New Guy with Questions

TenSeven

Newbie
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Nov 3, 2016
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13
Location
Carlsbad
Hello everyone (thanks for the Registration help Todd).

I'm a retired firefighter looking to get a Sport Pilot license (because low and slow around the patch is what I'm most interested in). Initially I wanted to home build a fixed wing LSA but I've recently experienced a renewed interest in gyroplanes but I have a few questions, thanks.

1) Safety. I like that there is less consequence to engine failure since there is a rotor above you that can provide a better chance (than fixed wing) of a safe landing, True? However, loss of that rotor or its function, however remote, I would imagine lead to a gyroplane abruptly dropping out of the sky (no fixed wing glide). Question- Are ballistic parachutes 'normally' installed on gyroplanes? Can they be? Do any of you where a parachute? Could anyone reasonably expect to be able to bail out of gyroplane?

2) Cost. It looks as though gyroplanes are 'easily' trailable so if need be one could be stored in a garage in order to avoid hanger or tie down fees. Anyone actually doing so? Being N numbered, having more moving parts and a certified engine, are gyrocopters more expensive to maintain than a typical fixed wing LSA?

3) Where best to fly. I live in So. Cal., north of San Diego. I see there is a PRA Chapter out in El Cajon, over 40 miles away from me, also there is an annual(?) gyro fly-in out in the desert up by LA. Are there other locations that gyroplane pilots are hanging out and flying?

Thanks again.


Mike
 

TyroGyro

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Sep 30, 2016
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192
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Liverpool, UK
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MTO Sport
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Hi Mike. I'm a recent newbie too.

On point 1, we have recently discussed a case on the accident thread that involved a BRS parachute. They definitely exist, and seem popular in parts of France, in particular.

see post 125, where I added details of the manufacturer, etc.
http://www.rotaryforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=46472&page=9

However, I am unaware of any case where they have saved a life in a gyro accident.

As I see it, there is no substitute for choosing a robust machine and getting the proper training to fly it safely in the first place. There was a hint in the French accident that the training was slapdash, because the parachute was supposedly there to save the day. It didn't, and it wasn't even deployed...

To balance the infinitesimal risk of the rotors departing in flight on a factory built machine, there is probably a similar small risk of a BRS being deployed incorrectly or uncommanded at low alt, perhaps precipitating an unnecessary fatal accident.

More experienced people than me may be able to identify specific situations where a BRS would be a nice-to-have, but I suspect they exist only in the realms of the theoretical.
 
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TenSeven

Newbie
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
13
Location
Carlsbad
Hi Mike. I'm a recent newbie too.

On point 1, we have recently discussed a case on the accident thread that involved a BRS parachute. They definitely exist, and seem popular in parts of France, in particular.

see post 125, where I added details of the manufacturer, etc.
http://www.rotaryforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=46472&page=9

However, I am unaware of any case where they have saved a life in a gyro accident.

As I see it, there is no substitute for choosing a robust machine and getting the proper training to fly it safely in the first place. There was a hint in the French accident that the training was slapdash, because the parachute was supposedly there to save the day. It didn't, and it wasn't even deployed...

To balance the infinitesimal risk of the rotors departing in flight on a factory built machine, there is probably a similar small risk of a BRS being deployed incorrectly or uncommanded at low alt, perhaps precipitating an unnecessary fatal accident.

More experienced people than me may be able to identify a specific situation where a BRS would be a nice-to-have, but I suspect they exist only in the realms of the theoretical.

Thanks, fair enough.

Ballistic chutes are slowly becoming more popular/accepted in the light fixed wing community, but deploying them in that environment doesn't involve a large rotor spinning overhead. Also, I would imagine most gyroplanes spend allot of time flying at lower altitudes making chute deployment time minimum. I would think the same would go for wearing a parachute.
 

HighAltitude

in transition
Joined
Jul 15, 2016
Messages
219
Location
Mesquite, NV
Aircraft
Ercoupe
Point 2 - gyro will be registered experimental and if you build it yourself, you can get a repairman's license that will allow you to do your own annuals and repairs. I am still getting used to taking my recently purchased Ercoupe to a shop for repairs. I prefer experimental aircraft.
 

