I agree the gyroplane accident rate is too high;

Philbennett

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If you won’t see the divergence Phil; I won’t attempt to justify my opinion that we have divergent perspective.

I feel there is value in flight instruction as it is and want to make it better.

It appears to me you think flight instructors are doing a terrible job and gyroplane flight training needs to be completely changed.

If I have misinterpreted your perspective I apologize, it won’t be the first or last time.

I feel I am a good flight instructor and looking for ways to become better.

My flight instruction is constantly evolving with small changes in subtle ways based on what I learn each day.

I have no desire to patronize or debate you.
Honestly I really do wonder how you can conclude I think all instructors are doing a terrible job and that all flight instruction needs throwing in the bin.... it’s an incredible conclusion to make and and it happens quite wrong. Commenting upon things that seem ripe for change is not a wholesale change. I leave you to what is becoming an echo chamber.

Edited to add:- Vance I know you feel the need to make commentary on almost anything anyone says, except now you have adopted a new style of posting which isn't conversational its just some line items!

You started this thread off the back of some drift in the "question about pre-rotation" thread and your consistency is limited. When I questioned the accidents we currently have you jump in and just oppose a view for the sake of opposition... Telling all that its is coming down and you don't have a problem and you train XYZ and the insurance rate is golden....

Rather than constantly giving a sales pitch why not just actually write a paragraph an engage with peoples view and read what actually gets written as half of the time its the answer to the next question you feel so desperate to ask.

Stuff doesn't need wholesale change but you can't be so oblivious to the fact that there are elements within the current system that are failing - I can say that because the accident rate per hours flown is high, the type of mishaps are bizarre (regular take off and landings) and both are reflected in your insurance premiums required. Given the title of this thread (one that you started) it seems you at least agree with some of that.

I've given views already on what I would change, specifically what would you change? It might add some value to your posts rather than a bunch of line items that frankly waffle. (Nobody can take very much out of your post 90 or 95 because you tell people you want to change.. but not what you would change.

In post 92 you say:- I would like to address the training issues that may have prevented these eleven accidents.

What training issues are they? it might save an accident with some punter reading....
 
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JETLAG03

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It remains that everyone of these accidents is a pilot that an instructor at one time considered safe to fly solo. Assuming that instructors release their students at a minimum acceptable level of competence from which each one should begin to build his/her skill sets, then, it is not unreasonable to assume that these students/ new pilots have somewhere along the line lost/forgotten their training or simply panicked, or just had a brain fart, I, and I am sure you all, have read accident reports where high hours, qualified, experienced pilots have make foolish reactions costing dearly. Not all these accidents are low hours.

At the risk of some throwing their teddy bears out of their cots, college and 6th form (UK) students who take part in debating know there are two primary rules of debate.

1. Always respect the other person has a right to a point of view.
2. Debate the subject .... NOT ... the person.

Why lower yourselves to personal insults, we are all adults enjoying a fantastic hobby/sport/profession ... BEHAVE OR GO TO BED !!!!
 

Vance

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Yes I understand the nuance - I just question its reality and also the way in which that number got generated outside of a random number generator. It remains unhelpful as it inevitably creates an expectation in the mind of the student.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAR) requirements to earn a Sport Pilot Gyroplane certificate for someone who does not currently hold a pilot certificate are spelled out in part 61.301 to 61.313 with the privileges and limitations spelled out in part 61.315 of the FAR.

The FAR is available on line: https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp&n=14y2.0.1.1.2&r=PART

.The 20 hours of flight time required in 61.313 must include 15 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor in a gyroplane and at least 5 hours of solo flight training in a gyroplane in the areas of operation listed in 61.311 that must include

(i) 2 hours of cross-country flight training,

(ii) 10 takeoffs and landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport,

(iii) One solo cross-country flight of at least 50 nautical miles total distance, with a full-stop landing at a minimum of two points, and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 25 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations, and

(iv) 2 hours of flight training with an authorized instructor on those areas of operation specified in §61.311 in preparation for the practical test within the preceding 2 calendar months from the month of the test.

