Think young.

OUTLAW17

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Organizations to remain viable must grow or die. When you look around during an event what do you see. If it is not a good mix of all ages the organization is self eliminating. The EAA has exceptional outreach programs for young adults. They are invited and welcomed. Activities are provided. The EAA also mentors many future aviators. PRA may not be able to replicate what the EAA has accomplished. Small steps count. Air Scout units, CAP, free admission for a day, high school visits and presentations are some possible advocacy aeras. Young adults today have many opportunities for various sports, clubs and extracurricular pursuits. These are some thoughts I had while reading the RWF. I know everybody has a full plate. Small efforts count. A kind word of encouragement might be all it takes to get someone started in aviation. It worked on me. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step-Lao Tzu.
Blue skys, tailwinds and grins.
 

Smack

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I would suggest that John Roundtree has been (to my limited knowledge) one of the most outspoken proponents or PRA recently. He wrote several times about funding a high school (was it college?) class for multiple avenues of gyroplane developement.
Agreed, gotta get the young folks interested and we can all be advocates for the sport.
My opinion is that our ranks are slowly increasing the last few years.
"A single spark can start a prairie fire" - Mao Zedong
 

anthom

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Right now I'm in India, my native country, for a short visit. I.3 Billion people, and not a single Gyroplane. I'm hopeful about starting something here, if it weren't for the COVID. The potential is huge.
 

Brian Jackson

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Right now I'm in India, my native country, for a short visit. I.3 Billion people, and not a single Gyroplane. I'm hopeful about starting something here, if it weren't for the COVID. The potential is huge.
Indeed. If just 1 in a million owned a gyro in India, that's 1,300 planes.
 

fara

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Indeed. If just 1 in a million owned a gyro in India, that's 1,300 planes.

There is not a single qualified gyroplane instructor or pilot in India. The DGCA is 50 years behind the times and makes EASA and FAA look like jets in terms of moving to change. Pakistan has a qualified gyroplane instructor who also taught many Saudis to fly both gyroplanes and trikes working at the AutoGyro dealership in KSA. However, he has been laid off there and back in Pakistan and has a MTO Sport to fly there. Don't know much about Bangladesh. Sub-continent is a huge potential market with many young and technical people who have the ability to become great pilots, engineers but the potential is completely untapped. I hope I can help in changing it.
 

Doug Riley

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I started in gyros very young (beginning a build at age14; finishing it at 16). At the time, the two major obstacles were (1) money and (2) safety.

#1 is relative. Bensen was king of the hill in the 1970's, of course. His prices were ridiculously cheap by today's standards, but, at the time, they were actually rather high for what you got in your package. His mark-up was huge on many items. Today, the cost is much, much more daunting for regular working folk (no problem for hedge-funders and MD's). Most newbies now first encounter Euro-gyros, the ones that go for a mere $100,000. If the newbie scratches around, he/she might discover that you can build a Gyrobee with a used engine for $10K -- but the initial sticker shock is bound to be off-putting.

#2 may have improved a little, but old reputations die hard, and the new record still isn't great. My father flew Cubs a bit and had been an aviation enthusiast from boyhood. But his pilot buddies gave the Bensen gyro such an awful safety review that he discouraged me from getting involved (notice how that worked out). This was at a time when the gyro fatality rate in the U.S. was about one a month. I still gently discourage young adults with spouses, kids, and careers from getting involved with gyros immediately, because of this issue. I just recently shooed my godson (a buddy's oldest child) away from the sport. Cripes, he has two tiny kids, a lovely wife and a growing career. Money is not an issue for him, but dead is dead.

Sorry to be Debbie Downer. I think we have to face facts here, though.
 

Resasi

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My eldest boy, now an airline Captain flying the heavies nearly had a baby when I mentioned that I had ‘discovered’ gyros.

The youngest a ground engineer for Delta, and was always way ahead of his older brother when they both flew as kids, seems pretty uninterested, though he humoured me by joining me on the Hornet build.

I will reluctantly admit that statistics are not brilliant, so don’t push it as a sport for the masses, but if one does get the bug, it certainly is a fascinating and addictive way of getting off the ground.
 

fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
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I started in gyros very young (beginning a build at age14; finishing it at 16). At the time, the two major obstacles were (1) money and (2) safety.

#1 is relative. Bensen was king of the hill in the 1970's, of course. His prices were ridiculously cheap by today's standards, but, at the time, they were actually rather high for what you got in your package. His mark-up was huge on many items. Today, the cost is much, much more daunting for regular working folk (no problem for hedge-funders and MD's). Most newbies now first encounter Euro-gyros, the ones that go for a mere $100,000. If the newbie scratches around, he/she might discover that you can build a Gyrobee with a used engine for $10K -- but the initial sticker shock is bound to be off-putting.

#2 may have improved a little, but old reputations die hard, and the new record still isn't great. My father flew Cubs a bit and had been an aviation enthusiast from boyhood. But his pilot buddies gave the Bensen gyro such an awful safety review that he discouraged me from getting involved (notice how that worked out). This was at a time when the gyro fatality rate in the U.S. was about one a month. I still gently discourage young adults with spouses, kids, and careers from getting involved with gyros immediately, because of this issue. I just recently shooed my godson (a buddy's oldest child) away from the sport. Cripes, he has two tiny kids, a lovely wife and a growing career. Money is not an issue for him, but dead is dead.

Sorry to be Debbie Downer. I think we have to face facts here, though.

The safety record is due to training or lack there of. Very few instructors, travel and time pressures to get signed off. Average age of gyro pilots coming in which is quite high and them expecting to finish off in 20 hours (not going to happen without significant safety lapses).
 
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anthom

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It's a chore to deal with the Civil Aviation authorities here. Change comes slowly in a country as huge and diverse as India. Air space management is another issue that is way behind. The first step would be to bring some awareness to the folks that matter. Drones have taken a big chunk of the utility of gyroplanes, and so adventure flying seems to be the only avenue left. Manufacturing is not the problem. It is the training and marketing that are the big hurdles. But it is definitely worth serious consideration.
 

Resasi

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100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
Interesting to see the Chinese armed forces embraced gyros Anthom, wonder if that could be used to provoke some interest in India? If it aroused interest in the armed forces it might kick start interest in the masses.



I do remember though that Wing Commander Wallace had no success at all in promoting the use of gyro’s by the UK military establishment.
 

anthom

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I was in India recently and met with some of my retired General friends, who had held very senior positions in Defense . The use of drones with explosive payloads are being used in the present day. I feel that the lack of the ability to hover in still air is the biggest limitation that gyroplanes have in a utility role. Most of the external threats that India faces are from the border regions of the Himalayas, and the altitude limitations of gyroplanes compared to helicopters is significant. Perhaps with the evolution of more sophisticated jump take off machines, things may change.

As can be seen from our own personal lives, our children are the least bit interested. If gyroplanes need to advance in popularity, I feel the interest has to start from the younger generation. They seem more fascinated with fancy cars instead.
 

DavePA11

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Pilots are too expensive for the military in my opinion. Hoards of multi-rotor drones would be the way to go. Difficult to shoot them down. A slow gyro Copter would be easy target.

There is no hope for the younger population. They only want free stuff.
 
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