Understanding Gyroplane Flight Controls.

All_In

Gold Supporter
Joined
Apr 21, 2008
Messages
15,045
Location
San Diego, CA. USA
Aircraft
Piper Archer, Aviomania G1sb
Total Flight Time
Not sure over 10,000+ logged FW, 260+ ultralights, sailplane, hang-gliders
Thanks to Vance categorizing the causes we have almost defined the training and questions needed to proceed.
There will be an online portion of that is an open book test with multiple choice answers.
There will be Vances summary of causes to educate them on what to look out and what gets more training based on their make & model & your hours.
They will describe in their own words their pilot procedures for the make and model that have caused the accidents.
All online prior to being tested.

Testing = is first in our flight simulator with the flight simulator instructor.
The ground CFI:
Will go over your description of the piloting procedures that you are about to fly in the flight simulator.
You will be asked to plot a course you will fly in the flight simulator using a paper chart for navigation (No GPS allowed) Instructor will move your position so you have missed a waypoint and you must show what to do to when lost and what to do if low on fuel and lost.

You then will fly the flight simulator until you do not tip over in the strongest crosswinds and all other procedures.

Then you do the same about the same when you fly with the CFI for the actual testing.

This will provide more training each year, it cannot hurt and we hope it will reduce the accidents of everyone allow in the group insurance pool.
It's a spitball and will only know if it sticks if we try.
We will learn and improve the program as we learn more each year.
 

Resasi

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
7,790
Location
London/ Kilifi Kenya
Aircraft
Gyrs, RAF 2000/Mgni/Bnsn/Hrnet/Mrlin/Crckt/MT-03/Lyzlle AV18-A/Prdtor. Pax ArrowCopter
Total Flight Time
100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
No and No.
...and, the reason why you are unconcerned about the instructors use of wheel balancing and hops to protect both themselves and the student.
 

ventana7

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2003
Messages
1,492
Location
Salida, Colorado
Aircraft
Xenon Gyroplane, Cessna 182
Total Flight Time
960
...and, the reason why you are unconcerned about the instructors use of wheel balancing and hops to protect both themselves and the student.
I don’t know what you are saying, can you explain your point more thoroughly.
 

Resasi

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
7,790
Location
London/ Kilifi Kenya
Aircraft
Gyrs, RAF 2000/Mgni/Bnsn/Hrnet/Mrlin/Crckt/MT-03/Lyzlle AV18-A/Prdtor. Pax ArrowCopter
Total Flight Time
100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
If you are not an instructor teaching single seat students then you are unlikely to be concerned with crow hops and have simply stated...
I've got a thousand hours and have flown all over and have never had to do one. I could certainly do one today but that is with tons of experience.

Rob
You it seems either were not taught crow hops by your instructor...or if self taught, did not do them. In either case you have learned without them.

You state
In a crow hop you are teaching them to do all sorts of things they should not do in a regular take-off and landing. Not use full power- not climb out immediately at Vy, not fly a stabilized landing approach, not flare and feel the gyro settle- So you are building in all sorts of sight picture and muscle memory combinations that you do not want them to do in regular flying. It is no wonder that when flying on their own they move the flight controls in the wrong way at the wrong time becasue you have built into them many different and unnecessary experiences. They will for certain be slower to recognize deviations from correct flying.
Your statement is incorrect in saying that they are being taught ‘all sorts of things they should not do in a regular take off and landing’.

What is happening, is they are being taught the various segments of a take off and landing, in a step by step progression...for a single seat machine.

Training a single seat student differs from teaching in a duel control machine in one major aspect. The Instructor cannot be there with the student in the aircraft, with the ability to override or correct, an incorrect control input by the student. In the UK the syllabus for single seat training calls for two seat training, in conjunction, with a progression onto the single seat machine. The student therefore will/should already be familiar with a normal take off and a normal landing

There is a second aspect. In the two seater, wheel balancing is not as critical, certainly for the tandem gyros, as they tend to have a better longitudinal stability. It is a different matter for the single seat machines. Think bicycle and mono cycle, the mono cycle will be harder to balance on, though not an exact analogy it will help one get the picture.

