Gyro Flight Training
Flight training is an expensive undertaking for students and
they want to know the details ..."what do I get for my
money?" They are interested in knowing what the lesson
plan consists of .....Proper training is the objective of the
student and the CFI.. In order to achieve a "standard" each
CFI must teach the same flight maneuvers.
Gyro training is far from easy and teaching methods must be
adapted to each student's personality as well as to their
abilities. The effectiveness of the instruction is greatly
influenced by the student's comfort level. Every gyroplane CFI,
while using his or her own style of teaching should incorporate
standard maneuvers that are required to produce good, safe,
The following is a lesson plan that has evolved
over twenty years of instructing and I know it will be helpful to
other CFI's and their students.
"You are WELCOME to print the following suggested
information and share it with your gyro friends."RECOMMENDED OPERATING GUIDELINES & LIMITATIONS FOR NEW SOLOSubjects covered in ground school will be as follows:Ron Menzie
* The understanding of "pilot induced -oscillation " (PIO)
or porpoising. .....Causes and prevention.
* Medical certificates, expirations and requirements.
* Regulations you need to understand to maintain a legal
* Basic understanding and the use of aircraft sectional maps
used for navigation.
* How to recognize airspace classifications:
Controlled and Uncontrolled airspace.
* Requirements for flying in different airspace
* Airport traffic pattern procedures.
* Safety and precautions.
These topics will be discussed in class and will be on a written test. Upon successful completion of this flight training program, you will be authorized by the flight instructor a solo endorsement.Lesson Plan Introduction
The following flight training program has been designed with consideration for the student's comfort level. The advancement is dependent upon the student's ability.
The following is a summary of all maneuvers practiced in the training program ( in no specific order).
* PRE-FLIGHT SAFETY CHECK
* ENGINE STARTUP
* ROTOR SPIN UP
* ROTOR BLADE MANAGEMENT
* TAXIING - STEERING - BRAKING
* TAKE OFF - LANDINGS
A. Standard take-off
B. Soft field take-off
* AIRPORT TRAFFIC PATTERN PROCEDURES
* AIRSPEED MANAGEMENT
A. Level flight
B. Turns (shallow - steep)
C. Climbing turns
D. Descending Turns
* EMERGENCY LANDING PROCEDURES
A. Straight approach
B. Turning approach
* RECOVERY FROM "BALLOON - UP"
LANDINGS ..... Emergency Procedure
* SLOW FLIGHT
* VERTICAL DESCENTS
* CROSSWIND MANEUVERS
* FIGURE 8 TURNS AT LOW ALTITUDE OVER A FIELD
* HIGH SPEED RUNWAY FLIGHTS IN GROUND EFFECTS
* USING THE "FEEL" OF THE AIRCRAFT FOR INPUT
AT TIMES SOME OF THE LESSON PLANS MAY BE GROUPED TOGETHER DEPENDING ON THE STUDENT'S PROGRESS. THIS IS NOT A "HIGH IMPACT" AGGRESSIVE TRAINING PROGRAM, AND IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU ACCEPT SLOW LEARNING PROGRESS DURING SOME SEGMENTS OF THE TRAINING PROGRAM. ALSO INCLUDED IS A WRITTEN TEST THAT IS COMPLETED DURING THE GROUND SCHOOL BY THE STUDENT. ALL MATERIALS ARE FURNISHED BY THE INSTRUCTOR. EACH LESSON PLAN WILL BE DISCUSSED PRIOR TO FLIGHT. THE INSTRUCTOR WILL DEMONSTRATE EACH FLIGHT MANEUVER BEFORE PRACTICED BY THE STUDENT. BEFORE ANY STUDENT PILOT IS SIGNED OFF FOR SOLO FLIGHT, HE/SHE MUST PERFORM ALL MANEUVERS THAT HAVE BEEN PRACTICED IN THE LESSON PLANS. THESE MANEUVERS MUST BE SAFELY COMPLETED WITHOUT THE INSTRUCTOR'S ASSISTANCE. IF THERE ARE MANEUVERS THAT BECOME PROBLEMATIC, YOU
WILL BE REQUESTED TO RE-TEST ON ONLY THOSE MANEUVERS.
