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Unread 02-15-2020, 09:48 PM   #61
smifwal
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I loved those rides outside of the grocery stores as a kid. Mom didn't always let me ride, so when I was all growed up and I seen a kid trying to convince his/her parents to let them ride and you could clearly see that the parents wasn't going to let them, I would always drop a few quarters in and would just smile while the parent gritting their teeth saying thank you. Some people just forget to stop and enjoy life and in turn keep their kiddos from enjoying theirs. Jim I hope you get back to 100% and stay off that "horse" for a while
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Unread 02-16-2020, 12:46 PM   #62
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Jim, I just caught up on this thread. I'm glad that you're doing OK, or mostly OK. That's a heck of a moment to have a stroke.
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Unread 02-16-2020, 12:59 PM   #63
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Except around some airports, you might fly for hours and never see another airplane out there. Imagine driving say 300-miles, and never having to deal with another car or truck on the road! Being able to go where you want or divert to check out something interesting, is really pleasurable. On those nice, sunny, maybe a few cumulus clouds in the sky days, there can be LOTS of thermals, and a typical, small, fixed wing airplane can be bounced all over the place. That's one of the advantages of a gyroplane. First, the 'wing' is traveling probably 2-4x faster than the air over the wing of a typical airplane. Say you're flying a fixed-wing at 100mph...the air over the wing is going 100mph. If you hit a gust going 20mph, that's 20% of your actual velocity, and you'll definitely notice!

Now, take something like my (now trashed) airplane. The wing tips at that same cruise are going about 350mph, and their effective surface area is the whole circle of their rotation. So, since the actual blade only composes a very small area of that circle, most of the gusts go right by, not affecting the stability. Hit that same 20mph gust, and it's not 20%, but about 6%, and instead of that wing being effectively rigid like in a fixed-wing, it's quite flexible. The combination of that flexibility, actual area (versus effective area), and relative speeds means that a ride in a fixed-wing plane could be intolerable, whereas the gyroplane's ride would be totally calm. A fixed-wing plane would also likely fly higher to get out of any ground turbulence, but the same thing applies to a gyroplane...it's ride is smooth. There is a good reason to fly higher...if you do have a problem, you have longer you can glide to look for a safe landing spot, or figure out what went wrong, and maybe restart or return to 'normal' flight. Where I live, we have about 98% tree cover, but other places I've flown, it's the inverse, so almost anywhere is an emergency landing spot. That will affect how high you fly in a gyroplane. You can see lots more lower where it's more intimate. A turbocharged, liquid-cooled head engine is lots quieter than a typical small airplane's engine, too, so you're not annoying people on the ground, either. The gyroplane can land much slower and in a much smaller location...can't take off, but then, neither would the fixed-wing. The goal is to get down and survive, preferably without injury or damage, but living through it is the goal!

Anyway, lots of consideration and thoughts need to be worked out before I might do this again...and, haven't heard (yet) from the FAA on their thoughts about whether they'd let me even if I did want to. So, any rides I might take would be with a safety pilot onboard, but that will need to wait until I've healed some more. As opposed to fixed-wing instructors, there's very few gyroplane ones out there, and that makes it harder.

Gyroplanes got a really bad name when people were building them in their garages from plans in Popular Mechanics, and similar rags. Those designs were death traps, and then, not everyone followed the plan. Many of them weren't well designed in the first place. Throw in that there was almost no established training, or licensing required way back when, and lots of people crashed. A modern, well designed version is safer than most any other small plane you can fly as long as you don't have a health issue disrupt your ability to control it! My plane sacrificed itself in the process, and is probably the reason I'm here able to talk about it.

Eventually, I'll get a chance to see what's left, and I'll post a picture or two. The airport manager documented things, but I haven't been able to get back there to pick those pictures up, either. Maybe next week. Not supposed to drive on non-essential trips - food and doctor's appointments are the limitations for awhile yet.
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Unread 02-17-2020, 02:30 AM   #64
Dave Taylor
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Jim.....
I just saw and reviewed the later part of this thread.

