Instructor problems

GyroCraft

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Stan,

Thanks for the reply. I know exactly what you mean. A female friend, after going on a helo ride with me a couple years ago, stated she wanted to become a helo pilot. I thought to myself, "Uh-huh....sure." I've been to many, many PR events, with the helicopter I fly, in which many people will tell me they'd love to fly helos. Well, this friend took a helo intro flight. Although I was not her instructor, she then took a lesson. Then another. The more lessons she took the more enthused I became for her and the more help I wanted to give. A year and a half later she is a private helo pilot and juuuuust coming up on her commercial checkride. You are soooo right that instructors, and any gyro pilot for that matter, has heard many people we encounter say they'd love to fly and have every intention of doing so. Sadly, we become a bit calloused to the talk not matching the walk. But, to be fair, when I go to a custom car show I'm ready to sell all I have just so I can buy a '69 'Cuda. A day or so later I regain my senses. I think that is the way with many. Being in the presence of aviation, gyros in particular, will pique most peoples' interest to the point they will want to go right then and there and take a lesson. It is only those for whom the passion is lit and remains that will stay the course and become pilots.

I think it is terrific John/All In and others are making efforts to increase the number of gyro CFIs. I am hoping to aid in the cause one day soon.

Steve
 

All_In

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@Steve
Excellent comments and great news about becoming a CFI!!! Thank you!

AS to and OTHERS!!!

Note: Please credit where credit is due. Are instructors are the real heroes. It's REALLY not just me guys!!!

I'm just very vocal, OK you can't shut me up! It's a failing I'm working on it.

But I've got the best volunteers and BOD I've ever had to work with. They are really making it happen. I'm a cheer leader mostly and a worker bee that's all!!!!
 
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Mayfield

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Border Aeronautics

Border Aeronautics

I worked for a company called OceanAir (out of Oceanside) during the late 70s through the late 80s.

During that time I had occasion to do some photo work. I flew a mission in the early/mid 80s to a town called Jumal, CA. A Border Aeronautics 172 had augered in with a student and instructor on board. I believe (but do not remember for sure) it was the San Diego GADO that chartered the mission to fly some profiles near the accident site and get some pictures along the approach path.

It is a small world.

Jim
 

All_In

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I worked for a company called OceanAir (out of Oceanside) during the late 70s through the late 80s.

During that time I had occasion to do some photo work. I flew a mission in the early/mid 80s to a town called Jumal, CA. A Border Aeronautics 172 had augered in with a student and instructor on board. I believe (but do not remember for sure) it was the San Diego GADO that chartered the mission to fly some profiles near the accident site and get some pictures along the approach path.

It is a small world.

Jim
Yes Jim I remember OceanAir it is a very small world, that was the only fatal accident we ever had. I actually reference it here on the forum but not the location!
It was a male instructor with a female student. Power on and autopilot on also. They flew straight into a boulder on the mountain in Jumal population 75 at the time. They had disrobed and were not paying attention, at least to flying.

My brother and I used to retrieved most of the wrecks in San Diego and all of the Mexico wrecks we also investigated the causes.
This one was hard as we returned body parts to the coroner of our friend and employee from the wreckage, which they missed all of the time. But we also discovered the cause of what happen and that was even harder. How stupid for such a great instructor! He could have easily set the autopilot to the highest mountain peak in the county another 1500 feet and there never would have been a problem anywhere in the county. We guess it took longer than he planned?

That was our saddest day except maybe when many of our instructors witnessed the PSA crash of flight 182 in San Diego which took out several blocks of homes and my client and friend Jim Mc Feron was PIC at the time and also died of course. They all did!
 
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scott heger

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The idea of a traveling CFI sure sounds like a wonderful idea. But other than coming to a major fly-in, it really is unworkable. With variations in weather, equipment reliability, student work schedules, unwelcoming and unfamiliar training airports, and financial/insurance requirement issues; all the variables add up to disappointing traveling results. Steve McGowan has been at it long enough, and has a very realistic answer in post #15. The truly committed students need to get to the instructor's home base of operation.

