Mr Toad prepares to become a gyroplane private pilot

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I'm having too much fun training in the Cavalon, more than is normally allowed by law.
The last 3 days have been pure joy, Just got back. Weekends are too busy to waste time on being #6 or extending my downwind 10 miles.
Be back in on Monday, if Raul does not fly out to test fly the ARGON.
My darn PRIDE would like to post the dramatic improvement, I'll let you judge when you fly with me or watch.

The main purpose of this thread is to share what Fixed-wing pilots need to watch out for!!!
#1 when doing touch and goes, not stop and goes, it is against all FW instincts to pull the still back after touching down.
If we do that our nose will pop up, reduce our airspeed and we will strike our tail. Over 10K hours this is an automatic muscle memory you have to break.
The solution for me and I hope other FWers is to always think it is a soft-field landing, like on the beach where I hold the nose wheel up and do move the stick back.
I know I see concrete but I'm thinking beach and now it's not a problem.

I do know that I could just easily think stick back to increase RRPM on the ground roll before I need to do it.
But once I realized I'm fighting muscle memory even when it's in my mental checklist. My first thought was WHAT FW muscle memory I could use that would be more automatic. It worked for me.
---

#2 I do my first two engine-out emergency landings where I hold pattern altitude to just before the threshold.
Then he cuts power and I do Vertical Descents (Aren't they too much fun!!!) then nose down to 60 best-glide and land on the numbers (our target landing mark).
I do two of those at the airport (I want more) and then we fly out of the pattern up the freeway and he pulls power again and asks where are you going to land. The big concrete storm channel. OK.
All is well I'm almost on top of it and what do I do.?
I start a fixed-wing spiral down and then say. Dang just entered emergency proceeders for an FW landing I'm a gryo can I try that again with a vertical descent. That was the point of the last two landings wasn't it, and we both laughed.
I would have made the landing but how stupid.

That all so far. Ofter than what I mention before take-offs having more steps before you apply full power. Those steps are easy to memorize or read from a checklist but the only way to build muscle memory is by doing as many cycles as it takes.

Did I mention I'm having way too much fun!!!!
 
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WaspAir

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I start a fixed-wing spiral down and then say. Dang just entered emergency proceeders for an FW landing I'm a gryo can I try that again with a vertical descent. That was the point of the last two landings wasn't it, and we both laughed.
I would have made the landing but how stupid.
No, not stupid. Just because you CAN drop vertically doesn't mean you SHOULD. Among the advantages of the fixed wing style spiral is you get to see the landing zone from different angles, spot any obstructions, evaluate the wind, and adjust your plan accordingly (and you may get a bit more time with a slower descent rate than a purely vertical path). I'm all for exploiting what a gyro can do when it is to your advantage, but it isn't always the best choice. What works in the predictable controlled environment of an airport doesn't always play out as well over unexplored terrain.
 

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No, not stupid. Just because you CAN drop vertically doesn't mean you SHOULD. Among the advantages of the fixed wing style spiral is you get to see the landing zone from different angles, spot any obstructions, evaluate the wind, and adjust your plan accordingly (and you may get a bit more time with a slower descent rate than a purely vertical path). I'm all for exploiting what a gyro can do when it is to your advantage, but it isn't always the best choice. What works in the predictable controlled environment of an airport doesn't always play out as well over unexplored terrain.
Thank you, Jon. I think that is wise advice. I see only a few specific landing zones where the trees are too tall to even cross control a FW in without hitting the encircling trees. I view it as opening up many more emergency landing zones in a gyro and I believe I could use a combination of Vertical Decent to where I can now spiral or S turn for the final approach at many many more. This emergency landing procedure will allow me to fly safely from one glide away from the next emergency landing zone, I marked on the chart, flying over the 7K mountains on my way to Palms Springs, Borrego, and all directions east from San Diego enabling me to fly safely at a much lower altitude.

I may never use it in real life but I will practice them until mastered it opens up many more landing zones.
 
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WaspAir

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Be very cautious. If you're still going vertical at tree top level you have a great chance of going splat in the clearing. If you're using it only to lose altitude while approaching the spot, you have other options to consider.

Take a long hard look at your H-V avoid diagram as you think this through.

Altitude is your friend in the mountains, where the winds and vertical airmass motion can be as rude as the terrain. Don't skimp on height.
 

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PS:
Did I mention they are too much FUN with an instructor!!!
I'm having the best time of my life.
And giddy with anticipation of my new Day Job is just the beginning of enjoying a Rotor Adventure life from now on!!!
Will be flying to the lower 48 states starting this year. I hope to meet as many of you as we can and will go out of our way to get there.
Wait, there are no out-of-our way destinations... I've got time until I die to go anywhere.
 

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Be very cautious. If you're still going vertical at tree top level you have a great chance of going splat in the clearing. If you're using it only to lose altitude while approaching the spot, you have other options to consider.

Take a long hard look at your H-V avoid diagram as you think this through.

