My synthesis of the recent accident discussions

C. Beaty

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NJpilot

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The future of PPG propulsion is most definitely electric. The instant response and ability to stop the motor and safely glide silently is game changing, not to mention less noise. The gear box required to achieve counter rotation in an ICE engine just adds weight, complexity and failure points. Again electric is the solution which easily allows for multiple engines with counter rotating props. The downside is more prop noise than a single prop. Right now 45min-1hr is the max flight time which is enough for the vast majority of late afternoon flights. As with anything electric, as battery capacity improves so will electric PPG applications.
 

loftus

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The future of PPG propulsion is most definitely electric. The instant response and ability to stop the motor and safely glide silently is game changing, not to mention less noise. The gear box required to achieve counter rotation in an ICE engine just adds weight, complexity and failure points. Again electric is the solution which easily allows for multiple engines with counter rotating props. The downside is more prop noise than a single prop. Right now 45min-1hr is the max flight time which is enough for the vast majority of late afternoon flights. As with anything electric, as battery capacity improves so will electric PPG applications.
That is very cool. Prop noise does not seem too bad from the pilot's perspective. Yes electric is coming at least for recreational flight. Hydrogen cell and hybrid technologies are likely going to dominate first for commercial and longer duration applications.
 

fara

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No wonder you guys keep killing yourselves - "Oh look bells , whistles and chrome cup holders!"


You treat deadly machinery like toys

Just get better training

I agree but at least I can't change the CFIs and people who become pilots or are already gyroplane pilots trained by various existing CFIs but what I can do is try and help save their lives by giving them some more tools like warnings and a last resort chance of a ballistic parachute pull. Its the same thing as was in trikes. Yet there are many dozens of BRS saves on trikes as well as on airplanes (in the 100's actually). I have noticed that customers try and put pressure of time, business needs and other pressures on a CFI to try and "get it done". I have noticed many CFIs who are hands on very decent but give no or very little ground school where important topics such as unloading of the rotor or ADM is talked about and discussed in detail. Certainly you won't practice unloading the rotor in the air in training so only way to give proper attention to it is in ground school and if you don't do any ground school and cover these topic thoroughly then how are you being a CFI? Ground school is not just about discussing maneuvers before flight or how to read a chart and get a weather briefing. I have personally experienced all these things first hand in the US gyroplane world. So I agree that it is training based but manufacturers cannot change existing CFIs and their behavior nor can we change people taking training wanting a sign off in limited time no matter what nor can we change at what age people decide to finally start to learn to fly in their lives. There is a night and day difference in teaching someone to fly when they are in their 20s, 30's, 40's and one who comes in at 65+. These are just facts of life and we have to be ready to put in the work that is required and be honest about our fitness (not just health but fitness). I personally see this out there first hand. I personally have forced people to cancel an order (resell their new gyro) when they trained with me and I determined that they aren't fit to be driving a sports car let alone fly. It isn't easy to do when they have ordered a machine from you but when during lessons you determine the person has physical as well has mental limitations that they were not honest about with you at start but you find those out after 6 to 7 hours of training them, you have to let them know. Very difficult conversations.
 
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Tyger

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My old CFI said he had decided to no longer train any new pilots over age 60. My guess is that their success rate with him was low, and that he really hated having those difficult conversations.
 

Vance

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I agree but at least I can't change the CFIs and people who become pilots or are already gyroplane pilots trained by various existing CFIs but what I can do is try and help save their lives by giving them some more tools like warnings and a last resort chance of a ballistic parachute pull. Its the same thing as was in trikes. Yet there are many dozens of BRS saves on trikes as well as on airplanes (in the 100's actually). I have noticed that customers try and put pressure of time, business needs and other pressures on a CFI to try and "get it done". I have noticed many CFIs who are hands on very decent but give no or very little ground school where important topics such as unloading of the rotor or ADM is talked about and discussed in detail. Certainly you won't practice unloading the rotor in the air in training so only way to give proper attention to it is in ground school and if you don't do any ground school and cover these topic thoroughly then how are you being a CFI? Ground school is not just about discussing maneuvers before flight or how to read a chart and get a weather briefing. I have personally experienced all these things first hand in the US gyroplane world. So I agree that it is training based but manufacturers cannot change existing CFIs and their behavior nor can we change people taking training wanting a sign off in limited time no matter what nor can we change at what age people decide to finally start to learn to fly in their lives. There is a night and day difference in teaching someone to fly when they are in their 20s, 30's, 40's and one who comes in at 65+. These are just facts of life and we have to be ready to put in the work that is required and be honest about our fitness (not just health but fitness). I personally see this out there first hand. I personally have forced people to cancel an order (resell their new gyro) when they trained with me and I determined that they aren't fit to be driving a sports car let alone fly. It isn't easy to do when they have ordered a machine from you but when during lessons you determine the person has physical as well has mental limitations that they were not honest about with you at start but you find those out after 6 to 7 hours of training them, you have to let them know. Very difficult conversations.
In my opinion CFIs are the gatekeepers to the FAA flight training system.

