More fun flying The Predator.

DavePA11

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
301
Location
Northborough
Rochester Motel gave your room to someone else without you checking out? Didn’t they see your stuff in the room? Any more photos of gyros at Menrone? Thanks!
 

PW_Plack

Active Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
8,489
Location
West Valley City, Utah, USA
Aircraft
Sport Copter Vortex 582
Total Flight Time
FW: 200 Gyro: 51
Vance, sounds like a great trip, with just enough adventure to make it memorable. Sorry your skill at picking out charming older inexpensive motels let you down!
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,624
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
In my travels I have found it best to remove everything every day when staying in an off brand motel Dave.

I just got a $35 refund and headed down the highway.

I made it as far a Cloverdale and stayed in an upscale for me Motel 6 for $67.15.

It didn’t have much charm but it was clean and quiet and the extra distance allowed me to make in home Monday evening.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,624
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
Vance, sounds like a great trip, with just enough adventure to make it memorable. Sorry your skill at picking out charming older inexpensive motels let you down!
It was a great trip Paul.

I normally inspect the room before I part with my money.

I was tired and the $45 price was alluring after spending $414 for three nights in Neenah.

My time save shower head did no good without water pressure.

Everything else on the trip went perfectly and the Prius averaged 52.6 miles to the gallon with a maximum speed on the GPS of 106 miles per hour.

The proficiency check rides paid for the trip.

Life treats me well.

I hope you are getting better and I hope to see you at the Ken Brock Freedom Fly In.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,624
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
An unexpected weekend adventure.

A common mistake gyroplane pilots under instruction make is to not orient the rotor correctly in a cross wind take off. If the wind is from the left they have right rudder in to keep her on the centerline and often have right cyclic in. As soon as they lift off the gyroplane will start a right turn because of the right cyclic and that combined with the cross wind will sweep us across the runway to the right. This is usually followed by an over control cyclic to the left resulting in what I refer to as the drunken sailor takeoff (DSTO). If they are holding the nose too high in The Predator the DSTO can result in the horizontal stabilizer contacting the runway degrading the fabric covering.

I go to Rowena’s Flying Fabrics at the Santa Paula Airport (SZP) for my fabric work so after making an appointment for 1:30 I planned a Saturday flight to Santa Paula.

My hopes for an early departure and a nice lunch at The Waypoint Café at the Camarillo Airport were slowly trampled by a lingering marine layer at Santa Maria. I was off at 11:55 when the temperature/dew point spread reached four degrees C.

There was a lingering mist that gave a mystical look to the hills.

Santa Barbara Approach was busy and helped me to manage traffic as I headed east along the shoreline.

The mist thickened over Lake Casitas.

There were four aircraft in the pattern as I approached SZP all giving good radio.

I fit in easily making left traffic for runway two two with a nice touch down I was quickly clear of runway two two and looking for Rowena’s new hangar.

Rowena was ready for me and we backed The Predator into her new hangar with her mumbling about how she hates fabric repairs and she would be done in about an hour.

Henry met me at Rowena’s new hangar and we had a nice talk with a friend of his on the road who had just attended a class on gyroplanes in Maryland. I continue to be amazed by the capabilities of cell phones.

At 2:30 Rowena was still grumbling so we headed off for a late lunch.

The Café at the airport had closed so we found a nice restaurant in town.

When we returned Rowena was grumbling about how it looked and I thought it looked great. She is an artist

I was still tired from my recent cross country trip and Henry offered to put me up for the night.

I checked the weather and it was supposed to be VFR along my route with a slight head wind and not much turbulence so I demurred his invitation and Henry headed for home about 45 minutes away.

I paid my bill and headed across the field for fuel. As I used hard left rudder and toe brake my foot contacted some wires that I had not properly secured the last time I had had the panel apart.

My active noise reduction stopped working and I worried about what else might have been affected. After fueling up and a good preflight inspection I found the power to a small panel on the left that contained the starter button, prerotator button and ANR for the headset had been interrupted. I called Rowena and shared my challenges and her husband Pete came over.

We spent some time trying to find a way to get power to the starter but the relay was buried deep in the rotor tower. Pete tried to hand prop her without success.

I checked the weather and they were predicting Santa Maria to go IFR at eight so time was pressing in on me. I teach to never hurry aviation so I needed to follow my own advice.

I called Henry and he had just arrived home. Without hesitation he agreed to come back and get me, put me up for the night and we could use his tools and hanger the next day to make repairs with his assistance.

I am proud to know Henry and pleased to have him as a friend.

The next morning after a nice breakfast at the Flight 126 Café on the field we pulled the panel apart and removed the cover for the rotor tower. We found the problem and needed an aviation specific crimper and our efforts to find something in Santa Paula failed.

Upon our return an Airframe and power plant mechanic across from Henry’s hangar who I had never met before loaned me his crimper and gave me a proper aircraft fitting. I love the magic of the aviation community.

Everything worked and after checking the weather and another preflight The Predator fired right up and seemed eager to get into the air.

I found lots of lift over the hills and soon reached my VFR west altitude of 4,500 feet and could see the coastal fog clawing at the hills.

Santa Barbara Approach was cordial and busy. They gave me a squawk code and verified altitude. He turned me ten degrees right for traffic and told me to resume own navigation when the traffic became no factor.

I was dealing with a head wind most of the way so I decided to stop at Santa Ynez (IZA) for gas. If the coastal airports go IFR I am headed for Taft about 45 minutes away so I try to always have an hour of fuel on board.

I was catching lift along the ridge at 4,500 feet over Lake Cachuma and pulled the power well back to reach pattern altitude of seventeen hundred feet and just sort of rumbled along for six miles left upwind to enter a left pattern for runway two six.

As soon as I pulled up to the pump there was a steady flow on interested pilots wanting to learn about The Predator so it was two hours before I actually put gas in her.

I checked the weather and it looked good with a gusting head wind and ten plus miles visibility.

If felt good to hear the Santa Maria Tower say; “Experimental 142 Mike Golf, runway three zero clear to land.”

I sat in the afterglow in front of the hangar for almost an hour reliving my weekend flying adventure. The magic never seems to fade for me with just the right balance of challenges and successes.
 

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DavePA11

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
301
Location
Northborough
Vance - I don’t understand why a student would do this?

“A common mistake gyroplane pilots under instruction make is to not orient the rotor correctly in a cross wind take off. If the wind is from the left they have right rudder in to keep her on the centerline and often have right cyclic in. As soon as they lift off the gyroplane will start a right turn because of the right cyclic and that combined with the cross wind will sweep us across the runway to the right.”
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,624
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
Vance - I don’t understand why a student would do this?

“A common mistake gyroplane pilots under instruction make is to not orient the rotor correctly in a cross wind take off. If the wind is from the left they have right rudder in to keep her on the centerline and often have right cyclic in. As soon as they lift off the gyroplane will start a right turn because of the right cyclic and that combined with the cross wind will sweep us across the runway to the right.”
My theory is when doing pattern work they have just landed and they controlled their position over the runway with the cyclic. If they were too far left they would use right cyclic.

When taking off with a wind from the left the gyroplane needs right rudder while on the ground so to make it go right the use right rudder and right cyclic even if they understand intellectually that they need right rudder and left cyclic.

This is not a mistake I made so I could be wrong and it could be for some other reason.

It never the less is a common error for new gyroplane pilots doing pattern work.

Allowing the nose to get too high is a mistake I made and it seems most people make. They are just not quick enough with bringing the cyclic forward.
 
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