Altitude is your friend in the mountains, where the winds and vertical airmass motion can be as rude as the terrain. Don't skimp on height.
Thank you, Jon. I will listen to that advice, math is my first language. Spiral and S-Turns I can do even in a gyro. Once I set the best glide speed I SEE where the glide slope is going to hit. When he pulls the power and I hit 60 mph glide slope and see you are slightly too high. In a gyro with so much drag, you can hardly call them S turns to adjust slight back stick and a little to the left and back to the right until you see you will hit the target, and then it is back to the centerline.
I've asked Henry from the beginning to do mostly engine out landings about 75% and hit the numbers. Just not at the edge of them like I can most of the time in a fixed-wing but it's on the numbers.
PS: At first I had to apply power a few times but with practice, it becomes so much easier.
With FW if by myself it's always an engine-out landing practice often requesting a practice emergency landing short approach or spiral etc.
Use it or lose it.
 
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Vance

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I agree with J.R. and will expand on my dislike of a vertical descent for an emergency landing a little.

Having had several actual engine outs in Cavalons I feel that a vertical descent is my last choice for an engine out landing.

It is a nice maneuver to show off the capabilities of a gyroplane and it is fun.

I regularly use an engine at idle vertical descent to introduce someone to gyroplane flying.

In my opinion a vertical descent has little value beyond showing off.

In my experience it takes a lot of altitude to recover my airspeed from a vertical descent.

In a vertical descent your rate of descent is much higher than it is at 50kts indicated air speed.

A vertical descent near ground obstruction induced turbulence is a bad place to be in the gyroplane flight envelope.

A Cavalon has poor visibility forward and down so having my landing zone beneath me limits my ability to identify obstacles.

The Argon has better visibility forward and down; visibility of a landing zone below your nose is still restricted.
 

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I now concur Bro because of your and Jon's experienced advice will probably never consider vertical descent to landing.
Question: Have you seen a time to use vertical descent in real life?


I've been with Ron Awad in a twist and shout (Yipee) that was similar but he can recover his best glide in a dominator at about 100. I'm at 300 so I have 3 times as long to nail the best glide.
But I do admit I enjoy doing them more than engine-outs as they are so new to me.

When I have my ticket I will be doing these at EL Mirage when no one is there to see me.
They are just too much fun and require skill to fly like Ron and Vance.
Their skills are 100's or 1000+ hours of practicing each maneuver from where I am now.

I love this forum and if you know who to listen to it can save your Donkey.
 

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Question: Have you seen a time to use vertical descent in real life?
The only use I have found for a vertical descent is showing off or just having fun.

I would rather maneuver to my landing zone for an emergency landing John.

If I have lots of altitude to lose and my landing zone is close; I will do a spiral descent or fly some sort of pattern.

Slowing down below normal approach will steepen the descent if I am too high and the landing zone is directly ahead. Thirty five knots would be my minimum in a Cavalon so I could get back up to approach speed before I began my round out.

I have done a stop and drop from about three feet in a Cavalon landing in a very soft field (freshly seeded). In my opinion a normal landing with any roll would likely have grabbed the mains and smacked the nose wheel into the ground breaking it off and tipping us over.

In my opinion other than practicing engine at idle accurate landings the best thing to work on as a new gyroplane pilot is always being aware of which way the wind blows and constantly identify potential landing zones.
 

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Thank you valuable information.
Chuck's water ditch method IIRC is to do about the same thing but at the end turn it on a 90 and let the blades hit so he could swim out without spinning blades sinking towards him?
 

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The conventional helicopter wisdom is to choose which side to dip in (with a lateral roll) as you enter the water according to your direction of blade rotation (American and French spin opposite), with the intent of ensuring that the transmission will be ripped away from instead of through the cockpit. Gyros don't face that exact issue.

Water will absorb blade energy amazingly fast and kill rpm pretty abruptly. I can't picture anybody sinking with a level disc, and once a tip hits it is the most powerful rotor brake imaginable.
 

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I use to fly into private airstrip with noise sensitive neighbors so with no one in the pattern would fly high over the airport then vertically descent down then land. However, probably not a good idea if other planes flew into the pattern since they would not be able to see the gyro coming down vertically since would be looking for traffic in a normal pattern. Not all aircraft have working radios…

You do have to plan for the additional horizontal distance to rebuild up forward airspeed. In an emergency do whatever necessary to land safely within glide distance which is very small. Flying at tree top level won’t help any. I prefer to maintain forward airspeed too.

Mosquito helicopter landed in the water after engine out, and think he just did a normal emergency landing on top of the water.
 

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Thank you for the emergency landing procedures.

I'm not actually training for my license and flying to those low standards.
I'm training to my standards which are higher than commercial standards before I even start the actual training for my sign-off.
Turns around a point are to be perfect circles and stay within 10 feet of altitude. He brought a tablet on the last flight I did not know he was recording my turns around a point or the S turns over the road. When we got back Henry looked at them and he said it is not possible to do better than that even if I drew them for someone as an example. I was surprised that they were perfect with no bumps on the circles. I knew I nailed the altitude as I'm partly fixed on the altimeter much more than a fixed-wing. My patterns were a fat line with no line outside of the others without knowing he was recording and I was not even trying to do that just flew the pattern as always.

