Video of Calidus crash on takeoff

flyinglow

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This video shows a Calidus crash on takeoff. The video was only recently posted, but the description says the accident was from Sept 2017 at RAF Scamptom. Here's another video of the same event repeated a few times in slow motion. Maybe this accident has already been discussed here.

From the video description:
"The pilot was cleared to take off from Runway 22 at RAF Scampton, with the wind from 240 degrees at 10 knots. After pre-rotating the rotor to approximately 200 rpm he released the brakes and the gyroplane accelerated quickly. At an estimated speed of 40-50 mph the machine pitched nose-up rapidly, rolled onto its left side, and skidded along the tarmac until it came to a halt at the eastern edge of the runway. The occupants were uninjured and they quickly unlatched the canopy but could not open it because it was bearing some of the gyroplane’s weight."

Read the AAIB report
 

WaspAir

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I recall seeing a small hatchet in some military cockpits for busting the canopy to aid escape. Couldn't hurt to have one.
 

Vance

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I recall seeing a small hatchet in some military cockpits for busting the canopy to aid escape. Couldn't hurt to have one.
The gyroplanes I have flown that have an enclosed canopy without doors (ELA, Calidus, American Ranger) have a small hammer to break the canopy bubble and discussing that hammer is a part of the pre-flight briefing for emergency procedures.

I would not fly a enclosed canopy gyroplane without the hammer.
 

WaspAir

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The gyroplanes I have flown that have an enclosed canopy without doors (ELA, Calidus, American Ranger) have a small hammer to break the canopy bubble and discussing that hammer is a part of the pre-flight briefing for emergency procedures.

I would not fly a enclosed canopy gyroplane without the hammer.
Cool.
Can the canopy be completely jettisoned (both hinge line and latch side released easily)? That's standard for glider canopies and essential for a bailout. Typically, there's a red handle, separate from the normally used latching lever, that sets the whole thing adrift with one pull.
 

flyinglow

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The AAIB report says "An emergency hammer was available to break the canopy but the pilot reported afterwards
that he was not confident he could exert enough force to achieve this while trapped on his side. As there was no obvious danger he waited for assistance, and his recollection was that the RFFS arrived quickly and righted the gyroplane, allowing the canopy to be opened
and for himself and his passenger to climb out uninjured."

It's worth reading the AAIB report. The pilot believed he performed a correct takeoff procedure, but after seeing the video he realized that was not the case. It could be that his ego was clouding his memory.

Another interesting item from the AAIB report. The pilot decided to wait for the rescue crew to arrive instead of trying to use the hammer. He felt like they arrived almost immediately (it was really almost 3 minutes, which is very fast). "When he viewed the video, the pilot was surprised to realise how much time elapsed between the gyroplane coming to rest and the arrival of the RFFS"
 

Vance

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Cool.
Can the canopy be completely jettisoned (both hinge line and latch side released easily)? That's standard for glider canopies and essential for a bailout. Typically, there's a red handle, separate from the normally used latching lever, that sets the whole thing adrift with one pull.
I did not see a way to jettison the canopy on any of the three. I may have missed it.
 

Tyger

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Can the canopy be completely jettisoned (both hinge line and latch side released easily)? That's standard for glider canopies and essential for a bailout. Typically, there's a red handle, separate from the normally used latching lever, that sets the whole thing adrift with one pull.
That would seem to be a much better solution than having to hack at the canopy with a small hammer, which must require at least some little back swing, and from someone, possibly injured, who is lying on his side in an inevitably (and unenviably) cramped position...
"the pilot reported afterward that he was not confident he could exert enough force to [break the canopy] while trapped on his side"
 
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TyroGyro

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That would seem to be a much better solution than having to hack at the canopy with a small hammer, which must require at least some little back swing, and from someone, possibly injured, who is lying on his side in an inevitably cramped position...
"the pilot reported afterward that he was not confident he could exert enough force to [break the canopy] while trapped on his side"

But there then may be an increased risk of it departing in flight, with wholly catastrophic consequences, a fortiori in a gyro.

Not sure if this Trixy fatal had a completely-removable canopy, but I know some do.


Rock or a hard place... Choose wisely.
 
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Tyger

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Well... let's ask the questions:
How many times has a glider canopy unintentionally departed in flight?
How many times have enclosed gyros rolled over leaving occupants trapped inside?
I'm guessing there are lots more gliders out there than gyros, although perhaps not all have that particular feature.

I used to say Kuwait was between Iraq and a hot place...
 

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When I first saw the first Calidus machine at the Sport Pilot Expo at Sebring I was concerned about the same thing. It is good that they include a shatter hammer now. I know there are plenty of them flying but as many boats as I have known that had push pull cables either break,bend, and jam with absolutely no warning. I would never fly a gyro that used these for primary controls. They say us guys are old school and their designs are safer because they are modern and engineered by professionals. No thanks. I would prefer control rods.
 
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Mayfield

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On my aircraft the canopy can be jettisoned. The black lever is the normal latch, the red lever pulls the hinge pins after breaking a light copper wire. A canopy breaker hammer or axe, pounding at Lexan, or even plexiglass, does not seem easy to me.
 

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MikeBoyette

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Nice plane sir. Pardon my ignorance may I ask what model it is. Maybe a picture of it from the outside please?
 

Tyger

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That's interesting. I assume they were not latched properly? Were the consequences "wholly catastrophic"?
 

Mayfield

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I know of 3 gyroplane canopies in the US that departed in flight. I do not know of a gyroplane coming to rest flipped over and trapping occupants inside. Though that can happen. Just have not heard of one here.
The hammer breaks the canopy pretty quick. I posted a video of that on our FB account a couple of years ago I think. 3 small smacks and it cracked. If someone is so injured that they can't do those then they are injured enough not to be able to do much else to get out either more than likely.
I of course am not familiar with the canopy latching system on the incident gyroplanes, but on my aircraft, it requires a conscious decision to pull the hinge locking pins with the red handle.

I'm also not sure how much utility a jettisonable canopy would have as I look at the picture of the gyroplane on it's side at the beginning of this thread.

That being said, I think I would like the option of attempting to jettison the canopy in some circumstances.

Jim
 

Tyger

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It seems to me that the ground pressure, on either the latching or hinged side, prevents any motion of the hinge, even when the opposite side is unlatched. But if both the latch and hinge could be undone, I should think it could be pushed off entirely, even on its side.
 

Abid

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It seems to me that the ground pressure, on either the latching or hinged side, prevents any motion of the hinge, even when the opposite side is unlatched. But if both the latch and hinge could be undone, I should think it could be pushed off entirely, even on its side.

No in a canopy on the ground with a frame on it, you are not going to be able to push it off easily. Breaking it if there is any danger of impending fire is quickest and easiest solution.

 
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