I am so sorry to read of your terrible mishap but happy to hear you are with us still and on the mend.

Please keep both feet firmly on the ground for a while.
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Unread 02-17-2020, 06:20 PM   #65
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Very much appreciate the updates Jim and hope for a speedy recovery and no long term injuries or hindrances.
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Unread 02-20-2020, 04:18 PM   #66
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Well, had a chance to talk with the airport manager, and got a copy of his photos. Have lots of them, but selecting a few. Note, the power plant is a pusher in the rear. As I said, people that saw the accident were surprised I was alive. A month out, I'm walking, talking, and while slow, making good progress. Kind of sobering.
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Unread 02-20-2020, 05:00 PM   #67
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Is the single wheel on the front? That one took a pretty good hit.

Looks like you furrowed in for a short distance as well.
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Unread 02-20-2020, 05:13 PM   #68
jadnashua
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The thing is a tricycle, one, steerable wheel on the front, two braked wheels at the rear. Yes, at least from the picture, that front wheel took a major hit, as it's bent back probably 70-degrees! The metal frame is 4130 chrome-moly aircraft certified steel...strong and resilient stuff. The vertical steering post was a solid steel rod maybe 1" or so in diameter, so that should give you an idea of the strength of the impact on it.

When I exited the runway, I was going about 115mph, and went about 800' before it came to a stop. All of that is from the investigators...I remember nothing of it all. Either the engine died, or it lost thrust because it broke all of the propellers off, don't know which; maybe both. There were a few long burrows along that path. It's not a very efficient vehicle when it's tumbling, the result of hitting a lip at taxiway charlie from the grass.
https://aeronav.faa.gov/d-tpp/2002/05036AD.PDF

Took off from the 32 end, went 3300' or so, drifted left onto the grass, hit taxiway C, then tumbled, so total distance from start of takeoff, which is normally about 150' or less, was nearly 4000' before the whole thing was over. Didn't take long, the thing is light, and has a powerful engine, so it accelerates quite well. I'm not sure if I want to ever remember, but as of now, it's a big void.
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Unread 03-13-2020, 09:55 PM   #69
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The NTSB cleared the plane, so I gathered some friends for breakfast and we went over an did some work on it. I removed most of the electronics and will try to power up the display tomorrow and see if there's anything useful in the data log. Most of it survived with some minor scratches. The glass panel seemed to have been sandblasted, well, a few small pits. Depending on the angle, you may not see them in operation. So, hopefully those will have some value. I was pleased that the antifreeze and oil coolers were still intact, so at least the engine had its fluids. The hope is that it didn't over rev, which mandates a teardown. The engine, new is about $40K, so with only 10-hours on it, it may only need a rebuild or replacement of the transmission and clutch assembly.

There were four antennae on the bottom of the plane. Surprisingly, the one sticking down the furthest was intact and the other, smaller ones were all scrubbed off or bent radically.

I removed the engine controller, and will try to see if a Rotax dealer can pull the data log off of it. The desire is to see if it over revved.

Anyway, they had a loader bucket that had a bunch of pieces in it. I'm going to go back and try to remove a bit more, then start to cut up the bits left and dispose it. I'd like to get it out of the hanger and stop paying rental on something that I can't really use anymore. I'll get some help to remove the engine and crate it up, pending what I can find from the data logs. Have a chain hoist and a bridge crane, plus, it weighs less than 200#, so shouldn't be too bad. One of the rotors was pretty shredded, but while the other one looks fairly good, I can tell from trying to move it that it has major internal damage.

My back hadn't hurt much nearly from the start of this, but the last few days, were kind of a pain. Maybe I've been trying to do too much too quickly...going to take it a bit easier for a bit.
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Unread 03-13-2020, 10:00 PM   #70
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Quote:
going to take it a bit easier for a bit.
That's probably a smart thing to do. You gotta take care of yourself. That machine ain't going nowhere.
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Unread 03-28-2020, 05:16 PM   #71
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Holy crap Jim! This thread is new to me. I was thinking of some gyro questions for you and then saw the crash pics. Wow.

I am glad that okay
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