IFR gyros

scandtours

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You can also fly IFR and night with an Auto Gyro equipped for this pupose. The Swedish "vikings" gyro pilots do it.
 

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ckurz7000

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Giorgos, flying my gyro in IFR has always intrigued me. I am going to get me a safety pilot in the back seat, put on my foggles and give it a try.

To do real world IFR you'd need a VOR and ILS receiver and all TSO'd equipment. To do it legally is, therefore, not practicable.

Anyone else got experience with IFR gyro flying?

-- Chris.
 

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spatial disorientation has kept me from trying..
 

barnstorm2

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I would love to get the rating and equip a gyro for IFR.

I like to fly at night also, my TS is night legal.
 

PW_Plack

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I don't believe there's an instrument rating in gyroplane available from the FAA. Ironically, this means the only way to fly IFR legally would probably be to do it in an experimental using an instrument rating in some other powered aircraft.
 

WaspAir

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I would love to get the rating and equip a gyro for IFR.

Instrument ratings are given only for airplanes, helicopters, and powered-lift (FAR 61.65(a)). [Instrument flight is also authorized for airships and gliders (see FAR 61.57(c)1 and 6) although there is no separate rating. It's built in to the airship rating: 40 hours of IFR is required for a commercial airship rating, including ten hours in flight in airships. For IFR in gliders, an airplane instrument rating is required.]

There's nothing in the regs about IFR in gyros. Long ago, there was an ATP gyro rating, but all references to that have been removed from the regs.

One of the 18As I fly has an attitude indicator, but is lacking some of the rest of the required equipment under 91.205.

I find it very hard to imagine getting IFR operations approved for an experimental gyroplane (there's always going to be a set of limitations, and getting past day/night VFR looks pretty tough to me). Even if you are rated for instrument flight, the aircraft must be separately approved.
 

Walter

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Chris,

I recently got a SP-400 with ILS and want to try a simulated ILS approach one of these days (Hannover or Braunschweig) with a copilot in back. It might be easier that with a faster FW. The problem is the durability of gyroscopic instruments due to vibrations, but somehow helicopters seem to manage. The option might be the new solid-state gyros found in glass cockpits. But obviously, real IFR under IMC is not legal; however, in an emergency, it would be an option.
 

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Tried it in a Magni M24 Orion down at our homebase with MGL-Instruments and two other backup instruments simultaneously ...............

Never made it on the dot, too high, too low, always had to interrupt approach at safety height 100ft or before when already too low.

It´s one thing to fly by night with clear air (best with full moon) and a completely different issue when You see absolutely ZERO till down to the ground.

Colleague of mine with a YAK has rating and eqipment and experience with IFR but abstains from using it, he told me: "Better not fly IFR unless You have the latest airliner fully equipped, chances are good You won´t survive"

One of the problems is: You have to stare solely on the instruments, never move eyes to cockpit screen desperately (and instinctively) searching for something to see. Once You lost orientation on the instruments for a few seconds You are already lost ...............
 

WaspAir

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obviously, real IFR under IMC is not legal; however, in an emergency, it would be an option.

That's exactly what the instrument in my 18A is for.
 

PW_Plack

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...Colleague of mine with a YAK has rating and eqipment and experience with IFR but abstains from using it, he told me: "Better not fly IFR unless You have the latest airliner fully equipped, chances are good You won´t survive"...

With all due respect, that's not true, and he knows it.

Your colleague needs to be honest and either develop the proficiency to face his fears, or swear off flying in clouds. IFR flight is performed safely thousands of time a day in aircraft smaller than airliners, by pilots with the proper training and attitude.

A pilot whose qualifications allow him to be sent into conditions he can't handle is more dangerous than a low-timer who knows exactly where his proficiency ends.
 
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PW_Plack

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...The problem is the durability of gyroscopic instruments due to vibrations, but somehow helicopters seem to manage...obviously, real IFR under IMC is not legal; however, in an emergency, it would be an option.

Helicopter operators LOVE the new glass stuff for exactly that reason, and the fact that enhanced (IR) or synthetic (terrain database) vision can be displayed with attitude info on the same screen. There's been a rush of certifications of this equipment for retrofit in older helicopters in the past year.

A gyro equipped for IFR would be useful for more than emergencies. It would be wonderful at night, when you can have 50-mile visibility and be unable to maintain visual contact with the ground at the same time. It could also be useful in a trainer.

