- May 26, 2019
- Cape Town
- R44/22 H269/300 MD 500 Magni (all); Xenon RST; DTA; ELA; MTO
- Total Flight Time
- 2480 odd (1300 gyro hours & counting)
The ears of the student or want to be gyro pilot can only take in what instructors demonstrate and preach .... sometimes we just need to speak with a bit more authority ...Although they may occur in the same phase of flight, I consider these situations to be radically different in severity and ease of recovery. Aborting a takeoff in a gyro is trivial when compared to attempting a stall recovery from low altitude in an airplane.
There is no reason that being "behind the curve" early in a gyro takeoff has to be lethal or even result in damage (put it back on the ground, duh!), whereas a low altitude airplane stall is pretty much guaranteed to be a significant NTSB event.
Some gyro designs do produce their own issues, such as rotor management for the Bensen-derived systems. The articulated rotor gyros I fly most often avoid that issue completely through their design. Design choices such as that can strongly influence "potential" safety, e.g. tricycle gear reducing the chance of a ground loop over a taildragger airplane. But stupid pilot tricks still arise. You can't make anything foolproof because fools are too creative for a designer to anticipate all they might do.
The question of concern is why are gyro pilots not getting the benefit of the potential safety designed into their aircraft? The problem lies between the ears of the pilots. I share Vance's puzzlement about how to fix it.
I come from a helicopter background and when I did my gyroplane Licence I was fortunate to fly with Len Klopper from Cape Town who was then a young and upcoming instructor at our local school, Len his words still in my ears today I hear him saying airspeed, airspeed, AIRSPEED! This is not a helicopter.. with airspeed you can get out of trouble, words I will never forget and words I say to all who fly with me.
Len did not need fancy programs or cartoon models or drawings to make sure that I appreciated the importance of airspeed in a gyroplane, thank you Len.
For that the lesson was worth every dime it cost.