Flight Lesson 1 - Basic Familiarization
- Basic familiarization of the gyroplane.
- Use of checklists
- Preflight of major components such as propeller and drive systems, rotor blades, cyclic control system, and a general over all check of the aircraft.
- Engine starting, rotor blade spin up and preparing for taxiing
The lesson is complete when the student demonstrates a proper understanding of the elements of proper preflight of the gyroplane and appropriate control of rotor during prerotation.
Flight Lesson 2 – Ground Handling
- Ground handling, rotor management and taxiing.
- Before the student performs his or her first flight in a gyroplane begin they must get the "feel" of how it handles on the ground.
- Importance of functions of responsiveness of steering, braking, and acceleration needed for safe departures and landings.
- This lesson will allow the student to use the rudder and maintain cyclic position while maneuvering on the taxi way.
- While taxiing, the student will learn the importance of rotor blade management, especially in various wind conditions, and also how to control your forward speed using the cyclic control.
- The first few flights over the runway will be done by the instructor to allow the student to experience basic maneuvering of various flight conditions.
- Use of checklists
The lesson is complete when the student demonstrates a proper handling of the gyroplane during ground handling including rotor management.
Flight Lesson 3 – Basic Flight Maneuvers
- Introduction to gyroplane takeoff and landings
- The instructor will demonstrate some basic flight maneuvers.
- The student will then be given control of the rudder and assist with cyclic control.
- Most of the take-offs, landings, and flights will be confined within the length of the runway.
- Each flight will require the student to taxi back for another take off.
- This repetition will help the student become familiar and comfortable with the procedures for proper, safe take off, and runway departures.
- Rotor blade management while taxiing
- Traffic observation
- Report take off intentions
- Taxi in position and hold
- Check control stick position (wind conditions)
- All instruments check
- Rotor blade check
- Slowly accelerate - monitor rotor RPM
- Nose wheel lift off (student recognition required)
- Apply continuous power in small increments
- Slowly ease the cyclic control forward as the power is increased
- Be patient for your take off airspeed (rotors are still gaining speed)
- Use the power and forward cyclic to maintain proper airspeed
Note: The instructor will have full control of the throttle until the student becomes comfortable with coordination of rudder and cyclic control.
- Before descending to land, the instructor will reduce the power and the gyro will begin descending.
- Using the control stick to maintain airspeed, rudder control for straight alignment with runway and properly flaring (rearward cyclic to bring the nose of the gyroplane up allowing the tail wheel to touch down first.
- Power is then reduced to idle.
- Maintain controls until the nose wheel touches down.
- Then move the control stick and power to maintain proper taxi speed control.
Note: As the student becomes more relaxed and familiar with the "feel" of the aircraft, he/she will take on more cyclic and throttle control. This progression will depend of the student's ability to recognize situations, and act accordingly. As takeoffs and landings become more consistent, the student will make more of them in the runway available.
The lesson is complete when the student demonstrates proper handling of the gyroplane during takeoff and landing. This lesson will usually need to be repeated multiple times for the student to reach this standard.
Flight Lesson 4 – Traffic Pattern
- Proper flight around the airport traffic pattern
- This will be a continuation of Lesson Plan #3 with shallow left and right turns as follows:
- The student will continue to make standard take-offs.
- Maintain proper airspeed as you make a climbing shallow turns over the field.
- Reduce power to cruise.
- Fly along side of runway.
- Then proceed in tuning back to the runway to make a procedural landing.
- The student will alternate turns to the left and right continuously throughout this lesson plan until good consistent control inputs and coordination are achieved.
- Traffic pattern communication and phraseology
The lesson is complete when the student demonstrates correct input to allow for proper airport traffic pattern, forming a rectangular ground track.
Flight Lesson 5 – Bad Landing Recovery
- To learn proper recovery procedures from a low-energy landing condition
- This lesson will again be confined to the length of the runway. The student will be practicing recovery from "balloon up" landings. An over-flare which causes the gyroplane to balloon up during landing will be induced by the instructor. At times, the student will be warned, but not always. The correct recovery to landing procedure will be as follows :
- As the aircraft starts to flare and balloon up, it is very important to react immediately.
- Throttle response=full throttle.