TenSeven

Newbie
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
13
Location
Carlsbad
Point 2 - gyro will be registered experimental and if you build it yourself, you can get a repairman's license that will allow you to do your own annuals and repairs. I am still getting used to taking my recently purchased Ercoupe to a shop for repairs. I prefer experimental aircraft.

Good point, thanks.

Do most gyro's utilize Rotax engines? Looks like a 912UL has a TBO of 600hrs/10yrs, up to the 914UL with a TBO of 1200hrs/12yrs.

I would imagine manufacturers would have they're own TBO's on various airframe components depending on the model.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
16,528
Location
Nipomo,California
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Givens Predator
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2400+ in rotorcraft
A four hour drive to Santa Maria.

A four hour drive to Santa Maria.

Hello everyone (thanks for the Registration help Todd).

I'm a retired firefighter looking to get a Sport Pilot license (because low and slow around the patch is what I'm most interested in). Initially I wanted to home build a fixed wing LSA but I've recently experienced a renewed interest in gyroplanes but I have a few questions, thanks.


3) Where best to fly. I live in So. Cal., north of San Diego. I see there is a PRA Chapter out in El Cajon, over 40 miles away from me, also there is an annual(?) gyro fly-in out in the desert up by LA. Are there other locations that gyroplane pilots are hanging out and flying?

Thanks again.

Mike

Come on up to Santa Maria (KSMX) and I will teach you to fly Mike.

If you want I can just demonstrate some of the ways to have fun in a gyroplane.

I fly a two place one of a kind gyroplane called The Predator powered by a Lycoming IO-320.

My personal wind limit at SMX is 35kts with a ten knot gust spread. I have landed and taken off with winds over 50kts but I don’t recommend it.

I am a certified flight instructor and an add-on rating is pretty simple. Train to proficiency.

I just signed a client off to take the proficiency check ride for Sport Pilot after 15 hours of dual and 38 hours of ground instruction. He is my age (67) and had never even sat in a gyroplane.
 

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TenSeven

Newbie
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
13
Location
Carlsbad
Come on up to Santa Maria (KSMX) and I will teach you to fly Mike.

If you want I can just demonstrate some of the ways to have fun in a gyroplane.

I fly a two place one of a kind gyroplane called The Predator powered by a Lycoming IO-320.

My personal wind limit at SMX is 35kts with a ten knot gust spread. I have landed and taken off with winds over 50kts but I don’t recommend it.

I am a certified flight instructor and an add-on rating is pretty simple. Train to proficiency.

I just signed a client off to take the proficiency check ride for Sport Pilot after 15 hours of dual and 38 hours of ground instruction. He is my age (67) and had never even sat in a gyroplane.

Thank you Vance, great looking gyroplane!
 

swilliams

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
284
Location
Usa
Aircraft
American Ranger 1
Total Flight Time
Ground bound but not 4 long
Hi Mike. Welcome to the forum. I beleave that TBO for Rotax 912 uls or 914 is 2000 hours.
Not all gyros use Rotax motors some use subaru or Yamaha. Rotax is considered a aircraft motor and has been around for quite a while.

Sincerely SWilliams
 

TenSeven

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Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
13
Location
Carlsbad
Question, I'll look into it but, is there a Sport Pilot License Fixed Wing and a Sport Pilot License Gyroplane? Or, is there just a 'generic' Sport Pilot License that you add endorsements to, such as Gyroplane or Taildragger?

In other words, once you decide that Sport Pilot is the type of flying you want to do, is the training for Sport Pilot the same for fixed wing as it is for gyroplanes with the difference only being the added training specific to the type of aircraft you want to fly?
 
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PW_Plack

Active Member
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Oct 30, 2003
Messages
8,571
Location
West Valley City, Utah, USA
Aircraft
Sport Copter Vortex 582
Total Flight Time
FW: 200 Gyro: 51
Welcome to the forum, Mike!