Another factor. The single seater is almost always, lighter on the controls, and, is more susceptible to over control by an inexperienced student with no prior experience. This can lead to PIO, or pilot induced oscillation, which in turn, can result in an accident near the ground or higher up a disastrous loss of control or Pitch Over which is generally fatal, depending on how high when that occurs.

You appear to think that the student is simply instructed verbally to do a crow hop. The crow hop is taught step by step in the single. They will be taught how when the rotors have been prerotated to a safe RRPM with the stick forward, then the stick is brought back, and the throttle is opened the gyro will begin to move forward until it rocks back. This is a segment of the lesson.

I will not go on, as there are a number of steps, but, all leading to... wheel balancing which is a MUST in a single. It is the only way the instructor can ascertain that the student has mastered the control of the gyro without over-controlling, ie, going into PIO.

He will then be instructed to lift off and fly a foot or so high off the runway before easing back on the power and settling back into a landing.

Any incident that then occurs, such as incorrect lateral control, sideways drift, at this stage is spotted, and corrective instructions can be made to the student, by the two way communication that must be in place.

Hop lengths and altitude then can be built up at a pace the student can cope with, and has demonstrated proficiency with. S turns are introduced, higher hops, high hops with simulated engine outs, and finally circuits.

It is an instructional process you will not have been familiar with, nor it seems prepared to accept as a valuable and established method of single seat training.
 

thomasant

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
1,062
Location
Katy, Texas
Aircraft
AR1, Aviomania Genesis Sport
Total Flight Time
3400+
Building muscle memory is a good thing, if it is the right kind of muscle memory. Some areas that it will help is for:

Aborting a take off, if the engine quits just 10 feet high after take off. What is the attitude of the nose relative to the horizon when building up airspeed and climbing? Does the nose have to be dipped when the engine goes quiet?

Flare and landing. What if there is a balloon on flare?

Application of correct rudder and cyclic inputs to correct yaw and drift on take offs and landings.

There are more, but IMHO, the above examples are a few that I emphasize on. If the student has to think things over and decide what actions and control inputs are required when the above are happening, then they do not get to solo, or they do not get a pass on a proficiency check ride.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
16,310
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2400+ in rotorcraft
Thank you for your input Leigh.

As always you are eloquent in your descriptions backed up by your wide range of experience.

Rob had some of the same flight instructors I did.

There are so many descriptions of crow hops that it is easy to imagine what Rob describes.

As a flight instructor I find there are clients who early on just can’t manage what is involved in a landing.

I find it is sometimes because they don’t have a good feel for the rotor and how it works.

I find crow hops may help with getting a better feel for rotor management.

I did not see anything in the 35 accident reports that I felt might come out of crow hops as I know them.
 

Philbennett

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
347
Location
London
There is a huge danger over thinking the issue(s).

It strikes me that the main thrust of the new insurance led initiative is a more frequent reval. It doesn’t need to be complex and one imagines that anyone conducting the reval flight will see a wide range of issues - so wide and varied that it is impossible to box off ahead of time.

Low time / older / inexperienced pilots are likely to find greater value add in a simpler process. In many ways currency/recency and differences training when and where it applies might be enough of itself if we believe the licensing process is currently robust.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
16,310
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2400+ in rotorcraft
Thank you for your input Antony,

Reading the accident reports I felt that all but the two control failures are addressed by the practical test standards just as the ones you mention are.

Reading the pilot’s explanation of what happened I often see a profound failure in understanding what the flight controls do.

Many of my clients go through a period of confusion during training and I like to think that they are confused on a higher level when I sign them off for the proficiency check ride.

I feel that a large part of what I do as a flight instructor is to recognize the confusion and address it.

People don’t know what they don’t know and their actions will usually reveal concepts they are confused about or struggling with.

For the written part of the process John Rountree appears to be moving toward a multiple choice test and I am moving more towards more open ended questions.

An example of open ended is: you are down wind at your target airspeed but nearly 100 feet too high, what controls do you use and how do you use them to get back to your target altitude?

I don’t know how to make that multiple choice without giving away the answer.

I am going to go fly in the smoke filled skies (six mile visibility in haze at SMX).
 

