I built it so I am going to test it!! NO NO NO!

REDHORSE556CES

Senior Member
There was a pilot that had just refurbished his J-3 Cub. He overlooked the control cables & thimbles in the tail, corrosion had taken its toll. During his test flight from Addison Airport, Texas, they broke. I saw him go nose-first into a street less than 100 yards from me. Pilot and passenger both died instantly. My brother-in-law and I were first on the scene...it wasn't pretty. A second, or third, set of eyes is always helpful.
 
There was a pilot that had just refurbished his J-3 Cub. He overlooked the control cables & thimbles in the tail, corrosion had taken its toll. During his test flight from Addison Airport, Texas, they broke. I saw him go nose-first into a street less than 100 yards from me. Pilot and passenger both died instantly. My brother-in-law and I were first on the scene...it wasn't pretty. A second, or third, set of eyes is always helpful.
I remember that day as I was at work a short distance from Addison. Lucky he didn't take someone out on the ground.

.
 

MadMuz

Newbie
Note: The single engine Cessna's are not equipped with a rudder lock.
Jeff, I believe he means an external rudder lock, fitted between the tail plane and rudder, with a great big red ribbon or tag on it saying 'Remove before flight' same as a pitot cover with red streamer so you notice it on the walk around.....:boink:

Someone mentioned the lock that prevents the key being put in the ignition with the lock in place.... that is the 'yolk (control) lock' (ailerons and elevator) which has nothing to do with the external, removable rudder lock....

Jal, I hope you filed a report, you might possibly have saved their lives that day.... the instructor needs his a$$ kicked for that one, bigtime :rant:
 

Texasautogyro

Gyro Master Instructor
In the last 4 months I have been testing 8 gyros.

I would like to commend those who have asked for help.
Many people do not ask and now no longer have machines and in some cases are not with us any more.


One was a full rebuild of an machine that had many problems and was also damaged. Two were gyros I was able to assist in the build and flew great right from the start. Two more I did some wheel balancing and just do not feel right about them. I never took them Into the air.

Every test flight I do has many things I am looking for. Then I want to ask lots of questions and do a very close preflight.

I also make special suggestions that will help keep people safe. It's one thing for me to handle it and another for someone with low time.
Next week I will be helping with yet a couple more close to Mentone.

If you are building a gyro and need it checked get someone qualified to help.
 

Texasautogyro

Gyro Master Instructor
I had the special privilege of flying the fist MTO sold to the police in Tomball this week 5 years ago. I flew it from Baybridge Maryland to the Seabring expo and back. Tail number 250TX. As you all know this aircraft was involved in an accident.
Just yesterday I was again reunited with this wonderful gyro. The new owner did a fantastic rebuild and if flew as good as any I have flown. Well balanced and very little stick shake. I would say it's one of the best builds I have tested. It was a pleasure to once again being reunited with this machine.

It was so clean with a new frame you would never have known it had been in any accident.

Great job thanks for having me!
 

Texasautogyro

Gyro Master Instructor
I hate to bring stuff up again but..... I just got done working on a gyro that was built once again by a builder that does not have any idea how to build safely.
Now anyone can make a simple mistake. Granted we have to be very careful not to on aircraft. It should be done by the numbers and triple checked.
However when you pay 2500 and up to have a build assist it better be close to perfect.
This gyro had only been completed about 25% and had 5 major issues that could present problems. Add them all up and it could kill someone.


I know I might be venting but I am getting very upset that these things keep showing up. I am grateful many people have asked me or some one else look at things to make sure they are right.

If you do not know what you are doing get a real qualified person to help. Then get a qualified person to test fly your gyro!
 

SandL

Newbie
perhaps you can share some of the build problems you have found so we can learn from your experience.
for example I may be flying a gyro with elements on it that you would pick up and I would not. Only since visiting Bensen days and watching and listening to an inspection do I now plug my exhaust pipe.
maybe you could start a specific thread showing items / builds and configurations that you are not comfortable with. I am sure it will have lots of contributors and spark some great debates.
 

Mike484

AR-1 🇺🇸
As a test pilot for other peoples machines, is there a waiver of responsibility signed? If anything happens, who is responsible? If there is a crash, it may be difficult to determine if it was the fault of the machine or pilot error.

This is one of the reasons it is sometimes difficult to get someone to test your machine.

I also don't see this as a widespread epidemic as I don't see a large number of inexperienced builders jumping into gyros, building their own, then trying to test fly them (but there are some that do). And, I would certainly think that most of them that do, don't visit this forum.
 