Cost. It looks as though gyroplanes are 'easily' trailable...Anyone actually doing so? Being N numbered, having more moving parts and a certified engine, are gyrocopters more expensive to maintain than a typical fixed wing LSA?

Mike, you're battling a couple misconceptions.

Gyros are no different from fixed-wing on these points. Rotax 900-series engines are favored by nearly all manufacturers, but no more than they are in fixed-wing LSA. If you're building an experimental, you're limited in engine choices only by your fabrication skill. The Yamaha, Honda, Subaru and other converted engines have made inroads, but are not supported by the manufacturer for aircraft use.

I believe all Rotax 900-series engines now have 2000-hour TBOs.

A gyro has no more moving parts than an airplane. You're adding a rotorhead with two bearings, but eliminating elevator, ailerons, and flaps.

I suspect rotor detachments in flight are far less likely than wing detachments or spar failures in airplanes, and the maintenance required to avoid it much easier. A 'chute might save you in some rare circumstances, but like any other emergency plan, it would have to be practiced to be reliable when needed. I'm not sure how you'd do that.

Most ballistic 'chute deployments in airplanes happen when pilots get themselves into attitudes from which they can't recover and/or weather conditions which are over their heads. These scenarios are far less likely in a gyro, a VFR-only aircraft which doesn't stall as easily.

Lots of single-place gyros are stored in garages and trailered to airstrips. But aircraft are built to be light, not to withstand the repeated shocks of road travel. Ask people who've both trailered and hangared their gyros, and they'll tell you the freedom to go to the airport and just fly beats the heck out of trailering, and gives you 30 - 90 minutes more flying time per outing. If you plan to fly a two-place, the rotor will have to be taken apart to fit in a standard garage.
 
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NJpilot

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Aug 19, 2012
Messages
148
Location
Voorhees
+1 on having a BRS

+1 on having a BRS

I'm with you Mike when it comes to having a BRS on a Gyro. I have one on my FW Challenger in case of structural failure and would want it on a gyro for the same reason.

Structural failure on a gyro most likely means you'd be tumbling out of control. I'd want one chance to save my life in that situation and have the BRS shoot away from the rotor and cross my fingers.

There's always mention that a BRS going off un-commanded is more likely to happen than structural failure. While that may have been true of the old air deployed chutes, the chance of a rocket powered BRS going off is the same as a secured, loaded, un-safetied gun going off in the truck of a car. It takes a cock and release to ignite the rocket motor. There is no kinetic energy stored in a BRS trigger that can accidentally be released. It's not like a mouse trap.
 

TenSeven

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Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
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Location
Carlsbad
Welcome to the forum, Mike!



Mike, you're battling a couple misconceptions.

Gyros are no different from fixed-wing on these points. Rotax 900-series engines are favored by nearly all manufacturers, but no more than they are in fixed-wing LSA. If you're building an experimental, you're limited in engine choices only by your fabrication skill. The Yamaha, Honda, Subaru and other converted engines have made inroads, but are not supported by the manufacturer for aircraft use.

I believe all Rotax 900-series engines now have 2000-hour TBOs.

A gyro has no more moving parts than an airplane. You're adding a rotorhead with two bearings, but eliminating elevator, ailerons, and flaps.

I suspect rotor detachments in flight are far less likely than wing detachments or spar failures in airplanes, and the maintenance required to avoid it much easier. A 'chute might save you in some rare circumstances, but like any other emergency plan, it would have to be practiced to be reliable when needed. I'm not sure how you'd do that.

Most ballistic 'chute deployments in airplanes happen when pilots get themselves into attitudes from which they can't recover and/or weather conditions which are over their heads. These scenarios are far less likely in a gyro, a VFR-only aircraft which doesn't stall as easily.

Lots of single-place gyros are stored in garages and trailered to airstrips. But aircraft are built to be light, not to withstand the repeated shocks of road travel. Ask people who've both trailered and hangared their gyros, and they'll tell you the freedom to go to the airport and just fly beats the heck out of trailering, and gives you 30 - 90 minutes more flying time per outing. If you plan to fly a two-place, the rotor will have to be taken apart to fit in a standard garage.

