My synthesis of the recent accident discussions

fara

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You only have to look at most of the filmed accidents posted on the Internet to know that they occur because of running too fast at too low Rrpm.
A detection of limit parameters would be easily achievable, but will always alert the pilot too late, because they evolve too fast during the run.

However, Mike is now able to predict the evolution of the measured parameters that will lead to disaster seconds later if the pilot doesn't react and and it no need to check if a light is blinking.
In my opinion it's as useful an warning system for gyros as the stall warning for FWs
What modern airplane have not a stall warning system? Not useful for instructors, of course.

We for one would definitely test Mike’s system and evaluate its benefit to new pilots in our Gyroplanes. Also looking at BRS and if it is feasible.
 
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Tyger

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You only have to look at most of the filmed accidents posted on the Internet to know that they occur because of running too fast at too low Rrpm.
True, but of course, the most filmed phase of flight is always going to be takeoffs. One must always guard against availability bias.
 

Jean Claude

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I agree with that Tyler, but also the underloaded rotors are mainly due to the amplification by high thrust lines.
 

Tyger

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I agree, JC, but that's a bit like saying mid-engine sports cars are more prone to oversteer/spin out because of the aft CG. You just have to learn to drive them with that in mind.
Anyway, not to downplay anything, but my main point was that there may be a risk of focusing more on takeoff problems because we can see those on video.
 

Doug Riley

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I'm reluctant to "out" myself as a gyro fossil, but perhaps that ship has sailed anyway:

We in the 1970's learned rotor handling on unpowered, hand-prerotated, car-towed gyrogliders. I self-taught on mine at age 16, with a tow driver too young to have a driver's license (but he was a "natural"). I damaged nothing in the process. This had approach several advantages over learning the same skills in a powered 2-place gyroplane:

Most important, the student has few distractions. There is little noise, no throttle and no rudder to force him/her into premature multi-tasking. Of course, eventually the pilot must learn multi-tasking. Still, texts on teaching (such the FAA's infamous FOI) always advise isolating and teaching one skill at a time, adding others only when Skill #1 is mastered.

In addition to this ability to focus, it's possible in a gyroglider to use rotor blades that are more forgiving than today's higher-performance blades. IOW, a flap need not not instantly demolish the aircraft. My old Bensen woodies (pitched at zero degrees, per the manual) would flap merrily and slap the stick around, while doing no more harm than wearing a bit of metal off the stop plate. I would not like to try the same thing with modern metal blades, especially Dragon Wings.

Furthermore, the equipment is cheap, once you leave off the $40,000 Rotax, the Spaceman Spiff instrument panel and fiberglass eye candy.

In this simple training environment, you soon become "one" with the rotor. You can hear and see your rotor RPM, and learn the feel of the stick that goes with different RRPM's. You eventually know what the rotor is going to do even before IT does.

The Bensen "flying trailer," or boom trainer, was apparently even more forgiving, though I've never tried one.

Would Joe "Big Bucks" Bonanza, with $125K burning a hole in his pocket, tolerate such a humble first step in his training? That might be a tough sell, but well worth a try, in my opinion.
 

Tyger

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Would Joe "Big Bucks" Bonanza, with $125K burning a hole in his pocket, tolerate such a humble first step in his training? That might be a tough sell, but well worth a try, in my opinion.
Nice idea but, who exactly is going to be giving that training? Making that "sell", as it were. In my neck of the woods, gyro CFIs are pretty thin on the ground...
Also, it's not just the fact of having money, but sometimes guys who have made good money in their lives, especially older guys, feel that time is the scarcest resource they now have to spend...
When I asked my father-in-law why he had retired relatively young, he said "I felt I had bought enough money with my time". That made an impression on me (he lived to be 93).
 
