Sparrow Hawk N430HS - Texas

Andino

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A client of mine who hit his empennage in a rushed takeoff had a flex drive pre-rotator and he had been taught in The Predator that allows continued pre-rotation with the cyclic rearward and received further training in his own aircraft.

RAFs and SparrowHawks have a typical number of takeoff accidents from mismanaged takeoff procedure.

This thread is about a Sparrow Hawk with a flex shaft.

Saying a flex shaft is better doesn’t make it so.
Your client sounds like the SCII pilot at Van Nuys, whom you've previously mentioned. Repeating that lone example doesn't besmirch the flexshaft. According to my files, the only indisutable RAF/Sparrowhawk flat disc take-off attempt was the 2018 G-BXDE. While there may be others, most of the RAF's "mismanaged" take-offs seem related to the short coupling, lack of suspension, and wonky nosewheel/pedal linkage.

"Saying a flex shaft is better doesn’t make it so." I don't "say" that solely because of personal preference, but via the incident data (at least regarding AutoGyros). Certainly, anything can sufficiently be learned to fly safely, but, as I've several times tried to explain, why design in necessary work-around procedures with the propensity to "bite" the novice? Those of you CFIs who, for example, adroitly fly the Cavalon may be too experienced to understand the extra workload on the new student. You all zip about on these ovoid tyre unicycles (because you stringently adhere to the operating manual), but the hapless student was expecting a bicycle ("Easy to fly! Cannot stall! Land it on a roof top!"). When he prangs his unicycle, he hears "Tsk-Tsk" from the community. Yes, he deserves that, but so do the manufacturers who are still selling unicycle rotorcraft.
 
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BEN S

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Andino, flex shafts are one thing, you want to raise a safety ruckus, start chirping about castoring nose wheels and differential braking vs. hard coupled!
 

Vance

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Your client sounds like the SCII pilot at Van Nuys, whom you've previously mentioned. Repeating that lone example doesn't besmirch the flexshaft. According to my files, the only indisutable RAF/Sparrowhawk flat disc take-off attempt was the 2018 G-BXDE. While there may be others, most of the RAF's "mismanaged" take-offs seem related to the short coupling, lack of suspension, and wonky nosewheel/pedal linkage.

"Saying a flex shaft is better doesn’t make it so." I don't "say" that solely because of personal preference, but via the incident data (at least regarding AutoGyros). Certainly, anything can sufficiently be learned to fly safely, but, as I've several times tried to explain, why design in necessary work-around procedures with the propensity to "bite" the novice? Those of you CFIs who, for example, adroitly fly the Cavalon may be too experienced to understand the extra workload on the new student. You all zip about on these ovoid tyre unicycles (because you stringently adhere to the operating manual), but the hapless student was expecting a bicycle ("Easy to fly! Cannot stall! Land it on a roof top!"). When he prangs his unicycle, he hears "Tsk-Tsk" from the community. Yes, he deserves that, but so do the manufacturers who are still selling unicycle rotorcraft.

You are posting on a thread about a gyroplane mishap with a flex shaft pre-rotator.

With access to all the same data you are using and personal experience with significantly more low time gyroplane pilots; I simply don’t agree with your conclusion about flex shaft pre-rotators.

I suspect that cheap or easier had little to do with the choice of the designer.

I doubt if the flex shaft is significantly more expensive than a gearbox with a shaft, joints and its higher parts count.

In my opinion accident causes are not simple and there is not enough comprehensive statistical data to form the conclusion that pre-rotating with the disk flat is a safety hazard.

Using world wide data compounds the challenge because the data is not consistent and neither is the training and culture.

I use the accident data from the USA because I often know the pilots or their instructor and can gain more information about the accident chain.

I find it easier to teach pre-rotating with the disk flat.

The more powerful pre-rotators make it even easier and make timing less important.

If I owned a gyroplane built by AutoGyro I would find your accusations of a cheap defective product annoying.

I have a good friend about to plunk down a lot of money for a 915 powered Cavalon and I will be training him in her. We are in agreement that it is the best gyroplane for his mission. He is a civil engineer and fully capable of comparing engineering features. The Cavalon came out on top for him.

There are a lot of people who agree with him despite what you repeat about the Cavalon’s cheap defective design.