The truly committed student? There are not many of these and are few and far between I think. This is tough for the poor gyro CFI's have to shift through students who think they are only going to train 5 hours and go solo after that. They have to take on students that do not have realistic amount of funds to get a gyro...and a pilot's license also. They have to sort out the reckless and undisciplined individuals that don't follow rules. The list of negative goes on, and it makes instructing a very hard job to make a earning at. Many want to call and talk about training, with a small percentage that commit the time, money and energy to get the job done. My hat is off to all the CFI's that continue to train.

Now for the poor student that decides flying a gyro is his destiny.You have made a very expensive decision. First hurtle, most high population areas of the USA don't have a gyro instructor anywhere nearby. They tend to be in rural airports with minimal support. That means lots of student traveling(read time and cost). This will probably at least double your cost of training over what you pay that gyro CFI who thinks he is not charging enough already. If you were training fixed wing, this extra cost would nonexistent. Next you travel many miles only to find out that bad weather, your instructors gyro is or becomes broken and he didn't bother to tell you, or he is running late from other instruction etc, has cost you all or part of your alloted time slot.These things can happen to students on occasion. The quality of complete training manual and clear time line goals very widely from instructor to instructor. No, being a gyro student is just as tough as being the CFI training him. The money keeps flowing out towards training like a big money sucking hole.

Look at the hurtles Vance has had to endure. Look at the slow methodical pace Tina has taken. Read their stories, it ain't going to be easy or cheap to complete the process. Most don't. Many dream about flying, few ever make it to getting a gyro license and owning a aircraft. We are the lucky ones, and all worked way harder than most fixed wing pilots to make it happen. Can you imagine a CFI telling a new fixed wing student, "I will train you, but you can't fly my aircraft solo", because I really don't trust you THAT much. You will have to go BUILD your own aircraft if you want to continue to fly. Do you think there would be many fixed wing students? No way.

SportCopter trained me and then allowed me to solo their 2 place gyro and use it as needed for additional practice sessions. I didn't think much of it at the time, but it was a huge safety advantage when transitioning to my single place Vortex. I understand this is not what most gyro instructors allow, and understand why it is such a financial risk. The lack of trust still makes me question the completeness and quality of training confidence in there own instruction and students. Every normal fixed wing or helicopter flight program is going to allow solo in there training aircraft, gyros need to be this way also.

Then one day while training, the light comes on, everything starts making sense, the skills come easier, the maneuvers become sharp and the landings become consistent and smooth. That money sucking CFI sitting next to you has given you the tools to let you solo and begin living the best kept secret in aviation out there, gyro flying. Please don't tell too many people all the fun we have once the hurtles have been met. You are special, you took a very hard road in aviation, and the payoff is priceless.

Scott Heger, Laguna Niguel,Ca N86SH
 
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Heron

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Scott
Line up the problems and lets get on fixing them.
It is possible, I have done it!
Forget the past, a good gyro today can travel at 100 mph and the lessons can start right at departure. ground crew is also part of learning.
Broaden the field and we will make it better.
Heron
 

Resasi

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Good post Scott. I have found the last year very frustrating. 15 hours dual only with all of the problems you mentioned. I have certainly not regretted it though it has given me plenty of time to read lurk and learn from those who contribute their time and knowledge to help us newbies break into the sport safely.

I am also lucky that I found a great bunch of guys who love the sport and some of whom have put a lot of time and effort into teaching and passing on that information.

The group have just found a new home and we put in some time over the last week settling in. Despite some crappy weather a lot of fun and flying with 4 and 1/2 hours of some of the best fun I have had flying in years. Didn't even get off the ground just learning to wheel balance on the Bensen but what a blast.

Yes instructors seem to be in short supply and yes students do have to be patient and go sometimes a long way to find one but if you are committed to the sport and are prepared to put in the time and effort there are some dedicated individuals out there who do not make big bucks but do it because they love what they are doing. They are few and far between because many people are simply not prepared to put up with the low wages, responsibility, risks they take in a students willingness to do things properly. But it is a sport that is really worth working for enjoying and hopefully at some stage helping pass it on to others
 

All_In

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I plan to try and put together a group of students with enough money to paid for full training. This group probably will be larger and more regularly scheduled than the instructors local business.

We will be using brand new gyros for training.

I believe it has a good chance to work for both the instructor and the students to stay for 1 to 5 months a year training them all especially in the winter when you guys can't fly.

There is no training in California at all. The penned up demand and convenience has a very good chance of really growing in my opinion.