Butch

Newbie
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
19
Location
Jackson Ca
Aircraft
Bensen Gyro
Total Flight Time
50 hrs
I am glad that I stumbled onto this conversation. I am a beginer flying a Bensen with about 50 hrs of flight time. I learned a few things reading this and more discusions like this can help someone avoid an accident before it happens. Thanks guys
 

thomasant

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
1,062
Location
Katy, Texas
Aircraft
AR1, Aviomania Genesis Sport
Total Flight Time
3400+
Reading the pilot’s explanation of what happened I often see a profound failure in understanding what the flight controls do.
Therein lies the crux of the problem. I'm training a fixed wing pilot presently. The biggest source of confusion and skewed muscle memory is in using cyclic instead of throttle and vice versa.
 

thomasant

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
1,062
Location
Katy, Texas
Aircraft
AR1, Aviomania Genesis Sport
Total Flight Time
3400+
Thanks to Vance categorizing the causes we have almost defined the training and questions needed to proceed.
There will be an online portion of that is an open book test with multiple choice answers.
There will be Vances summary of causes to educate them on what to look out and what gets more training based on their make & model & your hours.
They will describe in their own words their pilot procedures for the make and model that have caused the accidents.
All online prior to being tested.

Testing = is first in our flight simulator with the flight simulator instructor.
The ground CFI:
Will go over your description of the piloting procedures that you are about to fly in the flight simulator.
You will be asked to plot a course you will fly in the flight simulator using a paper chart for navigation (No GPS allowed) Instructor will move your position so you have missed a waypoint and you must show what to do to when lost and what to do if low on fuel and lost.

You then will fly the flight simulator until you do not tip over in the strongest crosswinds and all other procedures.

Then you do the same about the same when you fly with the CFI for the actual testing.

This will provide more training each year, it cannot hurt and we hope it will reduce the accidents of everyone allow in the group insurance pool.
It's a spitball and will only know if it sticks if we try.
We will learn and improve the program as we learn more each year.
That is excellent, John. I believe it will cut down actual training time. It will also enable instructors to figure out which student can make the grade. Is the simulator a movement one? If not, that will be a great project for the future.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
16,310
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2400+ in rotorcraft
Glad to have you along on the thread Butch.

What we are trying to do is very much an experiment.

Please don’t take anything you read here as flight instruction.

The focus is on correcting misunderstandings as a way to lower our accident.

I have found great value is studying accidents and learning from others mistakes because there is simply not enough time to make them all myself.

I have canceled more than one flight that too closely resembled an accident chain that I had read about.

Please don’t hesitate to ask questions or offer opinions.

If we get too off track we can just start another thread.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
16,310
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2400+ in rotorcraft
Thank you for your input Antony.

I have had clients look me straight in the eye and tell me they get it and yet when we are too high the nose drops.

My hope is to be able to identify the misconceptions with a written test and then build a better foundation with some flight time.

Sometimes just hearing it from a different instructor is enough to break through preconceived notions.
 

WaspAir

Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
Joined
Oct 21, 2006
Messages
4,757
Location
Colorado front range
Aircraft
Bell 47G-3B-1 / A&S 18A / Phoebus C, etc.
Total Flight Time
stopped caring at 1000
I have a question for those who do crosswind operations. I excuse myself from that category because (as over-argued before elsewhere) I make a practice of always doing takeoff and landing into wind when flying a gyro. But for those who accelerate down a runway with a wind component from one side - -

Do you ever use upwind tilt of the rotor while on the ground? While flying my old wheeled Sikorsky, I used rotor tilt (even with flat collective) to control starting, stopping, and to resist wind drift, with pedals ( tail rotor) to control alignment during taxi and rolling takeoff. Likewise, when doing a glider takeoff, I teach carrying the upwind wing low against drift and downwind rudder to prevent weather-vaning into the wind (from wind hitting the tail). My impression from this thread is that the disc is kept level (side to side) by most of you until you break ground.
 

thomasant

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
1,062
Location
Katy, Texas
Aircraft
AR1, Aviomania Genesis Sport
Total Flight Time
3400+
I use upwind tilt in crosswind during the take off roll after the initial back tilt as I accelerate forward. I have to keep the nose straight with opposite rudder. That is also what I teach at Anahuac, as on most days, we have pretty strong cross winds.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
16,310
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2400+ in rotorcraft
I have a question for those who do crosswind operations. I excuse myself from that category because (as over-argued before elsewhere) I make a practice of always doing takeoff and landing into wind when flying a gyro. But for those who accelerate down a runway with a wind component from one side - -