You are welcome to your opinion; repeating an opinion does not make it fact.
 

Tyger

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He is a civil engineer and fully capable of comparing engineering features.
I think this is kind of funny... he builds roads and bridges so therefore he can obviously figure out all the best features of an aircraft before he flies it?
My son is an electrical engineer. He does not have a clue about my aircraft, aside from what's behind my panel, perhaps.
 

BEN S

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Back to the flex shaft debate, I would just like to point out that IF you are trained to take off from your blades at a dead stand still (say with no prerotator) and some how you get proficient with balancing your rotor speed with your forward motion untill your nose wheel gently lifts off the pavement, the gently push it back down a bit and accelerate until you lift off....none of these accidents would have happened.
I know I know, after 30 pages of trying to sift through the answer, Ben still thinks students ahould learn how to hand pat blades to take off....
Yup.
You guys have not changed my mind at all. I AM however going to fall on the side of flex shafts as being more forgiving to a noob.
 

Andino

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You are posting on a thread about a gyroplane mishap with a flex shaft pre-rotator.

With access to all the same data you are using and personal experience with significantly more low time gyroplane pilots; I simply don’t agree with your conclusion about flex shaft pre-rotators.

I suspect that cheap or easier had little to do with the choice of the designer.

I doubt if the flex shaft is significantly more expensive than a gearbox with a shaft, joints and its higher parts count.

In my opinion accident causes are not simple and there is not enough comprehensive statistical data to form the conclusion that pre-rotating with the disk flat is a safety hazard.

Using world wide data compounds the challenge because the data is not consistent and neither is the training and culture.

I use the accident data from the USA because I often know the pilots or their instructor and can gain more information about the accident chain.

I find it easier to teach pre-rotating with the disk flat.

The more powerful pre-rotators make it even easier and make timing less important.

If I owned a gyroplane built by AutoGyro I would find your accusations of a cheap defective product annoying.

I have a good friend about to plunk down a lot of money for a 915 powered Cavalon and I will be training him in her. We are in agreement that it is the best gyroplane for his mission. He is a civil engineer and fully capable of comparing engineering features. The Cavalon came out on top for him.

There are a lot of people who agree with him despite what you repeat about the Cavalon’s cheap defective design.

You are welcome to your opinion; repeating an opinion does not make it fact.
How many examples of RAF/Sparrowhawk blade-sailing incidents can you count? I see very few. An incident:hull proportional comparison of blade-sailing incidents regarding flexshaft vs. drive-shaft prerotators clearly indicates that the flat disc take-off procedure is more fraught with new pilot mishap. While you have "access to all the same data" that I am using, it doesn't seem that you have compiled and compared that data. I did not quite claim that "pre-rotating with the disk flat is a safety hazard." It is not a safety hazard IF the pilot remembers to move the stick back before the take-off roll. However, a new pilot too often forgets to do so.

A replacement flexshaft is rather dear. I suspect that the drive-shaft assembly is less cost for AutoGyro. A flexshaft (with sheath and greased cable) is surprisingly heavy. Your "I suspect that cheap or easier had little to do with the choice of the designer" seems overly trusting of those who designed 2-place gyroplanes to originally fly on only 100-115hp and naturally emphasized lightness.

I note your consistent defensive support of AutoGyro's engineering choices. Is your civil engineer good friend even aware that the Cavalon is assembled with bolts without a smooth grip in the clamped parts shear lines? Or that the under-seat control system pitch horn bolts are not even cotter-pinned? Has he looked into that in relation to the Chris Lord crash and its control system failure? Has he even read the Canfield study? Is he aware of all the AG service letters and bulletins about cracking masts and rotor blades?

The disadvantage I see to using only American crash data is that many more gyroplanes are flown in Europe and the rest of the world, hence more global data, which I believe offsets any inherent murkiness of different training and culture. One should at least consider crashes in the UK and Germany, which indisputably are professionally investigated.
 