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NJpilot

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We for one would definitely test Mike’s system and evaluate its benefit to new pilots in our Gyroplanes. Also looking at BRS and if it is feasible.
Glad to hear you're considering a parachute system. Not sure if you're referring to BRS in generic terms or the company. No point in considering the company BRS as they don't support gyros. You'll want to look at a GRS system (Galaxy Recovery System) as they have a unique system that supports gyros and helicopters. The following link shows installations for Magni, Autogyro, and CH-7 and Mosquito helicopters. I emailed them a month ago... and still no rotorcraft saves. I'd love to see an old Benson flown remotely deploy a GRS. They've done ground deployment thru spinning rotors with success but I'd love to see one floating down. Unfortunately they have photoshopped images of a gyro and helicopter floating down on their website.

 

Mike G

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In my original post I basically said that:

Hoping for a globally accepted training regime that would reduce the number of accidents was Utopian.

Seeing the ongoing disagreement between two of RWF’s most prolific CFIs seems to me to be a good example of the sort of difficulties any standardization of training would face.

Therefore I maintain that nothing is going to change.

That waiting for manufacturers to include the safety features currently proposed on this forum was Utopian.

Doug argued that it wasn’t Utopian because Aviomania, Sportcopter and Xenon (but which???) are including some of these features.

However these 3 are very small players compared to “the big 3” who have thousands of gyros out there and they have zero financial incentive to change their designs. The reason they have no incentive was given by Doug himself “safety doesn’t sell” and it’s the “big 3” that are selling.

Therefore I maintain that waiting for the manufacturers to reduce the number of accidents by design changes is Utopian and nothing is going to change.

That a major contributing factor to gyro accidents was the age and/or FW background of new owner/pilots.

I haven’t seen any counter arguments to this (Ron Awad’s) analysis so I conclude that nothing will change until these guys stop flying.

I proposed a stop gap solution but it has aroused little interest or curiosity so I’ll answer those who were interested.

Xavier the alarm system uses a recorded message to tell the pilot via his intercom which danger he is about to face, he doesn’t have to interpret any flashing lights or warning sirens. The owner/pilot can even record his own message that will be more likely to trigger the correct muscle memory.

Jean Claude thank you for your input and help.

Fara, in fact it would be very useful for instructors, a French instructor commented to me that it would allow him to approach the low Rrpm/flapping/sailing area of operations with more confidence. Also the system includes an instructor’s button that allows him to simulate any of the alarms to train students to have the correct reaction.

When Covid allows us to travel again I’ll come to Florida with the latest prototype to test on your AR1.

Happy New Year to everyone and hoping that we can travel again.

Mike G
 

chrisk

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As I read through this thread, there are lots of references to training and calls to make it more consistent or better in a variety of ways. And I also see folks realizing that such changes are exceedingly difficult to obtain.

I might suggest the way to start making changes is with the most common and accepted flight training material: The Rotorcraft Flying Handbook from the FAA. Everything you need to know about gyroplanes in under 40 pages, and only 15 pages on flight operations! I expect the FAA would be willing to update chapters 20 and 21 if better peer reviewed material was available. --Any volunteers to start drafting updates?
 

fara

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Glad to hear you're considering a parachute system. Not sure if you're referring to BRS in generic terms or the company. No point in considering the company BRS as they don't support gyros. You'll want to look at a GRS system (Galaxy Recovery System) as they have a unique system that supports gyros and helicopters. The following link shows installations for Magni, Autogyro, and CH-7 and Mosquito helicopters. I emailed them a month ago... and still no rotorcraft saves. I'd love to see an old Benson flown remotely deploy a GRS. They've done ground deployment thru spinning rotors with success but I'd love to see one floating down. Unfortunately they have photoshopped images of a gyro and helicopter floating down on their website.


Yes I meant in generic terms. A parachute rescue system. BRS does not support gyroplanes and has not developed a tech solution that works for gyroplanes because there isn't a demand. Boris and BRS guys are good acquaintances. If they saw that someone is going to push the system on gyroplanes, they may come around but if not there are GRS and others who have some patents n making the system work on gyroplanes
 

fara

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In my original post I basically said that:

Hoping for a globally accepted training regime that would reduce the number of accidents was Utopian.

Seeing the ongoing disagreement between two of RWF’s most prolific CFIs seems to me to be a good example of the sort of difficulties any standardization of training would face.

Therefore I maintain that nothing is going to change.

That waiting for manufacturers to include the safety features currently proposed on this forum was Utopian.

