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

chrisk

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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.

Yep! Amazing what looking at the end of the runway can do.
 

WaspAir

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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.
A helicopter pilot who is well trained will have a strong aversion to misalignment of gear with the direction of motion whenever below a comfortable hover height, for fear of inducing a dynamic rollover. Exploiting that mindset during gyro training can make attention to alignment easy to teach and natural to develop.
 

Kevin_Richey

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Interesting the stats show that once the initial 40 hr. mark in a pilot's flight time is reached, their chances of a fatal crash go down...
 

Greg Vos

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Can the mods change this title to lack of training ....I don’t have the patience to read this thread 😉.
 

Tyger

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I'm just wondering about picking exactly 40 hours as a "cutoff". Apparently that was chosen just because it's the minimum FAA requirement to get a PPL (which seems to me sort of irrelevant).
One wonders how much different the stats look at 30 hours. Or at 100.
 
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Vance

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This is just my two cents, and I could be 100 percent wrong about this.... But....

I do wonder if the people who are getting involved in gyroplane flying in the last 10 years or so, that came to Gyros to own and fly the expensive euro gyros, and who likely have gotten their instruction from CFI's who have little to no gyro experience before Euro gyros became so dominate.... Are they getting the same type of training that I got, or others who learned to fly gyros during the 1990's and early 2000's.

I am not knocking any particular instructor, but I just wonder if the instructors these days practice and preach the same things that were taught to us in my time.

I was taught in a machine that was extremely UNSTABLE... Very powerful, very unstable, Very much a PIO and PPO prone gyro. It also had a very weak pre rotator.

I was taught to FEEL the gyro in the seat of my pants, That I needed to fly the gyro by feel, not by looking at the instrument panel. I needed to have my hand on the throttle, ready to PULL the power back at even the slightest hint of instability.... Pull power, pull the cyclic back, and " Stabilize " the gyro!!!!!

I was taught how to get the blades up to speed with a pre rotation of maybe 50 RRPM, By slowly taxiing into the wind.

I was taught to RESPECT the machine and have FEAR for my life.... to never be complacent and or reckless.


I just wonder if instructors these days are teaching their students anywhere close to how my instructors taught me. I suspect they teach quite the same as a fixed wing instructor would teach his or her students.... Just basic flight training and following pre set instructions and numbers. I wonder if they teach to fly by feel and seat of the pants? I wonder if they teach and preach the same level of respect and fear of or for the machine as we were taught?

I do know that a decade ago, or more.... When first Magni's then all the other euro gyros came onto the scene, it was discussed here at length.... that these are all very much a high thrustline design, and even though they have large tail surfaces, at low airspeeds and high power settings, these machines can be just as deadly as the gyro's of the 1980's and 1990's that we were seeing bunt over and killing people ( think Aircommands and RAF2000's )


Anyway just my two cents.
Can the mods change this title to lack of training ....I don’t have the patience to read this thread 😉.
It appears from the original post the title is appropriate Greg Vos.

Ron is questioning the quality of todays training.
 
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Sv.grainne

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Vance: I didn't take it that way, I just took it at face value that amount of flight time directly related to various accident statistics. While training you have a "SAFETY" sitting with you. Once you solo you are starting from scratch, alone and on-your-own and hopefully every flight is a learning experience!
 

TyroGyro

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I'm just wondering about picking exactly 40 hours as a "cutoff". Apparently that was chosen just because it's the minimum FAA requirement to get a PPL (which seems to me sort of irrelevant).
One wonders how much different the stats look at 30 hours. Or at 100.
My analysis of the Big-3 Eurotubs (largely a different generation of machines from those analysed in the above report) shows:-

of pilots involved in fatals (where hours have been recorded)

56% had < 100 hours gyro time.
and
37% had < 50 hours gyro time...

So, certainly not inconsistent with the previous report.


I suppose the real question is "Is any of this surprising? Doesn't fixed-wing show a similar pattern? Are gyros significantly worse in this respect?"
 
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Greg Vos

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It appears from the original post the title is appropriate Greg Vos.