- At the same time, rearward pressure is applied to the control stick.
Note: The full power will cushion the aircraft in ground effect. The control stick rearward movement will prevent the aircraft from descending on it's nose wheel.
- The recovery will require constant coordination with all controls as the gyroplane settles to the runway. The student will learn how to recover to landing and recover to continued forward flight. Recovery to forward flight as follows:
- The pilot maintains full throttle as he or she ever so slightly moves the control stick forward, allowing the aircraft to regain forward airspeed for continued forward flight. It may be necessary to allow the gyroplane to settle to the ground as the pilot attempts to fly out of this condition. This is a condition called the "back side of the power curve."
These recovery techniques are very important to learn. This exercise will continue using this procedure until the student can safely
recover the aircraft from both situations. One of the most unsafe configurations occurs when you are preparing to land and a gust of wind puts you at several feet altitude with the nose high, and very little air speed. You must learn to safely recover from these conditions.
The lesson is complete when the student demonstrates a good understand of risks involved in bad landing situation and can show proper technique to recover.
Flight Lesson 6 – Traffic Pattern 2
- Proper flight around the airport traffic pattern
- At the start of this lesson, the student should be comfortable with take-off and landings in calm, headwind and crosswind conditions.
- The student will be flying the airport traffic pattern.
- The instructor will explain the requirements of this airport traffic pattern.
- The student will be practicing the following sequence:
- Normal take-off
- After lift-off accelerate to climb airspeed
- Normal runway departure, climb to proper altitude while turning cross wind and down wind.
- Reduce power to cruise RPM
- Forward control stick movement to maintain cruise airspeed.
- Always look for other aircraft and listen to radio announcements.
- PREPARATIONS FOR LANDING APPROACH AND TOUCHDOWN:
- Turn base and final in a continuous turn.
- Align the aircraft with the runway, using the control stick to maintain airspeed, and the throttle for altitude control.
- Flare when appropriate, touching the tail wheel down first.
- The lesson is complete when the student demonstrates correct input to allow for proper airport traffic pattern, forming a rectangular ground track.
Flight Lesson 7 – Slow Flight & Vertical Descents
- Practice of slow flight and vertical descents.
- These maneuvers will be practiced when approaching to land in the traffic pattern.
- Before turning base while flying down wind, reduce power and slowly add some rearward pressure to the control stick. This will reduce the airspeed, allowing the aircraft to slow and maintain 40 mph.
- Continue this airspeed until instructed to regain approach speed for landing.
- To regain approach airspeed, move the control stick slightly forward and add power if needed.
- When in ground effect and preparing to flare, reduce power to idle.
- Land touching down the tail wheel first.
- This procedure will teach the student how to slow the aircraft transitioning from horizontal flight to a vertical descent, the benefit of this maneuver is to lose altitude without gaining airspeed and forward distance.
- The student should be able to safely and in a controlled fashion slow the aircraft to below 20 mph, recognise the descent condition, continue to control the azimuth of the aircraft with proper rudder inputs and the recovery to a airspeed required for level flight
Flight Lesson 8 – Emergency Landings
- Proper coordinated flight to a safe landing with simulated power out condition.
- Practice of emergency landings.
- The initial landings will begin on the final approach while the aircraft is aligned with the runway.
- As the student becomes more familiar with this approach and landing, the emergency procedure will begin while on the downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern.
- "PROCEDURE FOR STRAIGHT" IN EMERGENCY LANDING:
- The instructor will reduce the power to zero thrust condition. This will simulate an "engine out" condition.
- The pilot must then maintain proper airspeed using
the control stick.
- Continue the descent maintaining alignment with the runway, flare and land tail wheel first.
- Note: The student should use the throttle as needed to make a safe landing.
- Emergency landing starting from downwind to base leg to final approach.
- The instructor will reduce power to zero thrust. The student will maintain descending airspeed using the cyclic control. Your descending turn from downwind to final will be a continuous turn.
- On final approach, align aircraft with runway, check airspeed, flare when required, touching the tail wheel first.
- The student should carefully watch for and avoid other traffic in the area.
Note: To reiterate, the student can use added power if required, to make a safe landing.
