Rusty Pilot Question

JJ Campbell

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I was talking to a 78 year old rusty Private Pilot. He was not current and his medical had expired. He told me he didn't want to try to renew his medical and was interested in finding out more about Sport Pilot requirements.

I told him to the best of my knowledge he needed to get a Biannual Flight Review done and then he could fly exercising Sport Pilot privileges in an LSA with just a driver's license. So long as he had not ever been denied a medical.

I felt on firm ground there but then he asked about Gyroplanes. I told him I was pretty sure that it worked the same for PPL as it did for SP - train with one CFI who endorses you and then a different CFI who concurs. The CFIs then do their magic in IACRA and you are good to go as SP gyro pilot. I'm not 100% sure on this one. (BFR first of course.)

I told him I had no idea what needs to be done for a PPL to get PPL gyroplane legal but since he didn't want to get a medical that was moot.

Did I tell him anything incorrect?
 

Vance

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As you describe it what you told him is correct.
If he adds a Sport Pilot, Gyroplane rating that counts as a flight review.
The instructor is responsible for making certain he is current on airspace and airport operations before he signs him off for his proficiency check ride as is the check ride instructor.
 

JEFF TIPTON

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Depending on how long ago his last medical was issued, he might eligible to qualify for a medical under FAR part 68.FAR part 68
 

Tyger

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Yes, if his medical did not expire before 15 July 2006 and was never revoked, he can go for BasicMed:
If he's interested in gyros, he could then get rotorcraft-gyroplane added to his existing PPL. That only requires some gyro training from a (non-sport) CFI who can sign him off for his gyro check ride (and then passing that check ride, of course).
 

DavePA11

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Are there many non-sport CFIs available for training?

Most important is having the physical ability or skill to fly gyros since there is more to manage compared to fixed wing in my opinion.

When LSA started many of the pilots who didn’t want to renew their medical purchased Cubs without electrical system, limited engine power and tail wheel. The transition from higher powered nosewheel aircraft with lots of navigation avionics to low power tailwheel plane and no avionics lead to a lot of incidents. Accidents hitting trees on take off due to low climb rates with A-65 engines, ground loops landing, runaway planes from propping with throttle on, etc. Lots more LSA options now, but just have to make sure transition is something the pilot can handle.

Vance - What do you do when you have a student that just shouldn’t be flying gyros after time training them? I only experienced one student learning to fly in this case Trikes that would panic on solo and almost kill themselves (power full then off and full again just before hitting ground repeat) so the instructor had to tell them to find another sport.

Dave
 

Vance

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An interesting question Dave.

In my experience anyone can be taught to fly a gyroplane well.

Each client learns differently and my job is to figure out how to get them to understand the fairly simple process.

In the case you describe I would let them just manage the cyclic while I took care of the throttle and rudders. I would have them tell me what to do with the throttle.

Once they had mastered the cyclic I would give them the throttle and manage the cyclic and rudder and have them tell me what to do.

Eventually I give them all the controls.

So far this has worked for my most difficult clients.

My job as a flight instructor is to keep us safe while the client is learning by making mistakes.

My biggest challenge is when the client fights me for control of the aircraft.

If we are near the ground I have very little time to help them understand I am flying the aircraft.

I love the challenges of being a gyroplane flight instructor.
 

WaspAir

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While instructing in gliders, I had one pilot working with me for a flight review. He seemed unable to handle multiple concerns at the same time, so I logged it as dual but didn' sign off the review and told him of my concerns. He went to another instructor and completed his flight review in fixed wing, promptly killing himself in an airplane two weeks later. Usually students who are in wrong sport figure that out on their own, but sadly not always.
 

Tyger

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Are there many non-sport CFIs available for training?
I am not sure what qualifies as "many", but I do think there are a bunch out there, if you look for them. :)

If I read the 2017 FAA airman stats right, there are about 100 commercial gyro pilots. I can't think of too many other reasons to get a commercial gyro rating, other than to CFI, but maybe I'm missing something... Hard to know how many of these actually are/were CFIs, though, as they don't seem to break out flight instructor numbers by category/class.

Those 2017 stats show just 51 people with a private gyro rating.
 

WaspAir

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Those stats can mislead by sometimes not picking up, for example, an ATP airplane who has ppl gyro privileges, too. The numbers are not likely to be large in any event.
 

Vance

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I am rated as a commercial pilot, rotorcraft-gyroplane.

I can train someone to any level of gyroplane certificate.

I love being a gyroplane flight instructor.

Dayton Dabbs and Ron Menzie are also commercial pilot, rotorcraft-gyroplane rated.

I believe Steve McGowan is also but I don’t know that for a fact. He taught me in a Sparrow Hawk and it was too heavy for a Sport Pilot.
 

Tyger

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Steve McGowan is indeed.
Also Paul Salmon, Chris Koob, Mark Sprigg, Greg Gremminger, Jim Vanek, George Woods, Brandon Winters, Desmon Butts, James Nadig... and, I suspect, a bunch more.
 
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