This is a very small part of what is required to apply for a Sport Pilot, Gyroplane certificate.

Most people who began as a primary student never finish and most end up with a lot more than 20 hours of gyroplane time in their log book by the time they are ready to take the proficiency check ride.

These regulations are reality in the USA and in my opinion the hour requirement is not just some randomly generate number.

I have not personally trained a primary student to take their sport pilot, gyroplane proficiency check ride in 20 hours.

The aeronautical experience requirement for Private Pilot, Rotorcraft-Gyroplane rating is spelled out in FAR 61.109d and consists of:

Except as provided in paragraph (k) of this section, a person who applies for a private pilot certificate with rotorcraft category and gyroplane class rating must log at least 40 hours of flight time that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training in the areas of operation listed in §61.107(b) (4) of this part, and the training must include at least—

(1) 3 hours of cross-country flight training in a gyroplane;

(2) Except as provided in §61.110 of this part, 3 hours of night flight training in a gyroplane that includes—

(i) One cross-country flight of over 50 nautical miles total distance; and

(ii) 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.

(3) 3 hours of flight training with an authorized instructor in a gyroplane in preparation for the practical test, which must have been performed within the preceding 2 calendar months from the month of the test; and

(4) 10 hours of solo flight time in a gyroplane, consisting of at least—

(i) 3 hours of cross-country time;

(ii) One solo cross country flight of 100 nautical miles total distance, with landings at three points, and one segment of the flight being a straight-line distance of more than 25 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and

(iii) Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.

Just as with the Sport Pilot Gyroplane rating there are extensive practical test (proficiency) standards and a knowledge test.
 

Vance

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You started this thread off the back of some drift in the "question about pre-rotation" thread and your consistency is limited. When I questioned the accidents we currently have you jump in and just oppose a view for the sake of opposition... Telling all that its is coming down and you don't have a problem and you train XYZ and the insurance rate is golden....

In post 92 you say:- I would like to address the training issues that may have prevented these eleven accidents.

What training issues are they? it might save an accident with some punter reading....
The high insurance rates in the USA limit gyroplane sales and training.

I am working with several people on different fronts to address this issue.

I do not carry hull insurance on The Predator because of the cost.

One of the reasons I study accident reports and start threads is to give me a better understanding of how flight training can be improved. I don’t know what the training issues are that need to be addressed.

Looking at the accidents from last year I don’t see a consistent cause.

Someone opined that the problem is a culture of aggressive low altitude flight and yet there was only one accident that involved low altitude flight and none that involved aggressive flying.

Aviation decision making is probably the most consistent contributing factor from last year and I continue to work at doing a better job of teaching the process of aviation decision making.

I learn from the posts on the Rotary Wing Forum and hope that some of what I post helps people to think about gyroplane safety.

I learn every time I fly as a gyroplane pilot and fly as a gyroplane instructor.

I am constantly making subtle adjustments to my syllabus, check lists and how I teach based on the things I learn.

My comprehension and appreciation of the Federal Aviation Regulations continues to grow.
 

TyroGyro

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Jazzenjohn

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Aggressive low altitude flight is beyond question aviation decision making. Perhaps we have been looking at different accident reports but several that come to mind are aggressive side slips which, to me, are aggressive low altitude flying. Several involve contact with wires. That, in my experience, involves low altitude flight. A number are unexplained, but seem unlikely to have happened above 2500 AGL since there are no radio distress calls which would seem to be what one would expect if there were adequate time. Some ended in locations that wouldn't be where someone with the time to make a more prudent decision would land if they did.

A simple trainer could safely demonstrate the risks of aggressive low altitude flying and possibly convince people to be more safety conscious or, if not, how to be better prepared. A basic sim could be put together for less than $2-3,000 with 2 axis movement.

It could also be set up to help with takeoff procedures and blade flap issues. It is a feature on X-Planes RAF-2000 and may be on others.

Sims are used by all airlines, by the military, and even used by Carter Copter on their jump take off machines. There are enough people here that have built one that we have a reasonable base of experience to do it ourselves. It would also demonstrate our interest to improve to insurers.
 

