IFR and Gyros

It makes spotting other aircraft easier, but it makes spotting a lot of things near the ground nigh on impossible...

Just follow this rule. At night if an emergency happens and you are forced to land, turn on the landing light.
If you don't like what you see, turn it off.
Simple
 
Just follow this rule. At night if an emergency happens and you are forced to land, turn on the landing light.
If you don't like what you see, turn it off.
Simple
Reminds me of a friend, when he heard strange engine, or drive line noise in his car, he would "Fix It" by turning up the stereo......
 
When I have a new client we go over my syllabus and the practical test standards at length so we can agree when they meet the standards and my syllabus makes sense.

It is my observation that there is very little difference in the time required to earn a Sport Pilot Gyroplane certificate compared to a Private Pilot, Rotorcraft-Gyroplane certificate.
Too bad you're in California... that's a bit of a drive

Can you possibly (approximately) quantify the difference between earning a Sport pilot and a private pilot cert for gyros? I'm curious if I should just go straight for private pilot rather than obtaining a sport cert first then going for private.
 
That's the plan. I have the money already in the bank for the flight training. I'm just waiting on my medical certificate and a break between semesters.
Regarding getting your medical- my personal experience is that it really helps to have an advocate with an inside track.

A little over three years ago I had a quadruple bypass. No symptoms at all- a screening test turned up the problem. I began working on getting my medical back two or three weeks after the surgery. After several months of calling every week only to be told “we’re working on it “ my insurance agent recommended I hire a consultant. These guys knew exactly what needed to be done and also made some calls. I had my medical special issuance within a month.

Another friend had lost his medical and the AME we both use knew exactly what to do and who to call. Those AME’s are rare.

One of the challenges with getting a medical is the rules aren’t clear cut and you’re dealing with bureaucracy at it’s finest. The FAA also gives preference to working on First and Second class medicals so third class are constantly getting sent to the back of the line.

Good luck.
 
Surprising perhaps as I have flown many hours in and over the SoCal marine layer, at night, flying freight. I also had a swordfish spotting job where I would takeoff at zero dark thirty, fly 100 to 150 miles offshore, shut down the front engine in the Sky Master and loiter for up to 10 hours scouting swordfish for the boats. They wanted me on station at dawn, so I launched an hour or so before dawn to get there.
Some interesting jobs there Jim. I found in charter that whenever I had to fly across Lake Victoria, which is a pretty large expanse of water, in any twin I was fine, but any time I was in a single, the engine always began to sound funny as soon as I went wet footprint.

My first time across the pond/Trans-Atlantic, it was in a BAC-111 with long range tanks I was a bit twitched but then it became routine. The 72 with long range tanks and three engines it became a pleasure...until one day we lost a yaw damper and had to descend, luckily towards the end of our wet footprint. Always took my hat off to ferry and Navy pilots flying singles over large stretches of ocean.
 
Regarding getting your medical- my personal experience is that it really helps to have an advocate with an inside track.

A little over three years ago I had a quadruple bypass. No symptoms at all- a screening test turned up the problem. I began working on getting my medical back two or three weeks after the surgery. After several months of calling every week only to be told “we’re working on it “ my insurance agent recommended I hire a consultant. These guys knew exactly what needed to be done and also made some calls. I had my medical special issuance within a month.

Another friend had lost his medical and the AME we both use knew exactly what to do and who to call. Those AME’s are rare.

One of the challenges with getting a medical is the rules aren’t clear cut and you’re dealing with bureaucracy at it’s finest. The FAA also gives preference to working on First and Second class medicals so third class are constantly getting sent to the back of the line.

Good luck.
Thanks, Dan, for the information and the encouragement!

I applied for a second class medical for a couple of reasons: 1. the ONLY difference between a second class and a third class (from the perspective of the medical exam) is that the second class includes an intermediate-distance vision test, and 2. my long-term goal is to be a CFI and I was under the impression that one needs a second class in order to obtain a commercial certificate and a commercial certificate in order to become a CFI.

I have since learned that, as you stated, the rules are not quite as clear as they should be. Apparently, you can be a CFI with only a third class certificate because the second class is needed to carry persons or property for hire, and current interpretation of the regulations does not consider flight instruction to be carrying a person for hire.

Also, oddly, the second class medical's validity period does not change with the pilot's age, while both first and third do. (Note that the period that changes listed on the second class is its validity for piloting activities that require a third class certificate.)
(reference: FAA Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners )
 
And that is my main concern - getting OUT of IMC. Again, I have no intention of ever going INTO IMC in a gyro, but it could happen. Thank you for your advice.

Getting out of IMC does not require the FAA to have a IFR pilot certification for gyroplane pilots. As for the instrumentation needed, it is really quite minimal. Airspeed, Altitude, Compass, and engine RPM are sufficient. That said, most people can't use a compass (ANDS), and a panel mounted portable aviation gps (Garmin, Ipad, etc) showing heading will be equipment you want. --And to be clear, I am in no way saying this is what it would take to fly a gyro under IFR. This is what you need to get out of IMC. And if getting out of IMC is a major concern, most instructors beyond the sport pilot level can take you up and and make you comfortable with it.
 
Too bad you're in California... that's a bit of a drive

Can you possibly (approximately) quantify the difference between earning a Sport pilot and a private pilot cert for gyros? I'm curious if I should just go straight for private pilot rather than obtaining a sport cert first then going for private.
I have found paraphrasing the intent of the regulations often leads to misunderstanding and is a disservice to the person asking the question.

https://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/test_standards/media/faa-s-8081-29.pdf

https://www.faa.gov/sites/faa.gov/files/training_testing/testing/test_standards/FAA-S-8081-15a.pdf

https://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/test_standards/media/faa-s-8081-16b.pdf

These three will allow you to become familiar with the differences.