Texasautogyro

Gyro Master Instructor
The common problems include:
Throttle rigging.
Rudder offset not done or incorrect.
Brake lever binding
Rubber engine mounts crushed
Ring mount bolts not torqued
Prop not pitched or torqued
Holes double drilled "meaning sloppy fitted.
Tie down hooks installed backwards
Oil lines backwards
Oil lines on the 912 in the tractor configuration
High pressure fuel line pushed on with no clamp
Rudder cables turn buckle with only one thread holding and no safety wire
Mismatched spark plugs.

And the list goes on.
 
So someone paid for builder's assist but the gyro was still not assembled correctly. Who had assisted in that build? My understanding is builder's assist means you're paying a dealer to help build it. One would hope they know what they're doing. If one does not then I think we should know.
 

Texasautogyro

Gyro Master Instructor
Just because people pay for a build assist does not mean they really know what they are doing.
The problem is that the only build assist gyros that I tested that did not have problems were built by Mike Burton in Utah and myself in Houston Texas. 18 others that had serious problems came from all over the US.
So Buyer beware.

I have full documents to back up including pictures. If anyone wants them they can message me I will send a few picture as examples. I want people safe but do not like to throw mud.
 

Steve_UK

Active Member
Hopefully one day ( soon ) the FAA will accept and approve those manufactured gyros that have already been scrutinised, assessed and type approved to Section T standards by the UK CAA can be imported as complete aircraft ( as happens everywhere bar the US&A ) - this would be a huge boon for Auto-Gyro and Magni as they have already submitted their products and their manufacturing process to such scrutiny.

Other manufacturers would continue to supply 51% kits to buyers as now until they too pass such close scrutiny.

Anybody batting for such a step ?

Question - is anybody badgering the FAA for such approval - I wonder if CFIBob knows of any such campaign for the Auto-Gyro product range.

Is the PRA making any noise with the FAA to support such a proposal ( does the PRA talk to the FAA - does the FAA listen/consider the views of the PRA ).

Just ideas.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Just because people pay for a build assist does not mean they really know what they are doing.
The problem is that the only build assist gyros that I tested that did not have problems were built by Mike Burton in Utah and myself in Houston Texas. 18 others that had serious problems came from all over the US.
So Buyer beware.

I have full documents to back up including pictures. If anyone wants them they can message me I will send a few picture as examples. I want people safe but do not like to throw mud.
I want to be certain I understand what you are writing Desmon.

In your opinion you and Michael Burton are the only two people in the USA capable of building a safe gyroplane from a kit?
 

Texasautogyro

Gyro Master Instructor
I want to be certain I understand what you are writing Desmon.

In your opinion you and Michael Burton are the only two people in the USA capable of building a safe gyroplane from a kit?
Nope I did not say that Vance. Some one asked me to point out people who did not build correctly. I chose not to do two things one list people in a public forum and two I never said Mike and I were the the only builders that knew what we were doing. I also did not disclose what models has problems. I did say if anyone has a question they can contact me. I also said out of the ones I did test or were asked to fly mine and Mikes were the only ones not needing major changes.
Obviously I did not test every make and model made. For instance I did not check a Sport Copter.
If anyone is so inclined to talk to me call me. Ask away 9078412409.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Nope I did not say that Vance. Some one asked me to point out people who did not build correctly. I chose not to do two things one list people in a public forum and two I never said Mike and I were the the only builders that knew what we were doing. I also did not disclose what models has problems. I did say if anyone has a question they can contact me. I also said out of the ones I did test or were asked to fly mine and Mikes were the only ones not needing major changes.
Obviously I did not test every make and model made. For instance I did not check a Sport Copter.
If anyone is so inclined to talk to me call me. Ask away 9078412409.
Thank you for the clarification Desmon.
 

Texasautogyro

Gyro Master Instructor
Most of them were. But I also tested butterfly's, Arrow copter, air command, SparrowHawk, RAF, KB and Bensen type, Titanium explorer, Apollo.
 

ppetrazio

TXnGyroNoobie
Updated on Status

Updated on Status

Mike and All,

So a couple of years ago I purchased the Falcon Auto Gyro from a local member of PRA 62, and slowly tried to get it flight ready - I ended up selling it to a Pilot back from Afghanistan and ready to enjoy retirement. He put alot more money into my Gyro, and then some time back he sent me his "crash photo's" from the one he luckily walk away from without dying. He nosed dived the front end into a field as he did not hang test and adjust the center point balance. I thought was very lucky to have learned a lesson, and had someone else done the proper testing and hanging it for balance - he might be flying it now. Does anyone know if this bird is flying again / repaired?



PHIL PETRAZIO
 

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Steve_UK

Active Member
Phil - interesting story. Does this black Falcon has an "N" number - if so we can check the online FAA register to see what it currently shows.

Regards
 
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