Vance

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I am looking at the 11 gyroplane accidents reported to the NTSB last year John.

I posted a link at the beginning of the thread.

I felt there was value in limiting the discussion to recent gyroplane accidents in the USA.

Going to a gyroplane fly in gives me the impression that there is a lot of aggressive low level flying going on and yet most of the recent accidents at gyroplane fly ins in the USA did not appear to me to be related to low altitude aggressive flying.

I have tried several gyroplane flight simulators I have yet to find on that properly responded to control inputs.

I have had several clients who used a gyroplane flight simulator and it seemed to have value for them.

If there was a simulator that accurately portrayed how a gyroplane flies I suspect it would be a greater benefit.

A good flight simulator can also be a great flight planning tool.
 

fara

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Guys for what it's worth I believe the number of accidents/incidents in the US is at least double than what is reported to NTSB. Even though they should all be reported, its likely many are simply put in the hanger quietly. Sometimes insurance claims are even made for accidents that are simply not even on NTSB records. That is an obvious clue and its more abundant than one may think.
Most of the accidents and incidents seems to be in my judgment due to insufficient training and aviation decision making (ADM) or flying beyond personal limits which then points right to ADM.

Thankfully very few US accidents point to low or negative G or PPO in the last 5 years. The topics that have been discussed to death at this forum but are not the one majorly causing accidents in newer designs in the US or for that matter in the rest of the world to the best of my knowledge.
That's just my take after reading and knowing some of the stories of the accidents.

My personal list of recommendation on this is
1) More structured curriculum with proper ground briefings for the student from the instructors. Concepts are to be learned on the ground not in the air. Air is where they are practiced. A student needs to be clear what they will be doing in the air in the next flight lesson before they ever go up. They need to have a general idea of plan for them and when they are to move forward to the next maneuver or level. Of course these need to be kept flexible as well for individual needs but a general guideline is always shared
2) Students not trying to pressure the instructors in getting a sign off in some imagined expected timeline. Yes we all have schedules and work but flying is serious business and if you do not have the time to train, well should you be a pilot taking up a passenger? It takes what it takes and it is individual.
3) New pilots (including specially those who are already pilots in other categories) need to develop personal limits and expand them carefully with baby steps. Just common sense
4) When transitioning to a different model that is not similar to one we trained in, the best is to take further training from an instructor familiar with that model
5) Following procedures in the POH

Added: Lastly I have yet to see a simulator within reach of low budgets that is worth sneezing at. They all suck and cannot really give you an idea of the control and real feel of these aircraft. A simulator that could really get that would usually cost a bit more budget than what most can muster
 
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ventana7

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Guys for what it's worth I believe the number of accidents/incidents in the US is at least double than what is reported on NTSB. Even though they should all be reported, its likely many are simply put in the hanger. Sometimes insurance claims are even made for accidents that are simply not even on NTSB records. That is an obvious clue.
Most of the accidents and incidents seems to be in my judgment due to insufficient training and aviation decision making (ADM) or flying beyond personal limits which then points right to ADM.

Thankfully very few US accidents point to low or negative G or PPO in the last 5 years.
That's just my take after reading and knowing some of the stories of the accidents.

My personal list of recommendation on this is
1) More structured curriculum with proper ground briefings for the student from the instructors. Concepts are to be learned on the ground not in the air. Air is where they are practiced. A student needs to be clear what they will be doing in the air in the next flight lesson before they ever go up. They need to have a general idea of plan for them and when they are to move forward to the next maneuver or level. Of course these need to be kept flexible as well for individual needs but a general guideline is always shared
2) Students not trying to pressure the instructors in getting a sign off in some imagined expected timeline. Yes we all have schedules and work but flying is serious business and if you do not have the time to train. You shouldn't be flying.
3) New pilots (including specially those who are already pilots in other categories) need to develop personal limits and expand them carefully with baby steps. Just common sense
4) When transitioning to a different model that is not similar to one we trained in, the best is to take further training from a familiar instructor
5) Following procedures in the POH
IMHO your point number 2 is the crux of it.
Almost zero FW lessons are predicated upon getting a sign off in a fixed amount of time- ie a concentrated week or two of flying.
Almost all gyro lessons are done this way as students need to take a vacation and travel half way across the state or country to find an instructor.

