Taking off is hard

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
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Good decisions Gary!

Good decisions Gary!

Vance,
The previous solo i felt things were not getting better, i went up with the instructor and all was perfect, no faults etc, i assume the extra weight helped, he could not find an issue.
On the string every thing went a bit blured on the dance, i remember seeing 300 on the rotor thats about it, not the string, but i was devenatly way off balance pure pilot error and i dont mind admitting it, i seem to be getting worse solo than better. I have done 9 hrs solo now, the flight s fine i have started to land scewiff ad well, to the left, i put this down to not enough correction to the right pedal when power is shut off, we suffer a lot of x wind take offs and landings here that should hone my skills but alas im getting worse. I have made the desision to not fly now untill the instructor has flown it solo as getting nervous about it, am 2 weeks from my gst, so need to get confident in the machine that it is ok. No locations close by to practice on a long strip, ours is 430 mtrs, with trees at 1 end, the other is wires and a house at the other. Fine if in the tiger moth which i regularly fly, but the cavalon needs soo much longer to get airborne
The reason I suggested you find a longer runway is to relieve the pressure while you learn the subtleties of flying your Cavalon. I would feel a lot of pressure flying out of your field in a Cavalon. I would rather pretend there were trees at the end and be pleased with how much I missed them by than to have trees and worry about hitting them.

In my experience pressure can cause errors and errors can be compounded. It is seldom a single error that causes a mishap.

A single rollover would pay for a lot of trips to a distant airfield.

Pressure; either external or internal may make learning more difficult.

Your lack of recall about the incident suggests a level of trepidation that retards learning.

When I become frightened my field of vision narrows and I may not notice the things I should to find the best solution to the challenge.

I suspect you were not aligned with your direction of travel.

I found the way the Cavalon flies right side low when solo disquieting.

It changes the sight picture and the feel of the liftoff.

On a longer airfield you can experiment with subtle things that go into making an elegant takeoff.

Please understand I am not attempting to give you flight instruction. I am suggesting reducing the pressure so your learning can accelerate.

I am not suggesting that anything is wrong with the way the Cavalon flies solo; only that it is different than with two.

You are making some good aviation decisions by putting off your test and getting more instruction.
 

Gary O

Gary O
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Thanks Vance, my instructor flew the cav today, no issues. We went up dual and 3 take offs no issues, but out of balance on landing. Fourth take off we got the dance start and used quite a lot of runway, basically i perseived that i needed more right as counsious i keep straying to the left, but the instructor said the nose was to the left hence the dance started then i would have too much the go to the left sa basically i was not straight and weeving side too side over controlling the pedals. We are going to go on a longer runway 750 mtrs the longest 1 we can find to practice the run. What wr did notice is when it happens it sucks your airspeed away, making the run longer, then more dancing ans so on
 

Vance

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Givens Predator
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Reads like progress to me.

Reads like progress to me.

Thanks Vance, my instructor flew the cav today, no issues. We went up dual and 3 take offs no issues, but out of balance on landing. Fourth take off we got the dance start and used quite a lot of runway, basically i perseived that i needed more right as counsious i keep straying to the left, but the instructor said the nose was to the left hence the dance started then i would have too much the go to the left sa basically i was not straight and weeving side too side over controlling the pedals. We are going to go on a longer runway 750 mtrs the longest 1 we can find to practice the run. What wr did notice is when it happens it sucks your airspeed away, making the run longer, then more dancing ans so on
I feel you are making progress Gary.

It reads to me like you are flying the rotor in a different direction than you are rolling.

The aircraft starts to fly one way and quarrels with the tire that is still on the ground.

In my opinion you have correctly identified the pedal work as you inappropriate control input.

The question then becomes; what in your perception causes you to operate the pedals badly when you know better?

Try consciously looking as far down the runway as possible and see if that helps.

Memorize the sight picture when you are taxiing as to what straight ahead looks like.

It is easy to get an incorrect sight picture if you are focusing too close to the nose of the aircraft.

Most of my experience is in a tandem where I am in the middle of the aircraft with a very different sight picture.

It helped me to put thin tape on the windshield that I could line up with the far end of the runway so I knew the aircraft fuselage (main wheels) was aligned with my direction of travel. I line the marks up with the centerline and take off slightly to the left of the centerline for the most accurate impression.

To this day I have trouble aligning a Cavalon with the runway if it doesn’t have the marks despite over 400 hours of flight experience in various Cavalons.

I have a similar challenge with all side by sides and it may be exacerbated by my monocular vision.

Listen to your instructor, it reads like progress to me.
 

Gary O

Gary O
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Vance thanks, it was suggested and I will take heed to put a mark on the screen in front of me to use as a mark line as the cavalon has nothing to teference by. When I learned fixed wing I had the same issue, we put tape on the bonnet to help me align with the runway.
I have uploaded a video of our field. Its called rotorsport cavalon short field take off. Its now live on u tube.
Not the best take off but achieved within 100 mtrs 10 knot wind gusting 16 runway is 23, wind is at 25. Take a look.
 

loftus

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There is an earlier answer in this thread by Des Butts that I think you should think about. That is practicing rotor management on the ground over and over and over again, with balancing on the mains. Do this repeatedly for hours on end, without the pressure of having to leave the ground. This way the process is not rushed. Practice it with some crosswind etc, etc. This is the most important transition time during take off. Similarly practice slow flight at height and then 10-20 feet along the runway. Even after I soloed, I continued to do this till these maneuvers became total second nature, so neither the landing or the takeoff were rushed. I found two additional things were helpful - on takeoff think mostly about controlling the nose, on landing, look down the runway.
 

