Old Chapter 18 glider wrecks

gyroplanes

FAA DAR Gyropilot
This was a posted response to a question in a hijacked thread. I located it here where it belongs:

After my training wreck with my instructor Terry "Crash" Kobelenz (never fly with a guy knicknamed crash) We rebuilt the gyro glider and started training at our club strip in Frankfort, IL.
The tow boom to mast cable was too long and a club member thought the best way to fix that was to tie a knot in it, so he did. Many tows later it popped a few strands. To avoid cutting his hand on the popped strands, another club member wrapped the knot in electrical tape.
Weeks later, I was towing the glider bearing Dave Vana & Bo Berglund on a training flight. Mike Fornal was in the window of the fastback GT350 as an observer and I was at the wheel.
They were airborne when Mike said they popped up in the air real fast and I can't see them anymore. I looked back to see them free-falling to the ground. I slammed on the brakes so as not to drag them.
It turns out Dave pulled back to climb, the cable broke and flew back in their faces. The redundant mast bent back from the sudden drag force to around 40 degrees.
The enormous back tilt shot them to the top of the tow cable's limit. I believe Dave said the blades flapped out of control and down they came.
Neither required hospital visits, but both were very sore the next day. We scrapped out the trainer for good.
 

okikuma

Member
1. Improper length of mast support cable that does not meet the required design specifications as engineered for safe operation and flight.

2. Improper method of rectification to problem number one.

3. The beginning signs of failure of an improper mast support cable because of an improper method of rectification.

4. Concealing the beginning signs of the failure of an improper mast support cable with black electrical tape.

5. The failure in noticing the electrical tape on the mast support cable or questioning the reason why electrical tape was placed on the cable in the first place during preflight if a preflight was performed.

6. The resulting failure of an improper mast support cable that almost caused fatalities and destruction of the gyro glider.

This is a great learning experience for all of us. It goes to show that even with the towed gyro glider, we all need to perform a through preflight prior to each operation.

Thank you Tom for posting this bit of information.

Wayne
 

gyroplanes

FAA DAR Gyropilot
I felt it was a valid enough "I learned about flying from that" moment to post it here.

Many knew of the poor "fix", the popped strands, and the hand protection tape, yet none of us had the brains to stop the chain of failure.

This happened in the mid 70's, it was the 3 or 4 time the trainer was rebuilt. (all before my time)

I was told all of the previous mishaps were alcohol induced showing off. Another sad series of events.

The trainer flew wives and kids and even soloed a few. I was told it was a real plus to have in the club. After a long day of flying, beer drinking ensued and several of the guys thought it would be fun to make a few more flights. Corn was clipped and judgement impared, resulting in bent metal.

My crash was at the second club meeting I attended. After many had left and the flying done, someone suggested I get my first gyro ride. There were only 3 people left. One drove his van, the other "Crash", took me up. The first few passes went well, but on the last pass the driver, acting as safety man as well, got mirror obsessed and had to brake agressively to avoid the barn ahead. The tow rope became slack, we dropped fast, hit the ground, flipped over and were dragged several yards. Crash climbed to tighten the rope when he should have lowered the nose to keep airspeed and fly it down.

I would not hesitate to build a new gyroglider if we had an airport manager that would allow us to tow it.
 
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EI-GYRO

21st Century Crankhandler
It doesn't have to be so much fun.

We soloed 7 people with only one mishap(nosewhweel broke off)(no injury).

All our first flights were 'first solos'.

I just finished refurbishing the gyroglider so maybe some of the local
ELA students may use it to practice rotor handling.
Maybe we can circumvent the rudder-trimming events that seem so
common lately.

I'll ask our airstrip manager if we can use it, but I know she'll just
say 'Moooo' as usual. We'll take that as a 'yes'.
 

Doug Riley

Platinum Member
Tom, it's interesting that the mast bent so radically from that cable failure.

The old B-7 gyroglider and the earlier B-8's had no mast-keel cable at all. The tow pylon was a short vertical triangle (not the bowsprit style) that put the tow hitch right at the pilot's knees. You didn't need a string to release the hitch; you could grab it directly.

Photos of gyrogliders with this no-cable style short pylon were included in Bensen's manuals and promo literature for many years after he changed the design.
 
Tommy Milton quote :
I would not hesitate to build a new gyroglider if we had an airport manager that would allow us to tow it.[/QUOTE]

How famous would I be if I listened to the Lansing airport manager ?
Some of my best flying was in direct violation of the Lansing airport manager .
Take it from me Tommy .
Just do it !!!!!!!!!
 

Chuck Roberg

Gyro's are more fun
Tommy Milton quote :
I would not hesitate to build a new gyroglider if we had an airport manager that would allow us to tow it.
How famous would I be if I listened to the Lansing airport manager ?
Some of my best flying was in direct violation of the Lansing airport manager .
Take it from me Tommy .
Just do it !!!!!!!!![/QUOTE]

There's a new airport manager. Malkas retired. The new manager is actually a pilot not an ex school principal.
 

GyroCFI

Member
My favorite flights in a gyro are Still

My favorite flights in a gyro are Still

My favorite flights still are with Willard Myer in Herman Missouri in the Chapter 34 glider... I travelled 5 hours each way on Sunday mornings to get to fly maybe a total of 5 minutes. I still remember it like it happened yesterday... Me, Charlie and Jane Mara and several others would show up every weekend for the training.

I did that for most of a summer until Farrington got their SBS Air Command trainer and I finished the training there.

I would fly a glider if I had a chance to.
 

gyroplanes

FAA DAR Gyropilot
I think a gyroglider would be great fun again.

Willard Meyer learned to fly on our club's glider, I believe Carl Schneider did as well.
 
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