Doug argued that it wasn’t Utopian because Aviomania, Sportcopter and Xenon (but which???) are including some of these features.

However these 3 are very small players compared to “the big 3” who have thousands of gyros out there and they have zero financial incentive to change their designs. The reason they have no incentive was given by Doug himself “safety doesn’t sell” and it’s the “big 3” that are selling.

Therefore I maintain that waiting for the manufacturers to reduce the number of accidents by design changes is Utopian and nothing is going to change.

That a major contributing factor to gyro accidents was the age and/or FW background of new owner/pilots.

I haven’t seen any counter arguments to this (Ron Awad’s) analysis so I conclude that nothing will change until these guys stop flying.

I proposed a stop gap solution but it has aroused little interest or curiosity so I’ll answer those who were interested.

Xavier the alarm system uses a recorded message to tell the pilot via his intercom which danger he is about to face, he doesn’t have to interpret any flashing lights or warning sirens. The owner/pilot can even record his own message that will be more likely to trigger the correct muscle memory.

Jean Claude thank you for your input and help.

Fara, in fact it would be very useful for instructors, a French instructor commented to me that it would allow him to approach the low Rrpm/flapping/sailing area of operations with more confidence. Also the system includes an instructor’s button that allows him to simulate any of the alarms to train students to have the correct reaction.

When Covid allows us to travel again I’ll come to Florida with the latest prototype to test on your AR1.

Happy New Year to everyone and hoping that we can travel again.

Mike G

Hi Mike
Would be glad to have you again for another balancing seminar as well as testing this mechanism. You have flown in the AR-1 with canopy so may be you can think of places we can install it where it behaves for best performance
 
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Tyger

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I might suggest the way to start making changes is with the most common and accepted flight training material: The Rotorcraft Flying Handbook from the FAA. Everything you need to know about gyroplanes in under 40 pages, and only 15 pages on flight operations! I expect the FAA would be willing to update chapters 20 and 21 if better peer reviewed material was available. --Any volunteers to start drafting updates?
I'll volunteer to do proofreading... it's one of the few things I'm good at. ☺️
Regarding Ch 21... is ground resonance actually a thing with gyros? The old three-bladed ones, obviously.
Also, wouldn't it be a good idea for the FAA to turn it into a separate handbook for gyros, instead of just telling everyone to use the (21-year) old Rotorcraft Flying Handbook but "just ignore that helicopter stuff"?
 

Philbennett

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What is quite depressing is that we debate things in this very forum and yet still the same snags that seem obvious continue to bite. Differences training was highlighted as recently as the Mentone "incident" and very sadly the message got diluted because of petty squabbling and a desire in some quarters to distract then boom it kills someone in Utah.

How utterly dismal it may be that a core safety message gets lost in page after page of who said? she said? and utter nonsense and a pilot then wipes himself out because he just gave up reading, which is highly likely a typical situation with much of this forum.
 

DarDow101

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I'll volunteer to do proofreading... it's one of the few things I'm good at. ☺️
Regarding Ch 21... is ground resonance actually a thing with gyros? The old three-bladed ones, obviously.
Also, wouldn't it be a good idea for the FAA to turn it into a separate handbook for gyros, instead of just telling everyone to use the (21-year) old Rotorcraft Flying Handbook but "just ignore that helicopter stuff"?
What I find distracting about the "Rotocraft Flying Handbook" is the fact that you have to know all about heli and some FW knowledge that have nothing to do wih gyro flying. Yet if you try to get a better than good score on the FAA gyroplane test you better know these unrelated answers or tough shit. Why does the FAA do this?
 

Vance

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What is quite depressing is that we debate things in this very forum and yet still the same snags that seem obvious continue to bite. Differences training was highlighted as recently as the Mentone "incident" and very sadly the message got diluted because of petty squabbling and a desire in some quarters to distract then boom it kills someone in Utah.

How utterly dismal it may be that a core safety message gets lost in page after page of who said? she said? and utter nonsense and a pilot then wipes himself out because he just gave up reading, which is highly likely a typical situation with much of this forum.
Step away from the mirror Phil Bennett.