The problem with anything used only in emergencies is a lack of practice. The reason IFR currency requirements are there is because getting rusty can get you killed. If you plan to use an attitude indicator only for inadvertent VFR flight into IMC, you'd better practice, and keep reminding your brain that the instruments are more trustworthy than your senses!
 

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IFR flight is IFR flight whether you are in a Cessna 150, Airbus 380 or an adequately equipped gyro.

If you have the training and the rating, it is a flying machine and an adequately trained pilot should be able to manage quite safely.

As a former CFI-II and with a number of instrument hours in a number of machines I have seen nothing in flying gyros that would preclude them or make them much different in IFR flight.

Anti-ice would be a problem though.
 

WaspAir

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There's no difference in theory. But there's a big one in legality, at least in the U.S.
And even if a suitable rating could be had, then there's the problem of no suitable gyros.

For many years, Robinson built an R-22 instrument trainer, which was fine for learning and demonstrating procedures but illegal for flight in actual IMC (with no vacuum instruments, no back-up provisions for an electrical failure, and no stability augmentation system, it was operated IFR under a rather obscure provision of the examiner's handbook that permitted training and testing in VMC). Maybe someday there will be something comparable for gyros.
 

Resasi

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With the rapid advances in miniaturization of solid state glass cockpit and falling prices I don't think it will be too long before we see some of the new European gyros capable of coming out IFR certified if the owner wants that.
 

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With the rapid advances in miniaturization of solid state glass cockpit and falling prices I don't think it will be too long before we see some of the new European gyros capable of coming out IFR certified if the owner wants that.

Unfortunately this will stay a dream .................

Gyros are Microlight Sports Aircraft in Europe and will never be rated IFR. The movement of authorities is more to the side to restrict microlights, overregulate them and finally get rid of them ...................

EASA will take care that we don´t fly IFR

Technically it would be possible but legally not ......
 

Walter

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And autopilots are illegal for Microlights in Europe, because, I assume, the fear of people not current on instruments to enter clouds.
But why prohibit IFR in IMC for IR pilots flying Microlights in Europe? Sounds as stupid as prohibiting retractable gears in the US for similar aircraft.
 

ckurz7000

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It's really a moot point. If you equip a UL for legal IFR it gets too heavy and too expensive anyway with all the TSO'd electronic clunker.

-- Chris.
 

PW_Plack

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And autopilots are illegal for Microlights in Europe, because, I assume, the fear of people not current on instruments to enter clouds.
But why prohibit IFR in IMC for IR pilots flying Microlights in Europe? Sounds as stupid as prohibiting retractable gears in the US for similar aircraft.

Walter, here in the US, if the machine is registered Experimental Amateur Built, you can have retractable gear, variable pitch prop and rotor, all that stuff, regardless of weight. The restriction against these complexities is in the limitations of the Sport Pilot license, which allows less training but excludes complex equipment and flight at night.

Folks here often confuse the limitations of our Sport Pilot certificate with the restrictions on Light Sport Aircraft (LSA). Sport Pilots can fly only day/VFR, but the aircraft can be equipped for IFR. Only when it exceeds the weight, top speed, number of seats or complexity of the LSA definition does it cease to qualify as an LSA.

Likewise, an Experimental Amateur Built which has two or fewer seats and meets the weight, speed, and complexity limitations can be flown by a Sport Pilot, even is the aircraft itself has not been qualified as an LSA.
 

GyroDoug

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And autopilots are illegal for Microlights in Europe, because, I assume, the fear of people not current on instruments to enter clouds.
But why prohibit IFR in IMC for IR pilots flying Microlights in Europe? Sounds as stupid as prohibiting retractable gears in the US for similar aircraft.

Would an autopilot even work with a gyroplane? It seems to me that they are unique enough in the way that they fly that you couldn't just take an autopilot designed for a fixed wing and put it on a gyroplane. I am sure with enough money and time an autopilot for a gyroplane could be developed, but I can't see anthing we have today working properly. Am I not understanding this properly?
 

Walter

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Thanks, PW, for the aclaration!
Dough: It will not work without adjusting many things, above all the response times. Autopilots are essentially feedback systems, and part of the loop is the aircraft itself. So the response of it to any given input has to be carefully adjusted in terms of amplitude and time response (proportional, integral and differential, PID) components. Even in one given aircraft, autopilots can execute (hopefully damped) oscillations if the feedback is to large in amplitude or fast in terms of time-of-response. I have noticed slight oscillations in commercial aircraft with the ailerons under calm conditions.
 
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