I'm practicing with a CFI spot landing contest landing and every other maneuver the gyro can do, 1st before I start training for my license at all.
Soon will be doing twist and shouts all before my actual flying lessons begin to get my license.

The truth is I'm just flying for FUN. Not my license at all. Only glanced at the standards and won't until I start training to pass the test.
I'm paying a CFI for FUN and to learn gyro flight envelope not my license yet AT ALL.
 
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You should post the standards as most pilots are training to that 1st.
Just point out John is backward in almost everything he does and not training to standards and that is why if legal and can take off again he is actually landing on emergency landing pratice and would fail the test.
 

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Thank you for the emergency landing procedures.

I'm not actually training for my license and flying to those low standards.
I'm training to my standards which are higher than commercial standards before I even start the actual training for my sign-off.
Turns around a point are to be perfect circles and stay within 10 feet of altitude. He brought a tablet on the last flight I did not know he was recording my turns around a point or the S turns over the road. When we got back Henry looked at them and he said it is not possible to do better than that even if I drew them for someone as an example. I was surprised that they were perfect with no bumps on the circles. I knew I nailed the altitude as I'm partly fixed on the altimeter much more than a fixed-wing. My patterns were a fat line with no line outside of the others without knowing he was recording and I was not even trying to do that just flew the pattern as always.

I'm practicing with a CFI spot landing contest landing and every other maneuver the gyro can do, 1st before I start training for my license at all.
Soon will be doing twist and shouts all before my actual flying lessons begin to get my license.

The truth is I'm just flying for FUN. Not my license at all. Only glanced at the standards and won't until I start training to pass the test.
I'm paying a CFI for FUN and to learn gyro flight envelope not my license yet AT ALL.
The practical test standards are to give a way for the examiner a way to quantify if the applicant has control of the aircraft.

I am pleased when a client has their eyes outside enough to not be able to tell if they met the standards until we review the flight video.

They use the flight instruments to calibrate their sight picture.

They do not use the flight instruments to guide their control inputs.

In my opinion trying to fly a gyroplane to tighter standards for airspeed and altitude would distract me from learning to fly and is counterproductive.

I find many experienced fixed wing pilots get too focused on the practical test standards and forget to fly the gyroplane like a gyroplane.

The goal is to be a safe pilot rather than a show pony.

Over controlling a gyroplane is not good piloting.

The standard for altitude is to check your situational awareness and help you meet air traffic control’s expectations.

The standard for air speed is to see you have control of the aircraft and recognize that flying a gyroplane is about airspeed rather than ground speed.

The standard for airspeed on approach and climb out is to remind you that airspeed is more important near the ground.

The standard for direction of flight is to teach you to roll in and roll out of a turn properly.

Turns around a point are to teach you to divide you attention between the ground and flying the aircraft and anticipate the effects of wind. There is no standard for how round the circle should be because it is not a priority.

It is my observation that most gyroplane accidents happen because of distractions that cause a person to forget how to fly a gyroplane and forget what the controls do.

The accident chain usually begins with poor aviation decision making.
 

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You should post the standards as most pilots are training to that 1st.
Just point out John is backward in almost everything he does and not training to standards and that is why if legal and can take off again he is actually landing on emergency landing pratice and would fail the test.
Practical test standards for Sport Pilot:

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

Practical test standards Private:

http://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/test_standards/media/FAA-S-8081-15a.pdf

Practical test standards Commercial:

http://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/test_standards/media/FAA-S-8081-16B.pdf
 

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Thank you, Vance.
When I start over with the actual training for my license. I will post that too.
It may cause me problems as you are warning me.
I will tell you the good, bad, and ugly regarding any bad habits learned by being able to fly in the entire flight envelope before I start training for my license.
 

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Thank you, Vance.
When I start over with the actual training for my license. I will post that too.
It may cause me problems as you are warning me.
I will tell you the good, bad, and ugly regarding any bad habits learned by being able to fly in the entire flight envelope before I start training for my license.
John, I'm wondering if this method of gyro flying you use, will end up costing you double for your add-on? Seems like your pulling the strings and the instructor's just babysitting, am I mistaken? I wonder how many instructors would agree to this situation?
 

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John, I'm wondering if this method of gyro flying you use, will end up costing you double for your add-on? Seems like your pulling the strings and the instructor's just babysitting, am I mistaken? I wonder how many instructors would agree to this situation?
I expect it will take 2 times longer at least.
Gee's you make me feel like I'm doing something bad J by asking a CFI if they want to just go fly for FUN and not a license.
 

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John, I'm sorry if I made you feel like your doing something bad to ask an instructor to go flying for fun!
 
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