Training may likely be the issue why so many Euro Gyro Accidents

chrisk

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My experience with the FAA has been rather different. I have encountered no graft, no business protectionism, and no intent to make things convoluted. Most of them are honestly trying to walk a difficult line between flying freedom and public safety. They don't always get it right, but the motives are not venal, corrupt, or unworthy.
My experiences with the FAA has been outstanding. In general they have exhibited sound regulations and reasonable enforcement. I think they are close to a model for reasonable rules. That said, no organization is perfect. There is a reason congress got involved with medical reform a few years ago. Pilots were spending thousands of dollars for relatively minor medical issues.

And I in no way meant to imply the FAA could be bought with graft. I have never seen or heard of such a thing. If you want to see graft, look at building permits in some of the larger cities. --The places where you need to hire someone to expedite the process.
 

C. Beaty

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According to the book: “Cierva Autogiros” by Peter W. Brooks, about 35,000 hours had been flown during the development of the Autogiro when the first fatality occurred.
It is important to note that Cierva was a brilliant engineer who did not compromise sound engineering principles during the experimental phase; he stayed with CLT and centered the tail surfaces in the propeller slipstream in order to compensate for propeller torque reaction and yaw due to the rotating propeller slip stream.
Not one modern gyro conforms to Cierva standards; the Dominator came the closest. But I suppose that if modern gyros looked like a Cierva machine, they wouldn’t sell. We all like that low slung Italian sport car look.

I need to get a scanner that works with Linux; I have a W7 computer that works with my old scanner but it is messed up.
 

anthom

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I apologise for seeming to imply something that you did not mean. You said "we... tell them that this type of flying is not for them. Most heed the advice and sell their machines." You did not say how long heeding the advice followed the giving of it; it just sounded like the one followed soon upon the other.
I do not need specific details of the risky behavior you brought up. I thought you might be able to share them generally, but I guess that is not the case.
I am familiar with all of the concepts in that handbook, and I spent 26 years in a combat-arms branch of the Army, so I do know a fair bit about risk management. But thanks for schooling me. I think I am now going to take a break from posting on this forum. Sorry for any offense given.
Whenever any post of mine is specifically quoted, then I respond in the way I interpret the post of the person that quotes me. I do not mean to offend you, nor school you or anyone else. I appreciate your service and thank you for it.
 

anthom

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Some of the issues that I see with students with an airplane background that I am currently training are below. Other instructors may have a different take from my views.

The biggest problem that I see on take off is the tendency to prematurely advance the cyclic forward before the rotors get up to flight speed and accelerate the gyroplane just like an airplane or helicopter.

The procedure to first pre-rotate with stick forward, then bring stick back to commence the roll, and then again advance the cyclic forward gradually requires a lot of coordination of controls, and is IMHO counter intuitive for most airplane and helicopter pilots. (My initial training was in a tailwheel airplane and then all my service flying was in helicopter). If the nose of the gyroplane whips up in the process, getting airborne is then invariably on the back side of the power curve. On landing, there is a tendency to push the cyclic forward just after touch down.

There is a lot of unlearning to be done, because I see the cyclic being pushed forward inadvertently, when in fact it should be held back. This is quite noticeable right after touchdown. One seems to forget that we have rotors at flight RPM instead of stationary wings.

Yesterday I trained one student for over 20 take offs and landings. It is a time consuming process to develop the right muscle memory for the correct and appropriate application of the controls.

I remind my students that training will continue till proficiency is mastered in the areas of take offs and landings before moving on to advanced lessons, and they understand that I mean well for them.
 

chrisk

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There is a lot of unlearning to be done, because I see the cyclic being pushed forward inadvertently, when in fact it should be held back. This is quite noticeable right after touchdown. One seems to forget that we have rotors at flight RPM instead of stationary wings.

Yesterday I trained one student for over 20 take offs and landings. It is a time consuming process to develop the right muscle memory for the correct and appropriate application of the controls.
I would agree with both of these.

The bigger problems I see are:
  1. Failure to align the gyroplane with the runway on landing. This is particularly noticeable as the gyroplane slows just prior to landing. The rudder looses effectiveness and the pedals need to be worked. Tail wheel pilots generally do not have a problem here. Helicopter and may fixed wing pilots do.
  2. Thinking the landing is done when the mains have touched. They then just let the nose wheel flop down.
  3. Overly aggressive nose up attitude at take off. The nose wheel doesn't have to be that far off the ground. During the summer it is easy to demonstrate the gyro will not climb out of ground effect and a massive amount of runway is consumed with the wheels ocasionally comming back to earth. I've had more than one student not understand what was happening. It makes for a good learning moment. During colder months, this tends to be more of an academic discussion, as the gyros performance is adequate for less than perfect technique.
  4. New pilots struggle with cross winds. I often see drift on take off and landings.
 