Ron is questioning the quality of todays training.
Quality of training comes down to the instructor you have....like winning Le Mans select the right team...🤣
 

Vance

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Vance: I didn't take it that way, I just took it at face value that amount of flight time directly related to various accident statistics. While training you have a "SAFETY" sitting with you. Once you solo you are starting from scratch, alone and on-your-own and hopefully every flight is a learning experience!
I was writing about the title in relation to the first post unrelated to the epidemiological analysis or gyroplane accidents Bobby.
 

fara

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I'm just wondering about picking exactly 40 hours as a "cutoff". Apparently that was chosen just because it's the minimum FAA requirement to get a PPL (which seems to me sort of irrelevant).
One wonders how much different the stats look at 30 hours. Or at 100.

No its not exactly due to 40 hours PPL training requirement. If you read carefully it says 40 hours in Type in same make/model reduces fatality rate by 4 times and serious crash rate by 5 times.
So what they are saying is not just experience in class of aircraft but actual experience in same make and model needs to get to 40 hours for their resultant stats to stand true.
Similar results were found by insurance study of accidents in microlights in the UK fatal accidents. It mattered much less how many hours a pilot had in airplanes, helicopters and what mattered is actual experience in exact type of machine the experienced pilot is flying
Basically I see their argument to be that specific pilot experience is the biggest improvement in safety in gyroplanes we can make using FAA rule making as mechanical issues did not turn out to be a significant enough factor
 
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Tyger

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This is what it says as the reason for choosing 40 hours, verbatim:
"The grouping was made based on the frequently occurring 'private' pilot certificate in the sample that requires 40 hours as a minimum"
 

Philbennett

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Here is a curious thing. On this forum you could post any number and any variety of potential solutions to various and obvious problems people get themselves into and almost immediately someone will tell you how you're all wrong and in fact absolutely nothing could be further from the truth. Then some months later we read of another gyroplane that went the way of the one that prompted the old post and repeat.

By far the most popular thing to post is that in the olden days everything was great and much better than it was today. Fair enough always space for nostalgia and being a Brit we are perhaps have most to be nostalgic about! Then you take a look at the actual landscape that existed for gyroplanes in the olden days with some of the legends of the time and very sadly it didn't end well.

Yet it doesn't really matter because for the most part we aren't going back to how it used to be done fundamentally because in 2021 you can't. If a group of people were to spend endless summer weekends at a disused airfield in the UK doing wheel balancing and hops you would have problems. The first is the disused airfields of the 60's thru 90's are now housing estates, business parks or have row upon row of parked cars on them due to unsold new units or unsold finance returns [see Bruntingthorpe]. Assuming you find a disused airfield [and i say disused because one in service has no interest in a group of people doing the activities i suggest] then within an hour or two of starting the engine the Police will arrive ask for permissions and tell you there have been complaints about the noise.

The entire process will be utterly thankless.

So we have what we have and in actual fact its not terrible BUT it gets snagged by what seem to be obvious snags [even if the obvious is only in reflection or by more experience]. Which finally brings me to my point.

Experience is, I hope, an agreeable positive point for surviving into old age when engaged in flying activities. Experience by definition only comes by doing it. Doing it will lead to hours entered into a log book. No doubt type of experience is important too. So an hour spent in the circuit will give someone much more take off landing experience than an hour in the cruise. An instructor can also pass on some of his experience and with the title of the thread as it is I can confidently conclude, when you look at the recent accidents that likely led to the creation of this thread the common theme was lack of relevant experience.
 

GyroRon

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I just wonder the differences in how instructors are today verses how they were before Euro gyros.


My gut feeling is todays instructors in the Euro gyros don't dwell much on PIO / PPO and " Scare " their students into respecting how they operate their gyros.

The instructors I used, and from the time I was new to this sport made sure you were scared and that you respected the operation of your machine.
 

fara

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I just wonder the differences in how instructors are today verses how they were before Euro gyros.


My gut feeling is todays instructors in the Euro gyros don't dwell much on PIO / PPO and " Scare " their students into respecting how they operate their gyros.

The instructors I used, and from the time I was new to this sport made sure you were scared and that you respected the operation of your machine.
And yet there were 223 total gyroplane accidents registered with NTSB by 2005 (and that means there were actually probably close to 350 because others where no one got hurt were swept under the rug or were deemed Part 103 and not recorded) and there were 91 fatalities out of 223 accidents in the US by 2005. Reference the report and analysis posted in a post above.