Perhaps you are not aware of the oversight of flight instructors by the FAA Abid.

If the accidents were piling up on a specific CFI it would not take long for the FAA to catch up with them and have them receive additional training or revoke their flight instructor privileges.

I extended solo privileges for a client who’s CFI had become unavailable after carefully observing his flying skills.

He crashed with only minor injuries and a representative from his local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) contacted me and went over my log book entries in some detail and specificity and asked about my reasoning in extending his solo privileges.

I was impressed with the thoroughness of the investigation and pleased to have the oversight.

I am conscious that each time I sign my name to extend someone’s privileges I may have to defend my decisions if there is a mishap.

I feel anything that can make a pilot more aware of his aircraft has value.

I feel a blanket condemnation of CFIs has no value.

I feel telling someone that they aren’t pilot material just because you are unable to train them is a mistake. Individuals learn in different ways and it may be that your teaching style does not mesh with their learning style.
 

fara

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In my opinion CFIs are the gatekeepers to the FAA flight training system.

Perhaps you are not aware of the oversight of flight instructors by the FAA Abid.

If the accidents were piling up on a specific CFI it would not take long for the FAA to catch up with them and have them receive additional training or revoke their flight instructor privileges.

I extended solo privileges for a client who’s CFI had become unavailable after carefully observing his flying skills.

He crashed with only minor injuries and a representative from his local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) contacted me and went over my log book entries in some detail and specificity and asked about my reasoning in extending his solo privileges.

I was impressed with the thoroughness of the investigation and pleased to have the oversight.

I am conscious that each time I sign my name to extend someone’s privileges I may have to defend my decisions if there is a mishap.

I feel anything that can make a pilot more aware of his aircraft has value.

I feel a blanket condemnation of CFIs has no value.

I feel telling someone that they aren’t pilot material just because you are unable to train them is a mistake. Individuals learn in different ways and it may be that your teaching style does not mesh with their learning style.
Hi vance
First let me be clear in case there was any doubt. I am talking in general and not about one or two or three specific events.
Second, I am very well aware of FAA oversight. 709 check rides and the rest. I know people who have gotten 709 checkride. I have trained to date a total of 56 pilots who passed their check rides and got the license. Thankfully so far none of my direct students have had a fatal or serious injury accident but I know it’s just a matter of time. So yes in that sense I personally have not experienced directly FAA oversight. Generally we are required to keep training records for 3 years after sign offs. At some point it’s no longer your baby.
I don’t think any instructor does things with ill-intent. It does not work that way but I also know for a fact there are Gyroplane CFIs who should have never gotten out of the oral. Gyroplanes are definitely a decade behind other categories in training and training seriousness. Part of that is due to proximity to instructors available. It’s always better to have more instructors around the country. Part of it is left over good old boy network that made instructors at some point without due seriousness. It’s going to change eventually but as I said Gyroplanes are a decade behind in that. It’s just my educated guess from my experience. I understand not every one will have my experience or perspective and may have a different view.

For the case of telling someone what I think honestly .. I will disagree with you on that respectfully. Yes I try different approaches and yes I may send them to another instructor first but it is a fact that flying isn’t for everyone. It’s just that way. I have to be blunt at some point. Just my opinion. Some people will take much longer but they don’t have the time. Some people simply physically aren’t fit to be flying. May be they should not even be driving. Some people are good hands on but can’t do any book work to learn about weather, airspace, navigation, theory etc. some are careless and will fly without a preflight or paying attention. Risk is always there but certain personality traits simply increase these people’s risk a bit too far. Some just don’t know where their own limits are and they will attempt things that the machine is certainly capable of but they aren't. In general machines are usually capable of doing a lot more than its occupants. All this has to be considered.
 
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fara

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My old CFI said he had decided to no longer train any new pilots over age 60. My guess is that their success rate with him was low, and that he really hated having those difficult conversations.
Not true for every older student but yes the rate certainly is lower. Also they have to dedicate more time which many of them don’t have or are not willing to invest or commit. All those things come into play.
 

kolibri282

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One element of flight safety that has so far not been discussed is the use of flight simulators, which is an important part in commercial aviation. I recently came across this one:
Which is a film featuring the simulator by Navirnet
NAVIRNET Flight simulators Tel +34 610 044 570 - +34 639 432 788 [email protected]
Perhaps Phil could comment on this one.