The student should demonstrate good judgement on the descent rate of the aircraft to assure reaching a safe landing point while maintaining a safe airspeed. The round-out and touchdown should reliably have enough energy to arrest the descent rate for smooth touchdown.
NOTE: A gyroplane CFI MUST ASSIST YOU DURING ALL OF THE TRAINING.
The CFI must fly your gyroplane to ensure everything is rigged properly and flight
characteristics can be explained to the student.
SIGNOFF GYROPLANE PILOTS
THE MOST IMPORTANT & MOST CRITICAL PHASE OF YOUR TRAINING IS JUST
BEGINNING NOW THAT YOU HAVE PRACTICED ALL THE REQUIRED MANEUVERS. IT'S
TIME TO APPLY THIS EXPERIENCE WITH YOUR OWN GYROPLANE. YOU MUST BE
AWARE THAT CONTROL STICK MOVEMENTS WILL BE VERY SLIGHT & MOST IMPORTANT
RESPONSES WILL BE MUCH MORE SENSITIVE COMPARED TO WHAT YOU LEARNED ON
THE TWO - PLACE TRAINER.
THE FOLLOWING OPERATIONAL TRAINING SEQUENCE IS BASED ON MANY YEARS OF
EXPERIENCE THAT WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH A SAFE CONTINUED TRAINING PROGRAM.
EXERCISE I - START OFF BY STARTING & RUNNING THE ENGINE. IF YOUR HAVE
To HAND PROP FOR STARTING, BE SURE YOU HAVE GYRO SECURED. DON'T HAND
START THE FIRST FEW TIMES WITHOUT SOME ASSISTANCE.
CONDITIONS - NO WIND - CALM AIR.
EXERCISE 2 - SPEND A FEW HOURS TAXING YOUR GYROPLANE WITH ROTOR BLADES
SPINNING, GET USED TO THE STEERING, BRAKING, & OTHER DIFFERENCES.
EXERCISE 3 - PRACTICE PRE-SPINNING THE ROTOR BLADES.
CONDITIONS - NO WIND - CALM AIR.
EXERCISE 4 - YOUR NOW READY TO GET THE FEEL OF WHAT TAKE OFF A
ATTITUDE IS LIKE IN A FEW RUNS DOWN THE WAY JUST RAISING & LOWERING THE
NOSE WHEEL, MAIN WHEELS KEPT ON THE RUN WAY. THIS EXERCISE WILL SHOW
YOU HOW MUCH STICK MOVEMENT IS NEEDED FOR PROPER TAKE OFF ALTITUDE.
CONDITIONS - NO WIND - CALM AIR.
ONLY AFTER YOU ARE FULLY COMFORTABLE PRACTICING EXERCISE 4 & YOU CAN
KEEP A STRAIGHT LINE TAXIING, PLACING THE NOSE WHEEL IN THE TAKE OFF
ATTITUDE THE FULL LENGTH OF THE RUN WAY SEVERAL TIMES. YOU CAN CONTINUE
TO EXERCISE 5.
CONDITIONS - NO WIND - CALM AIR.
EXERCISE 5 - NOW YOU SHOULD BE READY TO MAKE SOME VERY SHORT, LOW LEVEL
HOPS. IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO REDUCE THROTTLE AS YOU TAKE OF &
IMMEDIATELY LAND. CONTINUE THESE SHORT HOPS, EXTENDING THE LENGTH OF
EACH FLIGHT KEEPING WITHIN A FEW FEET FROM THE RUN WAY. PRACTICE THIS
FOR A FEW HOURS UNTIL YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE.
CONDITIONS - NO WIND - CALM AIR.
EXERCISE 6 - NOW YOU CAN CONTINUE FLIGHTS OVER THE RUN WAY AT DIFFERENT
HEIGHTS. KEEP YOUR AIR SPEED & STAY OVER THE RUN WAY. DON'T GET SO
HIGH UP THAT YOU WILL NOT HAVE ENOUGH RUN WAY TO LAND.
CONDITIONS: NNO WIND/CALM AIR
Exercise 7: Once you comfortabley fly the length of the runway at various heighta, begin to make
shallow "S" turns. The proper procedures as follow:
Climb to approximately 100 feet
Reduce throttle before leveling off
Maintain proper air speed.
