Swamp crash

gyropilot

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That's another good example of why you shouldn't fly over anything you can't/wouldn't want to land on. A certified aircraft is no exception!

John L.
 

StanFoster

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Rudy: Thanks for posting that. Again,,,just another fine example why not to fly over what you dont want to land in.


Stan
 

Bill Clem

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So, how do you expect to go anywhere? Let's see, no mountains, no lakes, no swamps, no forests.... If we let our fears dictate where we will fly, then we'll never go anywhere except around the pattern. The secret, I think, is to stick to reliable, tested products, frequent maintenance and careful pre-flight inspection (and lots of gas). I have met a bunch of gyro pilots who never fly further than they could glide to a runway. And others who thought that a 20 minute flight is a cross country. Always look for potential landing spots, but I don't think that we should be fearful of what might happen, just respectful. And yes, I've flown my gyro across the country on a couple of occasions, landed at a 10,000 foot asl airport in the mountains, flown up a couple of blind canyons in the Rockies and dodged a couple of barges on the Mississippi. Properly built and cared for, your gyro can carry you anywhere....
 
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John Stahl

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Bill
You certainly trust your gyro more than I would.
I have this good friend named Murphy that has thought me that no matter how hard you try, and how careful you are.

$hit happens.
 

Passin' Thru

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So, how do you expect to go anywhere? Let's see, no mountains, no lakes, no swamps, no forests.... If we let our fears dictate where we will fly, then we'll never go anywhere except around the pattern. The secret, I think, is to stick to reliable, tested products, frequent maintenance and careful pre-flight inspection (and lots of gas). I have met a bunch of gyro pilots who never fly further than they could glide to a runway. And others who thought that a 20 minute flight is a cross country. Always look for potential landing spots, but I don't think that we should be fearful of what might happen, just respectful. ....
Thank you! My sentiments exactly! If the machine is not capable of going where I want to go, maybe I should just stay home?
 

gyropilot

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So, how do you expect to go anywhere?
Bill,

We all have different levels of risk we're willing to accept. It's pretty obvious what that downed helicopter pilot's risk tolerance was... pretty high!

I fly my gyro cross country over some pretty heavily forested and mountainous areas here in western WA state, but I always try to keep a reasonably good forced landing area within gliding distance at all times... be it a jeep trail between the trees, a road, a clearing or even a river bank. Sometimes it means flying higher than I normally would to increase the glide radius. Other times it means flying around certain unacceptable landing areas... like a swamp filled with snakes and God knows what else. Here in WA state I avoid flying over sticky ocean and river mud flats, since recovering a gyro from such a morass would be next to impossible.

No matter the opinion, the important thing is to always have a plan of where you're going to land and be prepared to deal with the consequences before the engine quits. I plan *constantly* while flying, I still manage to enjoy myself, and I go places.

Fly safe,

John L.
 

scott heger

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In parts of the western United States, it is not a matter of where it is Ok to fly, as most places you have a place to land. I try to keep at 95 percent of the time I have a good to excellent landing area within reach with the gyro. That is not always possible when flying in downtown Los Angeles, but I always try to keep it as safe as I can and do most of my flying along established roads or riverbeds.
The biggest factor is how far are you willing to walk. In parts of Arizona, Nevada and California, you can find yourself 20-50 miles from the nearest traveled road quite easily. Even if you make a good landing, getting you or your aircraft out of the middle of no-road-ville USA might not be that easy. I try to stay within a 5 miles of any well traveled road no matter what I fly. Saving time by using the shortest routes is for fools, especially if the weather is really hot or cold. We are recreational pilots, it is not like we have some schedule to meet. If I have to fly a little farther to keep it safe, that is just that much more fun I am having being aloft. And by the way, the cell phones don't work out in the middle of nowhere either.

Scott Heger, Laguna Niguel,Ca N86SH
 
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birdy

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Iv often been told im reckless or irrisponsable for sum of the things i do in me gyro, but im not as reckless or irrisponsable as sumone do'n the zact same thing in a R22.
If the noise stops in me gyro, wen at min AS, 10' above thick timber on a breeze thats just enuff to hold me back, id have a better chance of survivn than a Roddo in the same situation, and itd cost alot less. ;)
But to say i shouldnt do it..................... well.......... they do, and if i dont, they will, so i'm keepn them outa harms way...........init?
 

