Training for Emergencies

WillyRose

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I was humbled at the weekend when a PPL(G) told me about an engine failure, from which he'd been able to restart the engine, return to his recently-departed airfield, where the engine failed again and he landed safely. I'm not going to steal his thunder and detail the whole thing. He's promised to document the flight so, if he doesn't post it here, I will ask his permission to reproduce it in due course.

This guy was an ab initio so he will have done at least 40 hours of training in the UK, where we practice emergencies ad nauseum once the student has mastered the basics of upper air work, taking off and landing.

My own guys hate it when I say to them "where is the wind coming from?" because they know it presages a simulated engine failure. By the time they're submitted for their test, they know where the wind is coming from, they know which fields around them might be suitable for an emergency landing and we've practised so many times their reactions have become automatic.

Flying with a loss of trim and landing with an inoperative rudder are invaluable preparation for the types of failures you might encounter in real life. And flying a dead-stick landing will alert you to the significant difference between flying with an idling engine and a dead one.

Barring catastrophic mechanical failure I wonder if the difference between an emergency and a tragedy, the difference between a happy- and a sad outcome, is training? How many hours will it take me to get my Licence? As many as it takes. Don't stint on your training. Don't even think about rushing it.

Your PPL(A/G/H/whatever) is a licence to learn, isn't it! The learning continues on every flight. In this case, my own learning was enhanced by a chat in the hangar with another pilot. BTW - his engine failure was caused by a failed fuel pressure regulator. That was a new one on me!

Be humble, talk to other pilots and if you have a positive story to add about Emergencies, please add it to this thread.
 

Burrengyro

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Hi Willy Rose,
Very interesting post on many levels. Thanks for posting.
Could I ask you to identify the type of gyro and the engine type? Failure of a fuel pressure regulator is a critical issue. What caused the fuel regulator failure? Did it require replacement or fuel pressure adjustment?
Engine failure and trim and rudder training is vital. Failure of the trim system can also affect the rotor brake and knowing how to deal with such a problem is useful.
Looking forward to your friend's full report and happy he landed safely.
Many thanks, John H.
 

Vance

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I was humbled at the weekend when a PPL(G) told me about an engine failure, from which he'd been able to restart the engine, return to his recently-departed airfield, where the engine failed again and he landed safely. I'm not going to steal his thunder and detail the whole thing. He's promised to document the flight so, if he doesn't post it here, I will ask his permission to reproduce it in due course.

This guy was an ab initio so he will have done at least 40 hours of training in the UK, where we practice emergencies ad nauseum once the student has mastered the basics of upper air work, taking off and landing.

My own guys hate it when I say to them "where is the wind coming from?" because they know it presages a simulated engine failure. By the time they're submitted for their test, they know where the wind is coming from, they know which fields around them might be suitable for an emergency landing and we've practised so many times their reactions have become automatic.

Flying with a loss of trim and landing with an inoperative rudder are invaluable preparation for the types of failures you might encounter in real life. And flying a dead-stick landing will alert you to the significant difference between flying with an idling engine and a dead one.

Barring catastrophic mechanical failure I wonder if the difference between an emergency and a tragedy, the difference between a happy- and a sad outcome, is training? How many hours will it take me to get my Licence? As many as it takes. Don't stint on your training. Don't even think about rushing it.

Your PPL(A/G/H/whatever) is a licence to learn, isn't it! The learning continues on every flight. In this case, my own learning was enhanced by a chat in the hangar with another pilot. BTW - his engine failure was caused by a failed fuel pressure regulator. That was a new one on me!

Be humble, talk to other pilots and if you have a positive story to add about Emergencies, please add it to this thread.
Thank you for an articulate, useful, relevant post Willy Rose.

Some people feel there is not much reason to practice emergency landings because the modern gyroplane engines are so reliable that it is unlikely for it to fail in flight.

As someone who has made successful emergency landings I can assure people engines do stop at inconvenient times and knowing which way the wind blows and having appropriate landing areas picked out before the engine goes quiet is an important part of learning to fly.

In my opinion based on my experience any emergency landing where you can reuse the aircraft has a lot of luck involved and it concerns me when people suggest that an engine out in a gyroplane is no big deal.