Andino

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Andino, flex shafts are one thing, you want to raise a safety ruckus, start chirping about castoring nose wheels and differential braking vs. hard coupled!
Ben, you can have that one. Even though I'm retired, my free time is not infinite. :)
 

Vance

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How many examples of RAF/Sparrowhawk blade-sailing incidents can you count? I see very few. An incident:hull proportional comparison of blade-sailing incidents regarding flexshaft vs. drive-shaft prerotators clearly indicates that the flat disc take-off procedure is more fraught with new pilot mishap. While you have "access to all the same data" that I am using, it doesn't seem that you have compiled and compared that data. I did not quite claim that "pre-rotating with the disk flat is a safety hazard." It is not a safety hazard IF the pilot remembers to move the stick back before the take-off roll. However, a new pilot too often forgets to do so.

A replacement flexshaft is rather dear. I suspect that the drive-shaft assembly is less cost for AutoGyro. A flexshaft (with sheath and greased cable) is surprisingly heavy. Your "I suspect that cheap or easier had little to do with the choice of the designer" seems overly trusting of those who designed 2-place gyroplanes to originally fly on only 100-115hp and naturally emphasized lightness.

I note your consistent defensive support of AutoGyro's engineering choices. Is your civil engineer good friend even aware that the Cavalon is assembled with bolts without a smooth grip in the clamped parts shear lines? Or that the under-seat control system pitch horn bolts are not even cotter-pinned? Has he looked into that in relation to the Chris Lord crash and its control system failure? Has he even read the Canfield study? Is he aware of all the AG service letters and bulletins about cracking masts and rotor blades?

The disadvantage I see to using only American crash data is that many more gyroplanes are flown in Europe and the rest of the world, hence more global data, which I believe offsets any inherent murkiness of different training and culture. One should at least consider crashes in the UK and Germany, which indisputably are professionally investigated.
There are many RAF, modified RAF and SparrowHawk blade sailing incidents; I stopped counting at 15.

Many blade sailing incidents are not reported in the USA.

Perhaps you don’t realize that the flex shaft was the most common pre-rotator system on gyroplanes in the USA until AutoGyro took over the market.

I stand by my opinion that cost is not the reason for going to a gearbox and shaft.

I do not consistently defend AutoGyro’s engineering.

Yes, my friend is aware of all of that and still chose the 915 powered Cavalon.

I feel your arguments in defense of your opinion are specious.

You are welcome to your opinion; please don’t present it as fact.
 

Andino

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There are many RAF, modified RAF and SparrowHawk blade sailing incidents; I stopped counting at 15.

Many blade sailing incidents are not reported in the USA.

Perhaps you don’t realize that the flex shaft was the most common pre-rotator system on gyroplanes in the USA until AutoGyro took over the market.

I stand by my opinion that cost is not the reason for going to a gearbox and shaft.

I do not consistently defend AutoGyro’s engineering.

Yes, my friend is aware of all of that and still chose the 915 powered Cavalon.

I feel your arguments in defense of your opinion are specious.

You are welcome to your opinion; please don’t present it as fact.
Dating back to 1993, I've 55 RAF/SH incidents in my list (have you that many?), and there are nowhere near 15 flat disc take-off roll blade-sails. Not even 5. (I've not been speaking of rotor/tail strikes from PIOs and zoom climb PPOs, which are technically blade-sails albeit not during take-off.)

"I do not consistently defend AutoGyro’s engineering." You certainly much more often defend AG than not. "Yes, my friend is aware of all of that and still chose the 915 powered Cavalon." Ah, well I hope that all works out for him.

You may stand on your opinion, and I'll stand on mine. It's a "forum." Meanwhile, I won't affix a perjorative label on your opinion.
 

Vance

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Dating back to 1993, I've 55 RAF/SH incidents in my list (have you that many?), and there are nowhere near 15 flat disc take-off roll blade-sails. Not even 5. (I've not been speaking of rotor/tail strikes from PIOs and zoom climb PPOs, which are technically blade-sails albeit not during take-off.)

"I do not consistently defend AutoGyro’s engineering." You certainly much more often defend AG than not. "Yes, my friend is aware of all of that and still chose the 915 powered Cavalon." Ah, well I hope that all works out for him.

You may stand on your opinion, and I'll stand on mine. It's a "forum." Meanwhile, I won't affix a perjorative label on your opinion.
My source of information is https://www.ntsb.gov/Pages/AviationQuery.aspx

I don't know how many RAFs, modified RAFs and Sparrow Hawks are on the list as they are not listed that way by the NTSB.

I found 15 that I felt were takeoff blade sailing incidents from 1997 and I stopped counting at 15 and 2010.