Proceed to make a shallow turn and return to the center of the runway to land. Practice all of
the same procedures that you were taught in the two place. Continue shallow "S" turns, one
direction ata time. Remember, keep your proper air speed, proper flight attitude, making shallow
CONDITION: 5 MPH MAX WIND DOWN THE RUNWAY.
Exerciswe 8: You must be capable of sagest landing your gyroplane in the event of an engine
failure. The length of the runway will determine your maximum altitude and still land before you
get to the end. You must stay over the runway.
Climb to your predetermined altitude and slowly reduce the throttle, a little more each time for each
landing. Continue this until you reduce the throttle to idle. Remember, lower the nose and
maintain proper air speed.
CONDITION: NO WIND/CALM AIR
Exercise 9: Now that you have accumulated several hours of the previous maneuvers, it's time to
determine if you are ready to make your first flight around the airport traffic pattern. If you can fly
the lenght of the runway at various speeds, holding 2 to 3 feet and do this without any up and down
movement, consistently several times, you are ready to fly the airport traffic pattern.
CONDITIONS; NO WIND/CALM AIR
Exercise 10: your first flight around the airport traffic pattern, choose an early or late afternoon,
when there is not much airplane traffic. Remember, perform a good perflight. After take off, climb
to 500 feet above the ground level and continue to fly the pattern, staying close to the runway,
watching for other traffic.
I HAVE READ & DISCUSSED ALL THE ABOVE WITH MY INSTRUCTOR, RON MENZIE &
FULLY UNDERSTAND ALL DETAILS.
NOTE: It is most important that the CFI and the student have radio communication during all of the above
transitional flight training requirements.
Aerodynamics and Principles of Flight
Contact Ron Menzie to get the sample test E-Mailed
As you have probably heard, the new is released and goes partially into effect on
Sept 1, 04.
You may very soon be asked the question "How do I become a Sport Pilot?" Especially for gyro pilots now flying "heavy" ultralights - gyros that are illegal, it is important that we encourage and assist those pilots to "become legal" by transitioning to become a registered Sport Pilot.
Illegal ultralight pilots have three years in which to become legal by transitioning to a Sport Pilot rating. (Pilots flying illegal ultralight gyros must also register their gyro as an Experimental Light Sport Aircraft within three years - apply for N-number and registration, and get inspected - more on aircraft registration to ELSA later.)
(Legal ultralight gyro pilots do not have to become Sport Pilots, but it is highly recommended so that they may add safety equipment and margin to a marginal ultralight gyro. The FAA will clamp down on illegal ultralights (too heavy, too fast, too much fuel, more than one seat) after the three-year grace period.)
The purpose of this information is to inform you on how get pilots started toward getting their SP license. All CFIs and BFIs can train toward a SP license. Especially for current (illegal) ultralight gyros pilots, the process is fairly simple. Below are the steps that you will be involved with and can help these pilots with. But first, you must order some paperwork from the ASC (Written ultralight gyro test and ASC application). (I am not necessarily promoting ASC, but they have the written ultralight gyro test available, and the ASC is offering registration for $25.)
Steps in the process:
* Instructors - Order Ultralight Gyro Written Test forms and ASC Ultralight Registration Forms from ASC (Kimojim@aol.com), phone 269-781-4021, fax 269-781-7400
* Give Sport Pilot applicants the ultralight gyro written test (provide some ground training if necessary, but it is a simple test for current pilots.)
* After passing written, applicants should send Registration Application (and $25) to ASC
* After registered as an "Ultralight Pilot", start logging flight hours in their gyro (even currently illegal gyro!) Need 20 "ultralight" hours logged.
* After logging 20 hours, they are ready for the oral and checkride. Checkrides for single seat gyros will be by ground observation.
* Give them a (new form) 8710-11, Sport Pilot Application
* They get their oral and checkride from another gyro CFI, Sport Pilot Instructor (SPI) or BFI
They have three years to complete the steps above. The hope and plan is, at fly-ins, chapter meetings, etc., to conduct the written tests and get the ASC Ultralight pilot registrations sent in. Then later, after they have logged 20 hours, at group events also, get endorsements and checkride. They can do any of these steps at any time with you also.
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