If this works then other chapters could be a registration base for there state and traveling instruction just might work.

I know it won't work, if I don't try.
 
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dabkb2

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You are right on John. If we don't try nothing will happen, I am with you.
 

Heron

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Instructor problems:
I think I am the only here that had to fire an Instructor. :(
Great pilot, very unstable instructor.
Mounting the machine on the trailer on prop power! :eek:
Asking me to refuel with passenger strapped! :eek: (she was 80 y/o)
Taking off on grass field and strong winds with passenger (multi millionaire) and going in to a low hover right on top of the airfield´s owner house! ( I have a strong heart)
Getting twice in trouble with FAA and not telling us.
Moving the machine away without asking and never doing maintenance (there was another hand on this)
Messing up the nose gear because he did not understand how it was done. (replaced it without authorization)
Teaching vodoo gyrodynamics
Trying to overthrow me from the Club. ( here he got hurt)
But taking the gyro where the training cluster are is the best way to do it, it is only one vehicle on the road and one or two hotel fares.
Heron
 

All_In

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Thanks Dave and for all comments really!!!

I do appreciate knowing all the problems.

But I'm also a problem solver. That's what I do best. I will adapt the plan until it's works for the majority.

I have built and run flying schools before for over ten years, guys. Including filing all the paperwork to receive Ca accreditation = to a college.

I think most responders are pulling for us Dave.

I just believe they know there are going to be many problems to overcome and it might not work at all for many reasons not even mentioned yet.
But I also don't mine failing whatever that is; as there is always some measurable improvement.

I'm known for breaking tradition and changing instantly, for some, this is bad maybe even a little scary too.

But I've got a lot of friends who like to play together. Once they see anyone in our group with a new toy X% of them will always get one too!

I don't want these 'A' type personalities killing themselves without proper instruction and inspections of their aircraft by my brother an IA. I will have a contract that states they can not take possession of the rotorcraft they have built and paid for until they are approved with a check ride from our chief flight instructor.

A lot of these guys will build and learn to fly themselves because they might even be as good as most them think they are. (But I don't want them to try and discover this the hard way. They won't wait and they won't listen to me let alone you guys they don't even know. All the other training for the group is done by the group. It's always been cheaper and it's more fun.

So I only have two choices: I can always fly alone and never let them know, or I can develop a flying club that accrues they are as safe as they can be.

For those who wish to take months or years to learn to fly they can still travel great distances and make life as hard for themselves as they wish. Nothing will be lost to anyone, but many here have a great deal to gain. Even if it is only one group it will be worth it to me.
 
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PW_Plack

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It's a big financial risk for an instructor to travel to students, and expensive even if everyone shows up for the training.

It's also a bad deal to be a travelling student. Most students will need more "mental processing" time between instructional flights than can be squeezed into even two weeks. The looming end of the scheduled vacation time puts pressure on both student and instructor to get the solo endorsement done. And, I have to say it...some gyro instructors apparently have machines that aren't reliable enough (or an inability to maintain and repair them promptly enough) to keep their commitments to students.

Training which involves travel on the part of either the CFI or the student requires both to really love the sport.
 

Steve McGowan

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It's Not a Problem

It's Not a Problem

To Me !

The problem I have is that I will NOT instruct anyone and SOLO them before they're totally ready.

Some people have done it in less than 10 hours, NOT Many, but usually it takes between 12 and 15 hours before a potential student with gyro's can safely solo they're machine and not damage it, OR THEMSELVES.

Some say, Ya don't know what your talking about Steve...:noidea:

And maybe I don't, But for the First 50 hours of Solo a student is likely to crash the gyro in one manner or the other..

You or I cannott sit down at a buffett restaurant and eat the entire food serving in one visit..Many folks attempt to ( here in the south) and they weigh 500 lbs in a short while. Even that takes time.

Now that I'm running for the Oval Office, I don't have a problem to speak of.
I ain't cheap either, do you want a good foundation under yourself or do you want to fly on a shoddy job of instruction.

How Much is YOUR ASS WORTH..... do it right or take up fishin. ya gonna have to travel to get anywhere John, whether it's across town or to Calif. So IF YOU BUILD IT,, They Will COME.

Any way,, That,s all I have to say about that....

Yall have a Great Labor day and stay outta New Orleans..
 