As far as me defending AutoGyro's engineering it appears to me you just made that up.

I have felt no need to defend it.

I feel you are wrong about money being the reason they don't have a flexible pre-rotator system; I would not call that a defense of their engineering.

It is a fact that they are the sales leader so they must be doing something right.

I looked at your post history and I feel your argumentative posts may get some people thinking and that has value.
 

Tyger

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Ruh roh, Andino, a new moderator has been looking at all your postings. Luckily, he thinks they may actually have some value.
 

Andino

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My source of information is https://www.ntsb.gov/Pages/AviationQuery.aspx

I don't know how many RAFs, modified RAFs and Sparrow Hawks are on the list as they are not listed that way by the NTSB.

I found 15 that I felt were takeoff blade sailing incidents from 1997 and I stopped counting at 15 and 2010.
Thank you for the link. When I've a free moment I'll see if I can find therein 15 RAF/SH take-off blade-sailing incidents from 1997-2010. I'd be surprised if I do, as that is well tilled soil.

As far as me defending AutoGyro's engineering it appears to me you just made that up.
Ah, here is the source of confusion: I am not referring only to your posts in this thread about AutoGyro's engineering, but your posts on the RWF. I've been irregularly (but thoroughly) reading the RWF for over a decade, and I've saved much of its helpful information. My firm impression over time is that you have very rarely been critical of AutoGyro's engineering or design choices, and instead have more often defended such. I state that sans judgment, but as an observation.

Regarding why AutoGyro chose a drive-shaft prerotator, I suspect that it was generally because they were copying the ELA which the founder once distributed. I am confident the their drive-shaft is cheaper, more lightweight, and easier to procure than a flexshaft, hence they've stuck with it vs. any other putative benefit.
 

Andino

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Ruh roh, Andino, a new moderator has been looking at all your postings. Luckily, he thinks they may actually have some value.
"Ruh roh"? Shall I look that up in your American Urban Dictionary? I don't understand his terming my posts as "argumentative." Isn't any post defending one's position merely that, a defence? (For fun, I'm tempted to post a link to Monty Python's argument sketch.)
 

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First used by Astro, George Jetson's dog in the animated series The Jetsons. Later copied by Scooby-Doo, a remarkably similar cartoon mutt who approximates English speech.
 
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Andino

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First used by Astro, George Jetson's dog in the animated series The Jetsons. Later copied by Scooby-Doo, a remarkably similar cartoon mutt who approximates English speech.
Thank you. An American cartoon canine synonym for "Uh oh." Mystery solved.
 
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BEN S

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On another topic entirely, Andino I have read all your posts and when you do that often times you build in your mind a persona to go with the posters name.
Never once did it cross my mind you were not American.
Not till you asked about Ruh Roh.
We have many other posters from UK, and you can always tell from word choices, say instead of gear using the word kit as an example.
How is it you have been trained to type American?;)
 

Andino

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On another topic entirely, Andino I have read all your posts and when you do that often times you build in your mind a persona to go with the posters name.
Never once did it cross my mind you were not American.
Not till you asked about Ruh Roh.
We have many other posters from UK, and you can always tell from word choices, say instead of gear using the word kit as an example.
How is it you have been trained to type American?;)
Ben, I grew up in three continents; my mother was English; father was American military. My spelling and accent are a mixture. My word choices are often a matter of personal preference.
 

Andino

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My source of information is https://www.ntsb.gov/Pages/AviationQuery.aspx

I don't know how many RAFs, modified RAFs and Sparrow Hawks are on the list as they are not listed that way by the NTSB.

I found 15 that I felt were takeoff blade sailing incidents from 1997 and I stopped counting at 15 and 2010.
Last night I had the joy of combing through your NTSB database for the above data. For some reason it showed gyroplane accidents as recently as only 2008, but as far back as 1993.

Regarding RAF/SH models during the take-off phase of flight, I found only 2 which were clearly flat disc/blade-sailing events (N282SL, N2361S) plus 3 possibles (N9DQ, N2058T, N9155H). Thus, I'll stand by my earlier post that there were "maybe 5." If you feel you have 10 more, please post their registration numbers. I downloaded all RAF/SH incident pdfs, just in case anybody is tempted to accuse me of "making it up."RAF and SH in NTSB.png
 
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