The above problem of limited time means that anything not directly related to stick and rudder handling of the gyro suffers- in particular good ADM.

Rob
 

fara

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IMHO your point number 2 is the crux of it.
Almost zero FW lessons are predicated upon getting a sign off in a fixed amount of time- ie a concentrated week or two of flying.
Almost all gyro lessons are done this way as students need to take a vacation and travel half way across the state or country to find an instructor.

The above problem of limited time means that anything not directly related to stick and rudder handling of the gyro suffers- in particular good ADM.

Rob
True but most of the ADM accidents also happen to those who should already know better but don't. Meaning existing older pilots.
About 15 years ago insurance study was done in the UK market for microlights that showed that accidents were most in the population that were high time existing pilots with limited time in type and the most serious accidents seem to happen in calm evenings.
 

Philbennett

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Most people who began as a primary student never finish and most end up with a lot more than 20 hours of gyroplane time in their log book by the time they are ready to take the proficiency check ride.

These regulations are reality in the USA and in my opinion the hour requirement is not just some randomly generate number.

I have not personally trained a primary student to take their sport pilot, gyroplane proficiency check ride in 20 hours.
Sorry talk me through this please.

The FAA set out a course with a 20 hour requirement. You don't think that is some random number and you think it is reality. Yet at the same time most end up with a lot more than 20hours and you have never got someone through the course in 20 hours.

I've ZERO issue with that fact that more training is done BUT can you therefore talk me through how the FAA think the 20 hours is realistic or even how they came up with the number. Could you for example flesh out a course that delivers a safe pilot in 20 hours?

Might I suggest if you can't then perhaps the wisest course of action is to gather together US instructors to educate the FAA and offer a better solution?? Just a view.
 

fara

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Sorry talk me through this please.

The FAA set out a course with a 20 hour requirement. You don't think that is some random number and you think it is reality. Yet at the same time most end up with a lot more than 20hours and you have never got someone through the course in 20 hours.

....
Hi Phil:
I think its very possible to have someone completely new and finish them with a basic Sport Pilot (day VFR, pilotage, dead reckoning) license in 20 hours of flight lessons (not counting ground school, only actual flight time). I have certainly done it many times (though certainly a minority and all of these tended to be under 45 years of age) in trikes and my first gyroplane student will probably be close to it. It depends on the individual.

Again my experience is only anecdotal but I have in 2900 hours of instructing people to fly something have found that in general age and physical and mental fitness is a major factor to learning something like flying and directly relates to how long one takes. Again this is just my experience and anecdotal. Not a proper study.
FAA's stance simply is that this is the minimum required. They are not saying there can't be more. They leave this to the instructor and the examiner. In general FAA expects 15 to 20% failure rate from the examiners. That's the average. I think the problem is in gyroplanes the pass rate may be much better than average overall from the examiners and checkride instructors.

Here is something else you may not realize. Sport Pilot "add-on" for existing pilots in other categories has no minimum. Meaning its simply proficiency to a standard. If instructors think you are proficient to that standard in 3 hours then you can add on Sport Pilot gyroplane rating to your airplane license in 3 hours and a checkride. Again FAA will say there are two people deciding that, the training and recommending instructor and the other who gives the checkride. Two people are saying and agreeing that the person is to a certain level. For existing pilots if that happens in 3 hours or 30 hours is up to these two people to decide. If there is an accident for the student then instructor will be looked at. Some times the instructor will be given a 709 checkride to make sure he is ok. 709 checkride is not something an instructor wants to do. He/she gets put on a sort of a watch list by the field office for a while. A few incidents with students and it can cause bigger issues including loss of the CFI certificate in limited cases

The standard for Sport Pilot to meet is as follows
 
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bryancobb

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Fara! E X A C T L Y ...." its likely many are simply put in the hanger." If gyro pilots would a) never fly below 500' AGL unless in a pass straight along the runway or field, b) and QUIT showing off or "demonstrating the edges" of the flight envelope, then the record would improve greatly. I fly helicopters. Showing off would be fun. I do not do it. I never fly below 500' AGL unless taking off or landing. I don't fly low along rivers or canyons or over the lake. I cross powerlines at poles when climbing out after takeoff and on my way to 500'. I don't yank and bank. I treat the machine like every rod-end is just about to break into.