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Heron

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C´mon . . .I know you all have brains . . .
The weekend sessions are two days (sat/sunday) the expenses are split and if weather goes bezerk, the fee is paid and the time credit goes to the next session. Machine rent and expenses are saved.
The area traveled can´t be too big, more sets are needed to cover more.
The only difference is that our instructor does not live where the session is scheduled and will travel, sometimes hauling the machine.
If the program includes this culture from the get go, in time it will be normal and accepted. It will increase attendance and exposure big time.
It is not far from what we do today.
A little combined effort will start this up.
Heron
 

Tina

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Training which involves travel on the part of either the CFI or the student requires both to really love the sport.
That is so true you have to love this sport to finally reach that day when your flying on your own like I am now. It took a good 2 years for me to finally be at this point. I am flying any where I please and have the skills to do so.

I always looked at this sport of wanting to fly a gyro as just for fun only so why be in a big hurry. All of it is fun to every step towards that first step of flight.

If I have one thing to say to anyone about my journey, it is enjoy the journey because that is the fun part of it also big time.

Like they say the harder it is the more pleasure and satisfaction one gets from finally achieving their goal ;)
 

Resasi

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Tina, good point. Some of us in F/W have been accustomed to a quicker route to licenses and achieving what we aim for. It more often than not works a bit slower in the gyro world. But yes the journey has been a most interesting and enjoyable one, albeit frustrating at times.

Lining up instructor machine weather and opportunity has been a bit like threading a limp noodle through a series of very small well spaced holes that are bouncing up and down. But it is about the journey and that has been a good one with lots of time to absorb the differences and the goal an alluring one.
 

Heron

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Tina
Name the things that could make you journey easier, that is what we have to work out!
Time will be set by the instructors and circunstances not by the student.
I can go to fly-ins forever and never take another flight, it is fun and good activity, becoming a pilot has nothing to do with the gathering.
The family thing and the buddy system are pluses but should not interfere with business.
Lets fix as much problems we can in advance.
Heron
 

All_In

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These are all great comments.

I've learned a great deal and have already modified the plan:

1) Get a deposit of 1/2 the total time required to solo. = 8 hours before the instructor is scheduled! Gold, diamonds, cash, aircraft trades, and all credit cards welcome!
2) A part of this deposit will be non-refundable and paid to the instructor for each student that doesn't show up or chooses not to continue training.
3) A fee will also be charged and prorated by the students for the instructors traveling expenses = in our case an airlines ticket.
4) Some form of free accommodations will be provided. Eg: Hotel, a guest house, a room in one of the students homes, a motor home, or yacht.
5) We will train over a 2 month period or more with scheduled group ground school and students observing the student in the airs lesson from the ground and their debriefing.
6) They may solo at and average of 7 to 15 hours but we will require a check ride at 20 hours for sign off.
7) The flying club will provide new gyros for the instructors selling ours to students when we have an offer and another one built.
8) We will try and make the experience as much like training has always been for FW.

...
There is more from you guys and gals but that's off the top of my head.
I'll will reread it again next year when I actually try an implement it.

Thanks guys you rock!!
 
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Heron

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The whole investment to create a set is quite big! I praise those who did it!
Now there is a great number of people that are out there and want in . . .we should take a step in their direction.
I had a place about 15 miles from FLL where an Instructor could be picked up and be on the airfield in minutes. There we would only focus on teaching, the ground crew was trained on other tasks.
By Sunday afternoon he could be back in the air going home. Untill we had a local instructor ready for action.
I was trying to get Ed Newbold, Palma and Kandace to team up for action in Florida, but I had to leave and so far . . .no go for Old Heron!
It is possible in many ways and impossible in others . . .lets focus on what is doable.
Heron
 

Dave Martin

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I'm one of the ones that will KILL myself, by reading and listening to people that have flown. (and by teaching myself) I watched my dad taxi today. He has about an hour duel and hasn't killed himself on the taxiway yet. I've said it before and let me say it again you don't need a CFI to learn how to fly (for some people). Some will not make it sure, but who taught Orville and Wilbur, Ken Brock, and Dr. Bensen? Answer, themselves... Let's be safe im all for it. Today I had a rotor blade going 200 rpm over my head, do I still have a head? Well yeah, because I kept it down. :violin:
 
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