I threw in commercial pilot to round out your knowledge.

Most of what you do for sport pilot will count toward the requirements of private pilot and most of what you do for private pilot will count toward commercial pilot.

The basic regulations may be found in the FARs here.

61.313 d is for sport pilot gyroplane.

61.129 d is for private pilot, rotorcraft-gyroplane

61.121 d is for commercial pilot, rotorcraft-gyroplane

I recommend that you have a current copy of The Federal Aviation Regulations/Aeronautical Information Manual because I find the electronic version sometimes difficult to look forward and backward as is often required when trying to understand the regulations. I prefer the ASA version.
 
I have found paraphrasing the intent of the regulations often leads to misunderstanding and is a disservice to the person asking the question.

https://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/test_standards/media/faa-s-8081-29.pdf

https://www.faa.gov/sites/faa.gov/files/training_testing/testing/test_standards/FAA-S-8081-15a.pdf

https://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/test_standards/media/faa-s-8081-16b.pdf

These three will allow you to become familiar with the differences.

I threw in commercial pilot to round out your knowledge.

Most of what you do for sport pilot will count toward the requirements of private pilot and most of what you do for private pilot will count toward commercial pilot.

The basic regulations may be found in the FARs here.

61.313 d is for sport pilot gyroplane.

61.129 d is for private pilot, rotorcraft-gyroplane

61.121 d is for commercial pilot, rotorcraft-gyroplane

I recommend that you have a current copy of The Federal Aviation Regulations/Aeronautical Information Manual because I find the electronic version sometimes difficult to look forward and backward as is often required when trying to understand the regulations. I prefer the ASA version.
And apparently my question was not clear...

I am aware of the differences in the requirements, but you had commented that in your experience the average time needed to obtain sport and private were not that different. It is that observed difference that I was hoping that you would quantify.

And I have paper and electronic copies of the FAR/AIM. The electronic one automatically updates for me :).
 
Getting out of IMC does not require the FAA to have a IFR pilot certification for gyroplane pilots. As for the instrumentation needed, it is really quite minimal. Airspeed, Altitude, Compass, and engine RPM are sufficient. That said, most people can't use a compass (ANDS), and a panel mounted portable aviation gps (Garmin, Ipad, etc) showing heading will be equipment you want. --And to be clear, I am in no way saying this is what it would take to fly a gyro under IFR. This is what you need to get out of IMC. And if getting out of IMC is a major concern, most instructors beyond the sport pilot level can take you up and and make you comfortable with it.
Understood. I still find it curious that the certification does not exist given that it does for helicopters.
 
And apparently my question was not clear...

I am aware of the differences in the requirements, but you had commented that in your experience the average time needed to obtain sport and private were not that different. It is that observed difference that I was hoping that you would quantify.

And I have paper and electronic copies of the FAR/AIM. The electronic one automatically updates for me :).
Sorry, I misunderstood your question querist.

I am always looking for opportunities to get people to wander around the FARs so I am probably spring loaded in that direction.

Most of the people I train are after Sport Pilot, Gyroplane add on endorsements.

The few that go for private pilot tend to be above average so in my opinion my numbers are not statistically relevant.

The specific additional tasks take just a few hours and the preparation for the tasks tends to help in other areas so in my opinion the net additional time is very small between Sport and Private.
 
Sorry, I misunderstood your question querist.

I am always looking for opportunities to get people to wander around the FARs so I am probably spring loaded in that direction.

Most of the people I train are after Sport Pilot, Gyroplane add on endorsements.

The few that go for private pilot tend to be above average so in my opinion my numbers are not statistically relevant.

The specific additional tasks take just a few hours and the preparation for the tasks tends to help in other areas so in my opinion the net additional time is very small between Sport and Private.
Thank you!

I also am careful to review the FAR and the AIM to be sure I am well-informed regarding such matters. It's a matter of legal compliance and safety, and I don't like missing questions on tests. :)
 
Thank you!

I also am careful to review the FAR and the AIM to be sure I am well-informed regarding such matters. It's a matter of legal compliance and safety, and I don't like missing questions on tests. :)
One item that is not apparent from reading the FAR and AIM is that the standard of proficiency is different. You may be enlightened by reading the PTS for the relevant ratings.
 
One item that is not apparent from reading the FAR and AIM is that the standard of proficiency is different. You may be enlightened by reading the PTS for the relevant ratings.
Already done, broken down into individual tasks, with tolerances marked for easy reference. :) I did that about a week ago for Gyros for Sport, Private, and Commercial after doing it for my wife's ASEL Private Pilot to help her practice.
 
It would appear that you are well prepared.
 
It would appear that you are well prepared.
Thank you, sir. That is my intention. Given the cost of training and testing, and the fact that mistakes can literally cost lives, I intend to be well prepared.
 
1. IFR requires stability for single pilot operations
2. Autopilots for gyros can't be had
3. You can't do a coupled approach
4. Icing conditions would be terrifying
5. gyros lack vacuum pumps for instrument backup

I could go on . . . but you probably see the trend.
This is what I am thinking too. Particularly 4).

Unless one imagines flying a gyro IFR in Southern California or some other morning coastal fog when the temperature is well above freezing, those thin, unheated rotorblades are fantastic ice collectors. I am not a helicopter pilot, but my understanding is that IFR helicopters have anti-icing (typically bleed air). It is not just an unheated pitot tube one would need to worry about!
 
High speed at the tips helps avoid icing, but that doesn't work at the rotor head.

All of this technically can be solved. But where is the demand. No reason t build an IFR capable gyro if there are only a couple of customers for it per year.
 
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