As I recall the multiple threads about my Mentone mishap got diluted because some people focused on whether or not the gyroplane was legal for flight and the minutia around some peoples misunderstanding of the Federal Aviation Regulations. The safety information was presented immediately and clearly.

I for one know a lot more about what happened in Utah than you do Phil and yet I am waiting for more information to draw a conclusion.

In my opinion it is pointless to pronounce the situation in Utah that you know so little about as idiotic and detracts from the safety message.

This thread is not about the Utah accident and the value of it is getting diluted because of your unwillingness to focus on anything beyond banging your drum.

I look forward to seeing Mike’s device in action and admire his creativity and resolve.
 
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Tyger

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It seems obvious that the FAA decided to take the easy way out with the current Handbook when they just stamped "FOR GYROPLANE USE ONLY" on the cover of the old RFH version, instead of doing an actual rewrite (of both the handbook and test questions) for gyroplanes. That's why I quite like chrisk's suggestion that it be properly redone.
Test questions are usually derived from current official doctrine, and that's what the Handbook is. If the helo-specific stuff is removed, those test questions will have to change.
 

rdalcanto

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When I can watch the film and then become aware of the [frankly] idiocy around the Utah accident then short of a medical event it would not and could not have happened in the UK. FACT.
I'm sorry, did I miss the post where you figured out what happened to cause the crash (that was also so idiotic)?
 

rdalcanto

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Vance you likely have the same information as me and yet you choose to represent the situation as if things were completed as planned, and to a recommended conclusion. That is not the case. The accident pilot didn’t want to do the suggested training program by the manufacturer for whatever reason but it is fact that what was elected to do was not the week of training with the manufacturer at their facility but a few hours with a pilot whilst familiar with the aircraft was not an FI.

Indeed even this plan B didn't happen as planned, where the intention of the "safety pilot" was to fly all day for 2.5 days but instead only had a few hours in the afternoons as the accident pilot was busy.

The "safety" pilot was unhappy with the progress and ability of the accident pilot to the point they had some harsh words and particulary about his over controlling but the accident pilot flew anyway.

I'm not sure what you consider to be "transition" training but it might seem that the story I relate may allow you to conclude the process that had been gone through wasn't enough transition training.

Differences training as you well know is important and had there been some regulation it would not only have likely saved a life but also the stress of the safety pilot and the manufacturer.
You are misinformed. I was standing in the hangar when Dave came back from training my father, and said he was happy with his flying and had zero concerns about his ability/safety. He certainly seemed to indicate to me that he did not need any more training. My mother was also standing there and heard the same thing.
 

rdalcanto

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Just one comment. In the three 'almost-accidents' that I have experienced, the cause has been always a distraction. That's why I believe that, in many accidents, the origin of the chain of events ending in a crash is probably a momentary distraction, things then escalate fast, the pilot panics, loses control and crashes.
Anyone can have a momentary distraction, no matter how well-trained he is or how much experience he may have... Of course, we all know that we should always pay attention to what we're doing, specially when piloting a gyro, but we are humans...
Interesting to read this tonight, as I was wondering earlier today if there was any chance that the Utah accident occurred because he took off without latching the bubble canopy closed, and had it either open, or lost control while trying to latch it (I never looked at how the canopy is secured and where the lock is relative to the pilot/controls). I've flown enough hours with my father to know that he wouldn't just pull up and roll almost 90 degrees voluntarily or because of "lack of training".
 

DavePA11

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Certainly could be possibility as a major distraction. If it did occur do you think the pilot would have reduced power first? Unless it wasn’t possible to do so with one hand on the stick and the other on the canopy? Don’t think it’s possible to know what happened unless there was an on board camera... Happened so fast.

Having trim systems helps manage these types of unforeseen issues since its possible to take your hand off the stick momentarily if the trim is adjusted correctly. The gyro I flew did not have a trim system, and could not take my hand off the stick at all so was limited to using one hand in flight for setting instruments, gps, adjust seat belt, putting fuel cap on, etc.

I prefer open gyros or ones with side doors to avoid such a potential scenario with a canopy.
 
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