I too have found great value in hangar flying.
 
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Tyger

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Flying with a loss of trim and landing with an inoperative rudder are invaluable preparation for the types of failures you might encounter in real life. And flying a dead-stick landing will alert you to the significant difference between flying with an idling engine and a dead one.
This is unquestionably true, but how often does anyone here actually practise landings with no rudder input, or with the motor turned off, not just idling?
Super-realistic training is great, but sometimes the risk from the training itself can be greater than the risk of a similar rare event, merely by making that rare event actually happen. It's one reason why, in the Army, maneuver training with real bullets is fairly rare and considered very high risk.
 

WillyRose

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Could I ask you to identify the type of gyro and the engine type? Failure of a fuel pressure regulator is a critical issue. What caused the fuel regulator failure? Did it require replacement or fuel pressure adjustment?
John, it was a Rotax 914 engine so it could conceivably affect any of the factory built machines.
I don't know the cause and can only assume replacement was required.
Watch this space for a full explanation from the pilot.
 

WillyRose

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...sometimes the risk from the training itself can be greater than the risk of a similar rare event, merely by making that rare event actually happen.
Fair point, Tyger, so clearly these exercises should only be undertaken with an experienced Instructor on board.
Rudder failure can be practiced at altitude, using power changes to move the nose left and right from a low powered descent.
[Opposing instructor and student pedal inputs has been known to cause pedal mounts to bend which severely compromises rudder control. ]
Engine off should only ever be practiced from overhead a quiet strip.
 

Tyger

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As far as rudder failure, I don't actually have much power/yaw coupling, at least not in level flight. If you do, it might be interesting to discover just how much, while at altitude. However, I rarely even think about my rudder, except when landing, and I'm not sure I'd want to be messing around a lot with my power settings just then.
I am a bit surprised by what you say about a student and instructor stepping on opposite pedals. Surely if the instructor has to take control from the student he says "My aircraft", at which point the student should basically immediately go hands and feet off, no?
 

Vance

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As far as rudder failure, I don't actually have much power/yaw coupling, at least not in level flight. If you do, it might be interesting to discover just how much, while at altitude. However, I rarely even think about my rudder, except when landing, and I'm not sure I'd want to be messing around a lot with my power settings just then.
I am a bit surprised by what you say about a student and instructor stepping on opposite pedals. Surely if the instructor has to take control from the student he says "My aircraft", at which point the student should basically immediately go hands and feet off, no?
Most modern gyroplanes I have flown including the Magni M16 and M24 pitch nose up and yaw right when power is reduced and nose down and yaw left when power is increased. I usually demonstrate this well above the ground so it is not a surprise.

If I was flying a gyroplane with power/pitch/yaw coupling; I would leave the throttle alone when landing with a dysfunctional rudder. I simply land with some power in, turn into the wind and land with very little ground speed.

Exchange of controls is very important. Unfortunately when people are scared they may not do what is asked of them.

I have had learners fight with me for the controls.

On some gyroplanes it is possible to bend the rudder controls simply by pushing down hard on both pedals at the same time.

This is not an unusual reaction when a learner doesn’t like what they have done.
 

Tyger

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Vance, I of course do experience that pitch coupling you describe; given the HTL, it has an upward dynamic bias to counter the prop thrust. But the amount of yaw I personally get is very little (912ULS).
I agree about what to do if landing with no rudder, however. I certainly would not try using the engine to yaw during landing.
As far as "learners" I think everyone should be a "learner", all the time, including the instructor. But not everyone is a student all the time. :giggle:
I really don't get what the problem is with the word "student". Or, in the UK, "pupil".
 
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Vance

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I prefer to call "learners" clients because I learn as much from them as they learn from me.

The FAA wants to use the term "learners" and they are my controlling authority.
 

Resasi

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We learn by the exchange of ideas, and each of us has within a wealth of individual life experiences.

Experiences that we survived, wouldn't be here otherwise, and possibly of value to be passed on.

I have always felt incredibly grateful to finding this forum when I was starting out in gyros, after a reasonably long stretch in aviation. Gyro flying is a niche, it contains a requirement for knowledge that is unique to our way of finding freedom aloft.