Do you ever use upwind tilt of the rotor while on the ground? While flying my old wheeled Sikorsky, I used rotor tilt (even with flat collective) to control starting, stopping, and to resist wind drift, with pedals ( tail rotor) to control alignment during taxi and rolling takeoff. Likewise, when doing a glider takeoff, I teach carrying the upwind wing low against drift and downwind rudder to prevent weather-vaning into the wind (from wind hitting the tail). My impression from this thread is that the disc is kept level (side to side) by most of you until you break ground.
When taking off with a strong cross wind from the left in The Predator with her free castering nose wheel I would have right pedal to manage the tendency to weathervane left and the disk with no left or right tilt at the beginning of the takeoff roll moving to a left tilt as the nose gets light at around 200 rotor rpm.

I have found left tilt of the disk at the beginning of the takeoff roll increases the length of the takeoff.

How much left tilt is a guess.

If I guess correctly she will lift off straight ahead.

As soon as she lifts off with too much left tilt she will drift left, too little and she will drift right.
 

Attachments

Resasi

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
7,790
Location
London/ Kilifi Kenya
Aircraft
Gyrs, RAF 2000/Mgni/Bnsn/Hrnet/Mrlin/Crckt/MT-03/Lyzlle AV18-A/Prdtor. Pax ArrowCopter
Total Flight Time
100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
These days too hard to think, it happens automatically and I’m too lazy to analyse :)
 

Doug Riley

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
6,397
As a (thankfully former!) gyro instructor, I agonized over crow-hops.

The criticism of them is well-founded: they tend to teach you to fly behind the power curve, and they put you near the ground where a minor slip-up can result in unplanned ground contact.

The problem with abandoning them: a light single-seat gyro such as a Brock, Bensen, Air Command, Gyrobee, or Dominator grosses at less than half the trainer's gross. This means that the 1-seater's control response and torque reactions are MUCH snappier. This can put a newbie (used to a relatively leisurely half-ton trainer gyro) way behind the machine.

Moreover, low mass (especially in the case of a draggy open gyro) means much less gust penetration and extra-quick loss of airspeed when the power goes away.

Finally, single-place gyros are quite close-coupled compared to tandems. This, again, makes them comparatively twitchy.

I learned by first gyrogliding for 50 or so hours, then doing close-to-ground hops for another 50. I didn't crash or bust anything.

I didn't just "crow-hop," though. I started with that, but then proceeded to low S-turns and abbreviated full-bore climbouts (maybe 75 feet up) followed by steep, idling glides to the runway. Lastly, I did many full-throttle runs at maybe 5 feet, building as much airspeed as I could before running out of runway and landing at the end. I could make it up to 70 mph-plus before I had to put down. I had a 3,000-foot, paved runway at a rural airport.

In all this, I was trying to stay ALIVE in the era of one-a-month neg-G/porpoising fatalities in Bensens. There was the wreckage of one such fatal Bensen crash dumped behind a shed at my airport, in case I needed sobering up. I visited it often. I'd be damned if I was going to start porpoising at altitude because I got behind my craft!

My first pattern was frankly terrifying. But I didn't porpoise. In fact, I handled the following rapid series of engine flameouts and off-field landings without incident.

So, reluctantly, I think crow-hops are necessary for training/transitioning to fly a single-seat gyro. They are unnecessary, and should be omitted, for those who will fly only heavier 2-place gyros.

Like democracy, crow-hopping is the worst system ever invented, except for all the others. For single seat gyros, that is.
 

Jean Claude

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
2,113
Location
Centre FRANCE
Aircraft
I piloted gliders C800, Bijave, C 310, airplanes Piper J3 , PA 28, Jodel D117, DR 220, Cessna 150, C
Total Flight Time
About 500 h (FW + ultra light)
Do you ever use upwind tilt of the rotor while on the ground?
My theoretical opinion is that, during the run, tilting the stick to the side where the wind comes from is a bad idea.
Gyroplane rotor rpm is progressively increased during the run, by the airflow through it.
Tilting the disc against the crossing wind reduces this airflow, and the rpm acceleration can then be insufficient relatively to the forward acceleration and cause the flapping divergence.
I mentioned an accident that happened due to this cause here :
 
Last edited:
Top