Hi Fara - I tried to fly into strips with the Sportcopter M912 in the same places I use to take my Cub in NE. The strips that were flat and somewhat groomed were fine for the gyro. However, the strips were you had to take off with side slopes were very challenging with the gyro since with the limited span between front and rear tires it wanted to point down hill. I don’t think a gryo or trike without differential brakes would be able to steer on these side slopes on takeoff once front tire is unloaded. I had almost full right brake taking off one side slope and the gyro kept slipping down the hill. I assume with larger tires would have helped, but after that experience I decided to stay with bush tail wheel planes for off airport.
I have landed on beaches on sand bars here and they are all almost slanted (generally towards the water). Obviously there are limits to how slanted they can be when you land and takeoff but assuming we are talking about a reasonable amount of slant, when your front wheel is up, you don't steer with brakes. You steer with the wing which in gyroplanes case would be the rotor disc. You are already partially flying, put your stick to oppose going the way you do not want to go. It takes time, experience and practice that should be done on standard airports starting in calm winds with these techniques before you go out trying them in the bush fields with crosswinds. You have to get very comfortable doing wheelies in the gyro or trike and going to one side of the center line and then coming back and going the other side of center line, all the while managing the wing (trike) or rotor (gyro). You practice that going down the 1 mile runway keeping front wheel up, back and forth. When you are becoming fairly good at it try your luck on slightly slanted runway, making your way up to more slanted ones (within limits) in baby steps. Different technique then taildraggers because they are different machines.
Gyros are fine as I said if the surface is flat and groomed, and assume many are in mid-west. Not typical for many of the places where we flew with the Cubs in the NE.
Landed up hill once on grass hill in morning, but the grass had mildew on it and the gyro slid all the way down to the bottom of the hill with full brakes on. I think the wider wheel separation and bigger bush tires are needed when landing and taking off on sloped surfaces with a gyro. Your first up hill landing will have a different sight picture so make sure you keep the nose up.
Well I hope your grass had dew not mildew. On wet grass never lock up the brakes. Pump them constantly. Takes experience and practice. Been there done that at Paradise city Sun and Fun sliding down on landing in wet dew grass on early mornings in trikes, all the way to the end of the runway and trikes land at a much faster speed than gyroplanes. Gyroplane landing on dew on grass should be much less drama.
Started to take off on grass strip once (mentioned this before) and found out a pickup truck drove across the strip twice so put tire impressions evenly space across the run way. This started a flap and luckily I pulled power and put on rotor brake in time, but I am sure the outcome would have been different in tandem gyro with smaller clearance between rotor and tail… Flaps can be very violent and will pull stick from your grip.
Well where the heck are you flying with pickup trucks driving across strips as an aircraft starts to move forward. Try and stay clear of rednecks buddy. I am guessing your rotor RPM was low? We should not have even moved one foot forward on that runway till we were 180 to 240 rotor RPM. All this stuff about at 100 rotor RPM pull stick back and move forward. Good luck with that. Flap awaits most likely, you have no wing yet. I line up. I hold brake like my life depends on it and I pre-rotate and don't move forward till I am at least 180 rotor RPM or more.
If one of the gyro tires hits a patch of soft dirt and the other doesn’t on take off (like on a beach) and the front tire is unloaded you will need differential brakes to help steer. I think in this scenario you have a good chance to tip over in gyro without independent brakes.
You are definitely an airplane pilot and that too a taildragger one. I am flying a J3 Cub recently. Its brakes suck arse to begin with but whatever one gets used to one likes. No you steer with your wing when you are already half flying in something like a trike or a gyro. In both these cases the wing is not "fixed" to the fuselage. The lift vector redirection then can pull the fuselage barely on the ground to the side you want. Has to be practiced first. Greg Spicola that I know you have trained a certain number of hours with does this show off maneuver where he will land and at touchdown he will would be landing/touching on one main wheel turning with the rotor disc off the runway into the taxiway as the other main wheel settles down. Well that basically is an application of this technique as well but I never feel that its necessary except for showing off but it is a great technique of slanted runways or coming back to center line while flaring. Me and Larry did those in trikes as well. Main point is that the skill is an important tool in the arsenal of a pilot wanting to do these kinds of runways. Its not for rookies but it is an advanced technique that becomes easier as you develop your toolbox with the right instructor for the type of flying you want to do.
Larry kind of describes these concepts in the "beginning" of this video for the trike (up to 3:08) but the concept applies to gyroplanes too. I hate to do instruction via videos or on the internet but it seems like there are a lot of people including high time airplane pilots who are just not thinking through the very basic fundamentals sometimes even on their airplanes, basically flying by rote and in case you are wondering Dave I am not talking about you
. I have seen plenty of airplane pilots come to take some flights or instruction in gyroplanes and I can tell they are sloppy in their airplanes as well and have basics wrong. Certainly talk to your instructor. After your initial license, its always a good idea in a year and after having a 100 or so hours to go back and take more instruction to learn some new techniques and see if you have developed some bad habits. Students are always amazing me at what they come up with all on their own (and not always in a good way)
Flat surfaces are fine so have fun. I suspect the airports monkey crew listed are probably flat since they are designated as airports and the places I was landing were not. Just need enough distance to take off with current density altitude and clear any obstacles safely.