Philbennett

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According to the book: “Cierva Autogiros” by Peter W. Brooks, about 35,000 hours had been flown during the development of the Autogiro when the first fatality occurred.
It is important to note that Cierva was a brilliant engineer who did not compromise sound engineering principles during the experimental phase; he stayed with CLT and centered the tail surfaces in the propeller slipstream in order to compensate for propeller torque reaction and yaw due to the rotating propeller slip stream.
Not one modern gyro conforms to Cierva standards; the Dominator came the closest. But I suppose that if modern gyros looked like a Cierva machine, they wouldn’t sell. We all like that low slung Italian sport car look.

I need to get a scanner that works with Linux; I have a W7 computer that works with my old scanner but it is messed up.

Couple of things as a follow on and I don't know the answer but merely rhetorical. When Cierva's aircraft were "current" the environment was likely different. Were those able to fly more air minded? Certainly the instructors of his own flying school [Alan Marsh and Reginald Brie] have far richer aviation CV's than anyone I know currently instructing in the UK for example.

You also had airfields which were just that - fields - so landing into wind was no challenge.

The aircraft themselves are incomparable really. The popular Cierva C30 was over 30% heavier than an equivalent modern gyro and c.30% bigger rotors, which were fundamentally different to the 2 blade teeter type of today. With the aircraft being of a magnitude larger than the aircraft of today are environmental effects reduced.

I'm not sure the looks of a C30 make it unsaleable as much as the above wouldn't fit many countries regulation for light gyroplanes. As for the Dominator. I'd buy one today but I live in the UK and so I couldn't fly it, so that becomes a major barrier and that becomes a big sticking point.

We can scoff, deride aircraft as "Euro" tubs. We can suggest Fetters made a low slung aircraft that made many smoking holes BUT they were all in the market. ELA, Dominator, AirGyro [and similar], American Ranger, American Autogyro, Sportcopter. We can't fly any of them and engineering wise BCAR-T is well documented [it may have some items that are superfluous or ill conceived but that shouldn't be a barrier to an aircraft claimed to be superior to those that do conform] and where is everyone? In a way its like the moan up about gyro glider or hand starting rotors and feeling your way into the air. We would all like to feel the fibres in that fabric but at the end of 2020 its just more peanuts being thrown out of the gallery.
 

WaspAir

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Total 4 hours in type, 1 in last 90 days, as reported. Rolled it over when he lost aileron effectiveness at low speed.
Unlike the C30, the PA18 does not have direct control over the rotor, and relies on airplane-like control surfaces. It should always be landed into the wind.
 
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WaspAir

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I'm not sure the looks of a C30 make it unsaleable as much as the above wouldn't fit many countries regulation for light gyroplanes.
You could fly it in the U.S. with a Private Pilot, Rotorcraft-Gyroplane rating.
 

Vance

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Couple of things as a follow on and I don't know the answer but merely rhetorical. When Cierva's aircraft were "current" the environment was likely different. Were those able to fly more air minded? Certainly the instructors of his own flying school [Alan Marsh and Reginald Brie] have far richer aviation CV's than anyone I know currently instructing in the UK for example.

You also had airfields which were just that - fields - so landing into wind was no challenge.

The aircraft themselves are incomparable really. The popular Cierva C30 was over 30% heavier than an equivalent modern gyro and c.30% bigger rotors, which were fundamentally different to the 2 blade teeter type of today. With the aircraft being of a magnitude larger than the aircraft of today are environmental effects reduced.

I'm not sure the looks of a C30 make it unsaleable as much as the above wouldn't fit many countries regulation for light gyroplanes. As for the Dominator. I'd buy one today but I live in the UK and so I couldn't fly it, so that becomes a major barrier and that becomes a big sticking point.

We can scoff, deride aircraft as "Euro" tubs. We can suggest Fetters made a low slung aircraft that made many smoking holes BUT they were all in the market. ELA, Dominator, AirGyro [and similar], American Ranger, American Autogyro, Sportcopter. We can't fly any of them and engineering wise BCAR-T is well documented [it may have some items that are superfluous or ill conceived but that shouldn't be a barrier to an aircraft claimed to be superior to those that do conform] and where is everyone? In a way its like the moan up about gyro glider or hand starting rotors and feeling your way into the air. We would all like to feel the fibres in that fabric but at the end of 2020 its just more peanuts being thrown out of the gallery.
In my opinion gyroplanes like this Pitcairn PCA2 with a standard FAA type certificate may be flown anywhere in the world.

In my opinion the older gyroplanes were safer than fixed wing aircraft of the time because they had near centerline thrust, torque compensation and a generous empennage volume. They also had landing gear that allowed a stop and drop as a normal procedure.

These features appear to have been abandoned on many of the modern gyroplanes.

