and it does seem to me to be rather a purer way of flying, rather like sailing dinghies instead of speed boats where a degree of skill is required.

We had winches instead or aero-tows and the climb-outs were pretty spectacular.

I am certainly thinking of possibly going back to it as my son in the UK has a soaring club ten minutes away.
 

JETLAG03

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@WaspAir the land outs are a subject of training. When training for my gyro license in France my instructor would call "pan moteur" (engine out) at the most inconvenient moments. We did specific engine out training coming down to maybe 1 metre off the ground before he told me I could re-apply power Then there was the on the way to/from training areas, in the process of doing other exercises, and any moment that amused him he would kill the power, he always said "engines die even in training so expect them anytime"

His training came to my aid very soon after my fourth hour of flying my machine solo, took off climbing nicely maybe 400', waved to friend as I passed the hanger, dropped my hand by my side and the engine went rather quiet.

I found myself no in panic but rapidly going through my options directly in front of me, seemed like ages but must have been a second or two, then I realised, when I dropped my hand, I hit the throttle lever dropping the engine to idle, opened the throttle and off I continued with no stress. I said a huge "thank you" to my instructor whilst climbing out and called him later that day to tell him, he laughed and said "engines die, be prepared, well done"

A punishing instructor is a very good thing.

phil (de fer)
 

WaspAir

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, , , it does seem to me to be rather a purer way of flying, rather like sailing dinghies instead of speed boats where a degree of skill is required.

We had winches instead or aero-tows and the climb-outs were pretty spectacular.
Sailplanes make me feel like a bird, while rotorcraft make me feel like a bug.

Winch launches are especially good if you have a fairly reliable lift source nearby (perhaps a wind-deflecting ridge), but the aero-tows we use at my club offer much more flexibility for the towplane to take you in any direction to find your first thermal of the day.

For those who've never seen it done, a 2000 foot cable on a powerful winch at one end of the field (initially stretched out with you hooked on at the other end) can get you up to around 1300 by the time you are above the winch and release the cable. I've enjoyed some automobile tows as well, that can be really inexpensive, if you have room for it; it's like a kid running with a kit string and you're the kite. Either way, the climb profile is impressive while very quiet. Not the high-g of a naval catapult, but you sure do get high in a hurry. The alternative, aero-towing, is like 3-d water skiing as you fly in linked formation behind the tug until you pick your spot to release the rope.

The video below shows winch launching with an unusually long cable from a very long runway. The red thing on the tow cable is a little parachute that opens to allow the winch to pull in the remaining cable (after glider release) against the drag from the 'chute without the whole cable falling to make a tangled mess on the ground.


Aerotow looks like this:

 
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NJpilot

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I know about one mechanical fault causing fatal accident and that was right from the start from amateur built assembly. The bolt connecting the cyclic to the pitch was not secured and worked itself out. Obviously if you do something like that in any aircraft, you are doomed.
The two gyroplane flight instructors I knew that died flying a gyroplane both had mechanical failures.
There's at least one case of a gyro cfi and his student (used to be on this forum) that died in what I recall was a zero-g type event in the pattern. Not apparently mechanically related. I believe it was an ELA.
ELA has had structural welding problems with sugaring not using back purge or solar flux on stainless welding which is a must in aviation welding where applicable.
There's literally VOLUMES of data on the inclusion of "pilot incapacitation" as a factor in small aircraft crashes. (If there's a passenger)

Above are all circumstances where a ballistic parachute system could have saved lives if deployed at 230 ft or above. Seems there's a "what ya gonna do" attitude toward these types of accidents. A ballistic parachute is something one can do.

In years past there's not been a viable ballistic system due to probable bridle tangling with the rotor. Galaxy ballistic chutes literally embrace the spinning rotor using a spinning inline bridle connection to isolate the chute. This has been proven with ground tests fired thru a spinning rotor. I'm eagerly awaiting the first customer reported gyro save.

 

JETLAG03

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I heard that the problem with a gyro that if by chance, one looses one rotor blade the vibrations kill the pilot/passenger in a manner similar to shaken baby syndrome true or false ??
 

loftus

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Sailplanes make me feel like a bird, while rotorcraft make me feel like a bug.

Winch launches are especially good if you have a fairly reliable lift source nearby (perhaps a wind-deflecting ridge), but the aero-tows we use at my club offer much more flexibility for the towplane to take you in any direction to find your first thermal of the day.

For those who've never seen it done, a 2000 foot cable on a powerful winch at one end of the field (initially stretched out with you hooked on at the other end) can get you up to around 1300 by the time you are above the winch and release the cable. I've enjoyed some automobile tows as well, that can be really inexpensive, if you have room for it; it's like a kid running with a kit string and you're the kite. Either way, the climb profile is impressive while very quiet. Not the high-g of a naval catapult, but you sure do get high in a hurry. The alternative, aero-towing, is like 3-d water skiing as you fly in linked formation behind the tug until you pick your spot to release the rope.