There are also two simulator programs in Germany

One by Simtec:
Kontakt: Phillip Hellwig, Telefon 05307/204 11 35.
Website:www.simtec-systems.de
https://www.fliegermagazin.de/news/simulator-fuer-tragschrauber/
Which currently seems to be under development.

Last but not least I have had the opportunity of "flying" the Simulator developed by AutoGyro. Unfortunately they have, as far as I know, not made it available for public use.

Given the enormous scope of simulator use in commercial aviation there can be no doubt that a good simulator would help to train better autogyro pilots. Perhaps the PRA could contact all possible candidates (including the above) to further deployment and use of simulations in the sport.
 

fara

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I believe this simulator costs in excess of $25000
I am not sure a simulator will solve all the issues. I can develop a simulator for AR-1 feel for instance but is there a demand for it? There are no commercial flight schools for gyroplanes to be able to afford it and actually get the use for it to pay themselves back.
I have been training a mid 20's fixed wing CFI in gyroplanes with an AR-1 powered by 915iS. We are at around 8 hours and he will be ready by 10 hours and I am fairly conservative as an instructor. The same level of achievement would take triple or quadruple the time for a regular customer due to age difference and skill difference. That's the bottom line and it is what it is.
 

Jazzenjohn

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The first powered parachute I'm aware of was the Paraplane. Many had 2 solo engines with counter rotating props.
 

kolibri282

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Quote: I am not sure a simulator will solve all the issues. /Quote
I fully agree, yet there are issues that can be solved by simulators, otherwise these wouldn't be used so extensively. A good friend of mine has a simulator for helicopters, complete with rudder pedals a stick and a separate collective. He uses two 28" screens side by side for visualization of the terrain plus an I-Pad for the charts. After more then one hundred hours training in the simulator he went to a flight school and booked an hour with an instructor. Within five minutes he was able to keep the helicopter stationary in a hover and perform slow left/right rotations. I therefore think that a flight sim like X-Plane or MSFS would already be a big step forward. Unfortunately none of the flight sims I know does include the rotor degree of freedom in autorotation, a key feature of any gyro.
 
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Vance

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I have yet to fly a simulator that does a good job or approximating gyroplane flight.

I love a flight simulator for instrument training.

I was amazed by a young man from Russia with no aviation experience who might be described as a high end gamer. He flew very well with very little instruction.

If I had a flight simulator that had a more accurate depiction of gyroplane flight there are specific training scenarios I would love to use it for.

An actual gyroplane is much more expensive to operate than a flight simulator and mistakes in a gyroplane may be expensive.flight simulator.jpg
 

Jazzenjohn

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Pilots have been using flight sims for decades. I flew them in the Air Force 35 years ago and they weren't new even then. The usefulness of a sim has little to do with whether it is comparably sophisticated or has motion. It needs scenarios that users can practice that are imprudent or impossible to do in a real flight. The utility of them has more to do with practicing emergency procedures, getting a feel for available time when a malfunction happens. It is comparatively easy and completely safe to experience a broken trim spring in a sim, and you can simulate it at 50 feet or an engine out immediately after takeoff on a short field. How about dropping in a landing in a 50 foot diameter clearing surrounded by trees, or practicing take offs with blades that are programmed to flap much easier than actual blades. These are the things I envision a sim to be most useful for.
 

DavePA11

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I haven’t flown a sim that replicated the experience of flying yet. Okay for replicating how instruments perform.
 

chrisk

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Pilots have been using flight sims for decades. I flew them in the Air Force 35 years ago and they weren't new even then. The usefulness of a sim has little to do with whether it is comparably sophisticated or has motion. It needs scenarios that users can practice that are imprudent or impossible to do in a real flight. The utility of them has more to do with practicing emergency procedures, getting a feel for available time when a malfunction happens. It is comparatively easy and completely safe to experience a broken trim spring in a sim, and you can simulate it at 50 feet or an engine out immediately after takeoff on a short field. How about dropping in a landing in a 50 foot diameter clearing surrounded by trees, or practicing take offs with blades that are programmed to flap much easier than actual blades. These are the things I envision a sim to be most useful for.
I've found simulators are wonderful for instrument flight and simulating various complex / dangerous emergencies. That said, none of them has acted well for take off or landing. The number of emergencies and the associated checklists in most gyros is relatively small. All of which is to say the simulators don't need to behave as an aircraft in extreme flight conditions (like a stall for an airplane, can you really put it in a flat spin?).

I expect the usefulness of a gyro simulator is rather limited.
 
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