Hi Paul.

Thanks for clearing up the moving parts thought, good points.

Also, a 2000 TBO is pretty impressive. I know the Rotax engines have been out for quite a awhile and proven themselves in many types of aircraft over the years. Why the interest in other, perhaps yet unproven engines? Is it the cost of the 900 series engines?
 

TenSeven

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Nov 3, 2016
Messages
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Location
Carlsbad
I'm with you Mike when it comes to having a BRS on a Gyro. I have one on my FW Challenger in case of structural failure and would want it on a gyro for the same reason.

Structural failure on a gyro most likely means you'd be tumbling out of control. I'd want one chance to save my life in that situation and have the BRS shoot away from the rotor and cross my fingers.

There's always mention that a BRS going off un-commanded is more likely to happen than structural failure. While that may have been true of the old air deployed chutes, the chance of a rocket powered BRS going off is the same as a secured, loaded, un-safetied gun going off in the truck of a car. It takes a cock and release to ignite the rocket motor. There is no kinetic energy stored in a BRS trigger that can accidentally be released. It's not like a mouse trap.

Hi NJ, thanks.

Used to be that even mentioning BRS would get your man card shredded. Though I understand why some may not encourage they're use and I have no problem if someone feels they're not needed, I'm glad to see some recent acceptance of them.

For me, I'd like to think in a worse case scenario that I still had a second or even third chance of still surviving an otherwise certain bad outcome.

So, can I assume that gyro with ballistic parachutes is not the norm and those that have one do so because of owner aftermarket installations?
 

TenSeven

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Carlsbad
When Gyro training, is it a hinderance or advantage to have fixed wing experience already? Would a Gyro CFI rather train someone with no flight experience?
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
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Oct 30, 2003
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Location
Nipomo,California
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Givens Predator
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2400+ in rotorcraft
It depends more on the person than their experience Mike.

It depends more on the person than their experience Mike.

When Gyro training, is it a hinderance or advantage to have fixed wing experience already? Would a Gyro CFI rather train someone with no flight experience?

I have had some experienced fixed wing pilots work hard at not letting go of bad habits and some complete novices who have trouble with the simple, basic flight maneuvers.

I just signed off a 3,000 hour fixed wing pilot for his sport pilot rotorcraft, gyroplane proficiency ride after a little over 15 hours of dual and he was still unlearning fixed wing habits on the last flight with me. If he ever has an incident I feel it will probably because he forgot he was not flying his RV10.

I had a thirty something student with zero flight experience in anything and English as a second language. I gave him an introductory lesson and in his first .6 hours of dual he flew his ground reference maneuvers to practical test standards. The next flight he made seven takeoffs and landings without me touching anything and everything was to practical test standards. He made all his radio calls and the tower complimented me on his radio work. I demonstrated most things twice and he simply did it well. If it had been his check ride or proficiency check I feel he would have passed.

There are equally challenging and close to the same amount of fun.

Someone who already has a pilot’s certificate bypasses a lot of required training because the FAA assumes he already understands the weather, knows how to plan and execute a cross country flight and understands airspace. If he is a proficient pilot I may not have to teach him the aviation culture of risk mitigation. For sport pilot he doesn’t need any solo time if he has a pilot’s certificate.
 

bryancobb

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Cartersville, GA
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The ol' 10 codes :) Not too many folks know the meaning of 10-7, its all pretty much plain talk communications nowadays :sad:

I was a Georgia Trooper. Usually 10-7 went together with 10-42.
 

TenSeven

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Nov 3, 2016
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Carlsbad
I was a Georgia Trooper. Usually 10-7 went together with 10-42.

Back in my old Paramedic (80's) and early Firefighter days (90's), 10-7 was the ten code for Out of Service, usually associated with the end of another long shift and signaling a welcomed Miller time wind down with the fellas :)
 
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