It appears to me gyroplanes became less tip over prone when they went to direct control of the rotor. A tip over typically did not involve a fatality.

For me an understanding of our past helps me to recognize what could be done better today.
 

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WaspAir

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In my opinion gyroplanes like this Pitcairn PCA2 with a standard FAA type certificate may be flown anywhere in the world.
Perhaps. I sold a Standard Airworthiness McCulloch J-2 to New Zealand, and was told there was an issue for registration there, because they had no category for Standard Airworthiness gyroplanes in NZ at the time. I think they finally got it a permit to fly as an excessively large microlight (1600 pounds) through some sort of waiver. (Perhaps the current owner knows and can comment.)

If you are an American with a US rating and you fly through another country with an N-numbered Pitcairn you are protected by treaty and ICAO rules, but it might be different if you sold it to a local.

I would dearly love to have an airworthy Kellet or Pitcairn.
 

Philbennett

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Philbennett

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As I said Vance to put this in context we don’t fly things like the C30, PCA2 because they fall outside of the current regulations for the most part. Yes if you hold an FAA licence and bring your N registered PCA2 to the UK you may at the discretion of our CAA fly it in the UK but with strict limits that make it impractical on a mass basis. Please continue the pedant but it doesn’t entirely solve the issues posed by the OP.
 

Sv.grainne

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Some of the issues that I see with students with an airplane background that I am currently training are below. Other instructors may have a different take from my views.

The biggest problem that I see on take off is the tendency to prematurely advance the cyclic forward before the rotors get up to flight speed and accelerate the gyroplane just like an airplane or helicopter.

The procedure to first pre-rotate with stick forward, then bring stick back to commence the roll, and then again advance the cyclic forward gradually requires a lot of coordination of controls, and is IMHO counter intuitive for most airplane and helicopter pilots. (My initial training was in a tailwheel airplane and then all my service flying was in helicopter). If the nose of the gyroplane whips up in the process, getting airborne is then invariably on the back side of the power curve. On landing, there is a tendency to push the cyclic forward just after touch down.

There is a lot of unlearning to be done, because I see the cyclic being pushed forward inadvertently, when in fact it should be held back. This is quite noticeable right after touchdown. One seems to forget that we have rotors at flight RPM instead of stationary wings.

Yesterday I trained one student for over 20 take offs and landings. It is a time consuming process to develop the right muscle memory for the correct and appropriate application of the controls.

I remind my students that training will continue till proficiency is mastered in the areas of take offs and landings before moving on to advanced lessons, and they understand that I mean well for them.
I want to reply based on my current training and experience but will wait till tomorrow till I can respond on my computer.
 

anthom

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  1. Failure to align the gyroplane with the runway on landing. This is particularly noticeable as the gyroplane slows just prior to landing. The rudder looses effectiveness and the pedals need to be worked. Tail wheel pilots generally do not have a problem here. Helicopter and may fixed wing pilots do.
I'm a bit surprised that helicopter pilots have problems in rudder application according to your statement. The application of rudder is a continuous process in a helicopter in all maneuvers of flight, and would come naturally, I feel.
 

chrisk

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I'm a bit surprised that helicopter pilots have problems in rudder application according to your statement. The application of rudder is a continuous process in a helicopter in all maneuvers of flight, and would come naturally, I feel.
I'm not a helicopter pilot, but I'm under the impression a running landing is really the only time they need to be aligned with the runway.
 

Vance

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I'm a bit surprised that helicopter pilots have problems in rudder application according to your statement. The application of rudder is a continuous process in a helicopter in all maneuvers of flight, and would come naturally, I feel.
I have had helicopter pilots look at the ground rather than all the way down the runway on their round out and they quickly become misaligned.

I have also had helicopter pilots stop flying as soon as the wheels touch the ground.

I personally had a problem based on my limited helicopter experience with wanting to flare at 40 feet in an autorotation to the ground and to level the skids after the flare rather than continuing to pull the cyclic rearward and hold it there.

I was taught in a Robinson 44.

Fortunately these are all easy to fix.
 

anthom

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I'm referring to the "unlearning" part in my original post in that the application of the cyclic in the gyroplane is the main problem because of the counter intuitive application as I described earlier. I do not feel there is a set pattern in how pilots with different flying backgrounds learn. Of course, aligning the nose with the landing direction is a must. But for that, I feel it is either less ruder or excess rudder application, rather than unlearning the direction of the application. We have a fairly wide grass runway at Anahuac. If the crosswinds are strong, I practice diagonal landings as well to help align into the winds better.

Most helicopters that I've flown have skids and cannot do running landings or take offs. The flare height for autorotation landings in the Lama helicopter that I flew was from 100 to 150 feet height.

I had a difficult time during my gyroplane training in unlearning the application of the collective vs throttle for power.
 
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