The video below shows winch launching with an unusually long cable from a very long runway. The red thing on the tow cable is a little parachute that opens to allow the winch to pull in the remaining cable (after glider release) against the drag from the 'chute without the whole cable falling to make a tangled mess on the ground.


Aerotow looks like this:

I'm looking to get my sailplane rating next year before and in place of my BFR. I think I want to do it in one shot and I am OK to travel. Any recommendations for schools /locations.
 

Greg Vos

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I heard that the problem with a gyro that if by chance, one looses one rotor blade the vibrations kill the pilot/passenger in a manner similar to shaken baby syndrome true or false ??
If you lose a blade the thing will come apart in seconds, it will shake for a few seconds but it will most likely break up in the air ..if you lose a prop blade it will rip the motor out in seconds and the CG will change and flight will not be possible
 
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hillberg

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Actually brain farts can be a moment in time you don't want when flying

Easier to open the closet pantry looking for milk and live then have a senior moment at a critical phase of flight.

Like landing a C-17 on the wrong air field?
 

WaspAir

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I
I'm looking to get my sailplane rating next year before and in place of my BFR. I think I want to do it in one shot and I am OK to travel. Any recommendations for schools /locations.
I always enjoyed the folks at Estrella Sailport / Arizona Soaring, just south of Phoenix. - - took my first glider acro instruction there. Mild winter weather and clear skies. I know a few others in California - Sky Sailing in Warner Springs would be a good choice. I don't know the east coast options well. I think you'll love it once you try it.
 

DavePA11

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I looked into soaring club up at Boulder CO and I didn’t find they were very helpful. Seemed they wanted me to join the club at $1000 per year before talking with me about it. Maybe just caught them at bad time or after bad flight. IDK.

I was a member at the Greater Boston Soaring Club in MA and they were great. Very nice group of people and extremely helpful. Lots of socially awkward MIT students. Ha. Smart people to chat with while supporting ground ops.

I only got in a couple of hours of instruction, but spent many a hours and weekends volunteering helping to launch the sail planes...

I ended up having more fun skydiving. Now that group of people were extremely unique or a bit nuts.. Skydiving crowd was all ages and mix of men and women. Really lots of fun to hang out with while waiting for your group to jump.

Maybe sell my plane and get into soaring again... not sure I am brave enough to pick up skydiving again. It’s a real adrenaline rush.
 
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BEN S

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Dave, I learned how to fly in a Sportcopter. After that I transitioned to fixed wings. I have flown many different fixed wings from Ercoupes to Mooneys and Pipers and Cessnas and even a Navion! Heck theres some I can't even remember. With the exception of the Grumman Cheetah (which handled very much like a gyro, if only it had a stick!) I refer to all of them as "driving a bus"....
Now that I'm back in a Sportcopter, I feel like I am ruined...It's like learning how to scuba dive in Gitmo, then becoming a Navy Diver and diving all over the world only to find that Gitmo was the last untouched reef on earth!!!
I can't wait to drive that M2! It wasn't ready when I was there in the fall....
 

BEN S

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Sorry, now back to your regularly scheduled show....
 

WaspAir

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I looked into soaring club up at Boulder CO and I didn’t find they were very helpful. Seemed they wanted me to join the club at $1000 per year before talking with me about it. Maybe just caught them at bad time or after bad flight. IDK.
...

I ended up having more fun skydiving. Now that group of people were extremely unique or a bit nuts.
Some clubs, including mine, are not set up as commercial flight schools and are wary of people who would stick around just long enough to get a rating and then disappear. They want long term members, and do training just to support members.

My skydiving experience exposed me to some real lunatic fringe types (no doubt they were at least a bit nuts).
 

Tyger

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Ben S, back on your tangent – I learned how to scuba while deployed with the Army at Sharm El Sheikh (Sinai), and have yet to find more pristine diving than in the Red Sea.
 

DavePA11

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Ben - Let me know how you like flying the M2 when you get a chance! Sounds like you had some fun with all the fixed wing planes!

Tyger - I did a little scub diving in Cayman Island when I was younger and amazing amount for colorful sea life there. Does Red Sea have a lot of sea life?

Wasp - I was with the Greater Boston Soaring Club for couple of years. Mainly helping out with ground operations and a few flights. Gave me a fun place to fly too on weekends. I might check out Boulder club again.
 

JETLAG03

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@TyroGyro makes sobering reading and the section "safety lessons" at the end of the report are certainly worthy of note for we amateur builders.

phil (de fer)
 

Tyger

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Dave, I haven't dived in Caymans, but I did in the Bahamas, and it's like an undersea desert there compared to the Red Sea, which is simply pullulating.
 
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