Just making time


Oct 22, 2016
Fort Worth, TX
Today I made it a point to go out flying since I've been so busy working with our own business and there is always a reason I need to do something else. Today however my kids are all away, my wife was away, and I just blocked out time to go enjoy some flying with no set schedule. I still took phone calls and got texts but while I was aloft I just ignored them and enjoyed my gyro. I actually had the most fun flying gyros in all my time so far. I think in part because I learned to relax a little. I also learned how to get a smoother takeoff (thanks Greg) over my previous technique, I broke a little fear of high wind flying, and I just allowed myself to enjoy the Gyros capabilities.

It started out with me just doing a bunch of touch and goes at my home field. I then felt like trotting off to my old stomping grounds at Byron airport where I did another 10-15 touch and goes. It was in the middle of all of those that I didn't know the winds kicked up quite strongly. I first noticed it when my landings were really slowing up in my mind, only to find out my ground speed was really slow and not my head. I had such a headwind that I was literally floating along at almost a walking pace as I glided over the numbers. My touchdowns were almost vertical and I was loving it. I think I giggled. I said, this is what it is all about as if having an ah hahh moment! The AWOS said the winds were 280 at 23 but they were more like 320-340 at 30kts. I was using runway 30 so there really wasn't much of a cross wind but I got to see so much more out of the gyro today. I practiced some vertical drops as if I was to high on final. At one point I purposely flew high in the pattern and I was just hovering at about 800-900 feet on base to final before lowering my nose around 6-700 feet. Being such a new person to the Gyro world, I have read, heard, and even practiced with others about the capabilities of the Gyro but being on my own allowed me to really learn and appreciate what I have. After about an hour and a half I taxied over to see if a friend was at his hanger and instead I met some folks that knew nothing about the Gyro but were enamored by it. They thought it was so cool and I was proud to tell them all about it. The young lady with them was a student pilot and she was almost begging for a ride so I took her up and she was so appreciative. It just really made my day to share the joy of the Gyroplane with someone. On my way back to Lodi, I put it down on the smaller 25 foot wide runway due to the high winds and the better alignment into it. Only when you land can you really understand how windy it was. After cleaning it up and putting it back in its hanger, I went for a late lunch next door at the cafe. I thought about pulling it back out for another round afterwards but decided it was enough for one day and I should get back home. Today seemed to be a stepping stone for me in that I'm starting to build confidence in my training. I hear Don Bradley (as if he was in the back seat) telling me to "check" the airplane and look long down the runway. I heard Vance (even though he's never given me instruction) saying lets do a thorough preflight before jumping in. I even heard George Woods asking where my best spot to land is if my engine quits. It's funny how learning to fly something new at an older age can be so scary and yet so rewarding at the same time. I just want to have some fun but to remember what everyone taught me so I don't screw up. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to my next flight and sharing my progress.

Sorry I don't have any photos but I felt it was inappropriate to try to fly and use my iPhone but I may invest in a video camera that I can mount on the plane in the near future.

Edit: Technology is amazing as my friend was able to get me a photo today from when I gave Serena her first ride in a Gyroplane yesterday so I thought I'd add it.
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Gyroplane CFI
Oct 30, 2003
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2400+ in rotorcraft
A lovely story well told Paul.

Thank you for having us along.


Aussie in Kansas.
Aug 8, 2011
Whitewater KS
Butterfly Aurora N5560Z / Titanium Explorer N456TE & N488TE/ - trained in MTOsport 446QT/488FB
Total Flight Time
FUN ... isn't it! Well narrated Paul! I too just went up to play with my red TE in the pattern on a windy day last week, - to sharpen my 20kt/25Gst headwind sight picture & skills ... while awaiting more moderate condition to resume flight testing on the new big-wheel "mustering" model I'm doing the 40 hr Phase one fly off ...after a few tweaks!
Thanks for sharing the joy!