Fl90

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A swamp full of snakes and God knows what else, is not all bad. I spend a lot of time in areas like this. Plenty of food not to worry about hunger.
 

StanFoster

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I could head out across Lake Michigan and "probably" make it to the other side.....but in all reality I wont go out over the water further than I can glide back to shore.

I wont fly over solid wooded areas just relying on my engine....fuel pumps...etc.

I dont care how long my preflight is or what engine I have. I am not going to do it because I wont be comfortable.

Many people dont fly period because they arent comfortable doing so. I have no problem with them staying on the ground because thats just where they should be. For me.....I love to fly when I am comfortable doing so and I just am not going to press my luck. I have had way too many engine outs in gyros to trust anything.

I never will forget flying in my dads Cessna 175 from New Jersey back to Illinois. We lost oil pressure and did a forced landing under partial power before it quit completely. Dad always had a backup plan that was feasible.

That was my first lesson in not flying over hostile territory that you cant glide out of. We were in an airplane with a nice glide ratio and at high altitude.


Stan
 

gyropilot

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A swamp full of snakes and God knows what else, is not all bad. I spend a lot of time in areas like this. Plenty of food not to worry about hunger.
Haha... all good points indeed!

Yeah... a swamp is probably better than 100 miles of desert to cross in the hot sun with no water. :)

John L.
 

Hognose

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I'm not addressing this particular accident, but I hope everybody knows what the biggest single cause of engine stoppage is.

No fuel to the engine.

Indeed, when you look at a multi-engine wreck and there was no fire, 95% of the time there's no smell of fuel either.

(again, probably not the case in this mishap, because they mentioned fuel leaking from the helicopter wreckage).

Dr. Clem is right that you have to use your knowledge and skill to manage risk before you ever put spark to cylinder and go fly. And Stan (and his dad) are right in that you must always have a plan.

Note that Dave Bird has a plan for what happens if his donk konks out when he's in an unpleasant place. But Birdy's mission requires him to be flying low over scrub and trees, and mine doesn't.

With a rotorcraft, especially a gyro, you trade off gliding ability (gyro glide ~ concrete-block glide) for the ability to make a touchdown at zero forward speed -- a lifesaving tradeoff. (The problem in helicopters, especially a low-inertia Robbie, is making the transition to autorotative flight before it's too late -- not an issue in gyros).

With a fixed-wing, you can cover more ground before you touch down but to touch down in control, you must carry significant forward speed (from 35 to 61 kt in most light GA aircraft). Touching down out of control is not an option, except to the extent that dying is, so you can't go below Vs.

There's a a trade-off there. But each category and class -- and each type -- has a performance envelope, in which it must be flown for safety's sake.

Or you swim with the snakes like this Swamp Thing guy, walk the desert like Beau Geste, or cut down a lot of trees like Paul Bunyan.

cheers

-=K=-
 

Brent Drake

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I don't get the part where he saids he needed 150 hrs to get his license. Did I miss something?
 

gyropilot

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I don't get the part where he saids he needed 150 hrs to get his license. Did I miss something?
Probably going for his commercial helicopter rating... 150 hours minimum are required, at least 50 of which must be in a helicopter.

John L.
 
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birdy

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Note that Dave Bird has a plan for what happens if his donk konks out when he's in an unpleasant place. But Birdy's mission requires him to be flying low over scrub and trees, and mine doesn't.
Zactly Al.
I might often be in situations that would mean at least bent rotors, or at worst a totaled machine, but i will have an axcellant chance of steppn out and cursen the crap outa it. :)
Its one thing to be at min AS over sumthn you definatly cant land on, but its real reckless to get yourself into a situation where any failure, by man or machine, would mean a very low chance of survival.
The extent of the risk depends greatly on your ability to 'land' and your knowlage of the machines abilities and limits.
 
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