Maybe all this will keep me alive till an old age.
 

bryancobb

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Helicopters are NOT safe. Gyros are NOT safe. Airplanes are NOT safe. Flying is NOT safe. Flying can be done with a manageable amount of risk, but only by people who try to be careful and use their brains.
 

TyroGyro

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Regarding non-fatals

I have within my personal knowledge the following - in just one small corner of the UK in the past year alone, having viewed the machines and spoken with the pilots.. Both machines were popular factory-built European open-cockpit tandems.

Accident A
During its first flight after purchase, the owner-pilot reached into the pocket for a chocolate bar. As he was rummaging, he placed his head partially in the slipstream. The helmet detached and went through the prop, delaminating the blades. Why the helmet detached is unclear. The pilot believed it was secure. The aircraft was at about 800 ft when the incident happened and the pilot executed a successful forced landing in a field. He is a professional helicopter pilot with I guess thousands of hours.

Accident B
On one of its fiirst flights, the owner-pilot decided he wanted to accelerate the engine warm-up. He fastened a piece of cardboard around part of the radiator, and the engine did indeed warm-up faster than normal. The pilot then took off for a pleasure flight with one of his children on board. On the return towards the airfield, at about 1500 ft AGL, the pilot noticed that the Ts&Ps were now fully in the red and the engine seemed to be losing power.

He declared an emergency, but was worried about making a precautionary landing in a field, as they were mostly waterlogged due to recent prolonged heavy rainfall in the area. He suspected the gyro would dig-in and roll. He elected to try and make the airfield, about 2 miles distant, and the engine continued to operate on reduced power.

During this emergency, a separate emergency was declared at the same airfield, when a glider towrope parted on climbout.

With half a mile to run, the gyro pilot requested that another aircraft on final "get out of the way", else he might not make the field, and the fixed-wing pilot immediately obliged. The gyro pilot landed successfully at the airfield, albeit clearing the fence rather narrowly. When the aircraft was recovered the engine was found to be completely "cooked", and has since been replaced. The pilot has been flying approximately 20 years, starting on single-seat gyros and then flexwings. He has rebuilt a popular single-seat gyro to showroom condition, and loves to "tinker", etc.
 
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JETLAG03

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Both of these incidents prove that experienced qualified pilots have "brain farts". Sometimes clever people do stupid things ...try and train against that. At the point of release, an instructor states, in his opinion, that the student is ready for solo. IF the instructor is correct in his judgement what else can one do, train to the n'th degree in just in case. The difference between fatal and non fatal, as previously mentioned is mainly a question of luck/chance
 

TyroGyro

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Hi, JETLAG03, maybe they think "nothing has happened to me in 20 years, so nothing will ever happen to me", and drop their guard.

About every 10-15 years I have had a minor road accident. Each has been through my complacency while I was driving a little bit aggressively, although another vehicle made a sudden, unexpected move. I thought I was a great driver, with perfect situational awareness. I was overconfident, and had forgotten about the previous accident.

In an aircraft, you may not get the chance to repeat your mistakes....

On the question of gyro accidents in France, is there any information yet on the tragic accident which killed a student on his first solo near Perpignan last year?
 

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Resasi

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Helicopters are NOT safe. Gyros are NOT safe. Airplanes are NOT safe. Flying is NOT safe. Flying can be done with a manageable amount of risk, but only by people who try to be careful and use their brains.
Without trying to be flippant, life is not safe. The use of brains and common sense is applicable to all...all the time.

It however has not prevented huge numbers of becoming Darwin Award contestants in every field of life, including all types of flying.

On a slightly lighter note, on a serious subject, the awards do offer a slightly macabre touch of levity. Please forgive if this is deemed inappropriate.
 
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