MadMuz

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There is an earlier answer in this thread by Des Butts that I think you should think about. That is practicing rotor management on the ground over and over and over again, with balancing on the mains........
I agree about a thorough understanding of rotor handling, which seems to have been replaced by simply 'pushing this button until you see xxx rpm then gas it.... However, gyros are possibly the worst ground machines available, being top heavy and 3 main wheels.... and added to that the gyroscopic reactions of the rotor an prop... so yes, learn proper rotor handling, but I wouldn't be making a learner do hours and hours of running up and down strips on 3 wheels, let alone just on the mains... that is recipe for disaster. In my opinion, a gyro needs to be on the ground the least amount of time possible (apart from parked)

I actually think it would be good to make a gyro that is under rotored or very heavy so it cant fly... but more like a prop driven 4 wheeled buggy with rotors with so much clearance it is impossible for the rotors to hit anything... so the student and instructor can safely learn/teach and experiment with rotor handling without the possibility of the machine tipping over or taking off.... rather than risking damaging a real gyrocopter.

A training machine like this could be made inexpensively using retired rotors and rotorhead because it wont be leaving the ground.

When I was teaching myself to fly a gyro, I used to have hours of fun just pointing the thing 10 o'clock to the wind and giving the rotors a few shoves with my hand, motor not running, and nurse the rotors up to almost flying speed, then let them slow down then do it again. When I was using Gerry Goodwin rotors, I could stand up from the seat with my feet on the ground and reach up and give the rotors 2 good shoves, then sit back in the seat and get them up to over the hump in a decent wind.

Why did I say 10 o'clock to the wind? Well, if you point it directly into the wind, the rotor coming forward gets lifted by the wind, which means the retreating blade is being pushed down to sweep close over the prop.... if you turn the machine with its right side more exposed to the airflow, so the advancing blade is being lifted more over the prop, not pushed down close to it. Little things like this can save alot of damage...

More attention needs to be paid to rotor handling... I totally agree with that
 

loftus

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Muz, I don't see how you can learn rotor handling anywhere else but on the ground. Once off the ground, and on approach to land, you're flying the aircraft pretty much like a FW. It's the critical time on the ground leading up to liftoff, and and the transition from being in the air and actually being a ground craft on landing, that are the most critical. Feeling 100% comfortable during these 2 periods is to me the most important thing in flying a gyro. I don't see any substitute for practicing on the ground; and if one cannot get comfortable on the ground, I just don't think one is ready to fly. Learning from Des, I learned to taxi down a long runway playing with throttle and stick to get used to the relationship between stick position, rotor and aircraft speed, and the very critical skill of being able to feel what the nose is doing. Obviously one has to choose the right conditions etc when practicing, but on the ground practice is the only way in my mind one can get a feel for that very critical time when as you say, gyros are at their most dangerous. Every time one lands or takes off, one has to transition through these 'dangerous' ground to air or air to ground transition periods, so getting comfortable with controlling the aircraft during these periods is essential in my book. Especially because Gary seems to be struggling right during these transition periods, I think it would be helpful for him to be guided through these ground exercises under the right conditions and the right instructor. I'm a relatively low time pilot with about 225 hours, so I only speak from my experience, but it made all the difference for me.
 

C. Beaty

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The Cierva C-30 didn’t have a controllable rudder since there was no need for it.

Vertical tail surfaces were centered in the propeller slipstream, eliminating throttle/yaw coupling. The belly fin in the attached sketch was part of the equalization scheme.

The slipstream coming off the prop looks like a corkscrew; a miniature whirlwind. A vertical tail dipping in its lower half is pushed in whichever direction the lower half of the prop is moving, creating throttle-yaw coupling and the need for the rudder pedal toe dance during the takeoff sequence.

A tall tail Dominator, properly trimmed, can takeoff without rudder input; feet on the floor.

Attached drawing from: Cierva Autogiros by Peter W. Brooks.
 

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Vance

Gyroplane CFI
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Nipomo,California
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Givens Predator
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2200+ in rotorcraft
A different experience.

A different experience.

The Cierva C-30 didn’t have a controllable rudder since there was no need for it.

Vertical tail surfaces were centered in the propeller slipstream, eliminating throttle/yaw coupling. The belly fin in the attached sketch was part of the equalization scheme.

The slipstream coming off the prop looks like a corkscrew; a miniature whirlwind. A vertical tail dipping in its lower half is pushed in whichever direction the lower half of the prop is moving, creating throttle-yaw coupling and the need for the rudder pedal toe dance during the takeoff sequence.

A tall tail Dominator, properly trimmed, can takeoff without rudder input; feet on the floor.

Attached drawing from: Cierva Autogiros by Peter W. Brooks.
My experience with Dominators was that I needed rudder to take off from a runway in a cross wind.

It appeared to me to be properly trimmed.

In no wind conditions I found there was no rudder required for takeoff.
 

C. Beaty

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Cierva C-30s date from an era when an airfield was just that; a sod field so that takeoffs were always into the wind.

The elimination of throttle-yaw coupling eliminates the rudder pedal toe dance, crosswind or not.
 
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