I can't comment on all instructors today dwelling on PIO or PPO but I would say this should be covered. How can someone exhibit PIO and be given a solo endorsement? PIO is pilot related due to over-control. If someone can't takeoff and fly 5 feet over the runway maintaining altitude, speed range and heading and then either land or climb out properly maintaining the same parameters and adjusting for power increase or decrease, they should not even solo.
I trained 3 students the past 30 days (about 36 hours of flight training). None are solo yet. All have above 17 hours of flight time, one has come here before twice for training. We are just starting pattern work. If they cannot demonstrate out in the practice area that they can fly straight and level, climb and level out using PAT, descend using PAT, level out from an established descent using APT, do turning climbs, turning descents followed by leveling out, do 360 steep turn maneuvers without gaining speed or changing altitude too much, can't do ground reference maneuvers within limits, show me that they can go from 55 knots to 75 knots maintaining altitude and back from 75 knots to 55 knots without changing altitude (within reason) and using trim on the stick appropriately, can't show me high rate of descent and recovery within limits maintaining heading within 10 degrees why in the world would I ever think they are ready to come in the pattern and do takeoffs and landings and pattern work where all these skills combine together in one form or another?

Edit to add:
Some students think this is too much and I am too hard. They can always find another instructor. In 2020, 2 students did just that. Neither ended up becoming a gyroplane pilot. The time one of them had in airplanes does not mean too much in a gyroplane hands on. These maneuvers (except high rate of descent and recovery because instead in trikes and airplanes we learn stall recognition and recovery and dangers of accelerated stalls and whip stalls) are pretty much the same maneuvers I taught in trikes and I followed the same syllabus and methodology and out of 52 trike pilots I signed off, thankfully I have zero serious accidents (knock on wood). These are fundamentals and they have to be drilled in right from the start in an organized fashion in my humble opinion. Also when we go from one machine to another, I never want to come in to land right away. I want to learn and practice these fundamentals out in the practice area for a bit, learn its slow flight characteristics a bit with someone experienced in that model before I come back to land. Hell I don't even do steep turns in a new model till I master other things in it first. Its just common sense and something every decent instructor will tell you during your primary training in whatever category and class.

I was taught to fly trikes in the good old days by a BFI. Basically besides one or two hours of practice area work, all I was taught was takeoffs and landings over and over for 9 hours and then I was soloed. I was younger then and on the first solo found myself 300 feet too high on final. I swear that in the first solo, right after takeoff if in the first 20 seconds something had gone even slightly wrong I would have died because I was not really ready. I was just pretty much frozen and thinking what the heck am I doing up here and why did I let myself solo right now? Not to mention that I was (am) afraid of heights and almost quit flying completely after my third lesson when my BFI took me up 2500 feet AGL and showed me 45 degree steep turns 360 degrees in a completely open stick trike. He had no clue I really just about quit. Point being I can be nostalgic about that time but it was not very good syllabus nor very good organized training or methodology and plenty of trike accidents happened during that time via whip stalls or going very low G and of course many other accidents. Things did improve very quickly from there for training in trikes because trikes were almost guaranteed to become part of SLSA and Sport Pilot rule.
 
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AgentCheese

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Let me add a bit of a newbies anecdotal perspective here:

I'm a new gyro pilot still working towards my PPL. I do not have a fixed wing PPL, though I had soloed and did some XC years ago. I currently have about 30 hrs in gyros (around 50 overall). I still need some night flight and my solo time before I can apply for a checkride. Due to insurance issues I need to purchase a gyro before I can solo, and I"m hoping to pull that off this spring.

On my very first introductory flight last April, the CFI hammered home the dangers of unloading the rotors and PIO/PPO. It wasn't meant to scare but to instruct. I took it like a FW CFI instructing me on the dangers of stalls and spins. I have had three different instructors, and all have talked about PIO/PPO, what to watch for and how to avoid. I have learned significant skills and knowledge from each one.

I am very grateful that I have had time to build up my skills and practice in several different aircraft, styles, and engines.

I love this forum and check it almost everyday, and appreciate all the knowledge and discussion that it brings. Thank you to all you folks who contribute.

Jon
 
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