It is learned slowly and with care, for the forces with allow us to defeat gravity are slightly different, and if transgressed the punishment is severe.

We can ride the wind and loose those surly bonds of earth...but pay a heavy price if we disregard those rules that bind us to the way.

(Sorry guys, but late, and a toot or two, and I am away flying without gyro.)
 

WaspAir

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Learner is thought to be a more general description of the pilot receiving instruction, while student is reserved for those without a higher-than-student-level certificate. FAA is adamant that a private pilot does not have student privileges, so they care about the words. This has ugly consequences for those returning to aviation in a different category.

For example, a fellow with an ASEL rating who hasn't flown in 20 years decides to join my glider club and earn a rating in gliders. We cannot legally sign him off for solo in a glider until he takes a flight review in an airplane, a wasteful, time consuming, and very expensive distraction for someone who never intended to fly airplanes again. If he were a "student" we could send him off solo without going near an airplane, but he is a non-student learner, so he has more hurdles to surmount. It makes no sense, which is a common theme in recent FAA policy

The learner term also fits a little better with the vocabulary used in educational psychology theories that the FAA likes.
 
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Tyger

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All right, I get the legalese... as if the FAA owns the very word, student, just because they apply it to a particular level of certificate that they made up. But the fact that there exists a Student Pilot certificate cannot mean that the only students (small "s") in the world are those who have such a certificate.
And... just because you are "studying" something doesn't mean you are actually "learning" anything. 😉
 

Abid

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Vance, I of course do experience that pitch coupling you describe; given the HTL, it has an upward dynamic bias to counter the prop thrust. But the amount of yaw I personally get is very little (912ULS).
I agree about what to do if landing with no rudder, however. I certainly would not try using the engine to yaw during landing.
As far as "learners" I think everyone should be a "learner", all the time, including the instructor. But not everyone is a student all the time. :giggle:
I really don't get what the problem is with the word "student". Or, in the UK, "pupil".

All Magnis have power yaw coupling just as ELA's just as AutoGyros. You get used to correcting for them. AR-1 open cockpit has the least amount of power yaw coupling. However, when canopy is put on even it has power yaw coupling like the European machines.
If you are not feeling a power yaw coupling, your perception of it is low possibly because you have tuned it out by trained action. 912ULS will obviously have the lowest demonstration of this while 915 will have the highest. Its always there. Just use right pedal putting in power and lead with left pedal reducing power. Just a bit of pressure is all it will take. Many experienced pilots do it automatically.

I posted a video of a way to counter the power yaw coupling without rudder input long ago
 

Abid

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What is this about an engine out and an inoperative rudder. Those are two different things and chances of both of those happening at the same time are extremely slim.
 

Tyger

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If you read it carefully, it is one or the other...
 

Tyger

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If you are not feeling a power yaw coupling, your perception of it is low possibly because you have tuned it out by trained action. 912ULS will obviously have the lowest demonstration of this while 915 will have the highest. Its always there. Just use right pedal putting in power and lead with left pedal reducing power. Just a bit of pressure is all it will take. Many experienced pilots do it automatically.
I have not tuned it out or compensated automatically. I find the yaw pretty negligible and, in fact, I really only use the rudder when landing... it's the only time I feel I need to.
 

Abid

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I have not tuned it out or compensated automatically. I find the yaw pretty negligible and, in fact, I really only use the rudder when landing... it's the only time I feel I need to.

I dunno. I have flown a Magni M16 914 a few times and certainly you go from 5000 RPM cruise to 3500 on a base turn relatively quickly and you can see it could definitely benefit from left rudder input. May be not quite as much as a MTO Sport but definitely. The M24 914 will fly completely slipped for a mile without any tendency to come back if you do not in fact correct with rudder a significant power change you made. I find it odd that some of the M24's I have seen do not have a yaw string on them here because they definitely will get un-coordinated and fly that way forward. Their airfoil is really thin. Thin airfoils don't produce as much pressure as thicker ones. Easy enough to put slight rudder input in and correct it. Not a big deal. I have been flying a Cub lately. Better get on the rudder.
 
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