Saturday, July 1, 2017

Air Command Cross Country Trip to Piedmont-Centre, Alabama

I have another action camera that I used for this trip today.  It did not work at all for the trip over to Piedmont from Cedartown, GA and I failed set or remove the time and date stamp.

I purchased a video editor and I like the features it offers. I added photos, titles and the music came with the software.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Pattern Work Videos

Here is another couple of videos from my Air Command flying in the pattern in Cedartown, GA.  My friend Rex Garner is in a Red Baby Ace on a right hand base leg in the first video.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Redundant Fuel Pump

Fellow Peach State Rotorcraft Club member Louis Gulley helped me remove the old pump that transferred fuel from the auxiliary tanks to the main tank and install this new pump on my gyroplane. It establishes a redundant system to the engine. Both fuel pumps feed off all three tanks. The electric pump will be used to prime the carbs then turned off until take off and remain on throughout the flight.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Flying Angels Relay for Life Breakfast Fly-In

Today we took a short flight from our home airport in Cedartown, GA to a fundraiser breakfast fly-in Cartersville, GA.

The morning weather today was awesome!   Mid 60s on the ground, but, warmer aloft and virtually no wind.   I left Cedartown at about 0740 in my Gyroplane while Jon Carleton was testing the new yellow Tango.

I was the first pilot to fly in to the breakfast at around 0800.  The food was great and it was for a great cause.  By the time I finished eating, Louis Hartsell arrived in the Buzzard Gyroplane.  He was about the fourth pilot to arrive.   He stopped at the FBO for a restroom break and I was walking down to let him know where the breakfast was being served when Ron Hlozansky arrived in his car.  Ron told him where the food was being served and he started up his machine to taxi down, so I rode with Ron back to the KMZ Hanger and the breakfast.

About a 15 minutes later Jon Carleton, Alex Vagner, Kurt Carlson and Rex Garner all arrived from Cedartown.  Jon and Alex touched down first in the yellow Tango followed by Kurt in the white single place Tango and then Rex in his red Baby Ace.

I had a lunch date with my wife Danita and was the first pilot to depart the event for the trip back to Cedartown.  The trip back to a little longer due to a 5 mph headwind, but, still a very quick trip of about 25 minutes.

I wish I had been able to stick around for the noon lunch event with Ron's gang of  sport pilot buddies and get some more afternoon flying, it was such a beautiful day for flying.

Next Saturday, I should have the whole day to hang around, it may be a good day to fly over to Piedmont-Centre, AL and back, just for something to go see and do.

Above are a couple of attempted videos to catch the arrival of the Tangos and Baby Ace.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

My First Gyroplane Helmet Cam Video

I was doing touch and go take offs and landings with a climb to 1500 feet above ground level for a near vertical descent.  You can see my airspeed get very low for the vertical descent.  Gyroplanes, like airplanes, require airspeed to land.  So at about 300 feet above the runway, I put the nose down to get the airspeed needed to land.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Gyroplanes Love Wind

For local in the pattern flying I now prefer having some wind!  Last night I experienced my first flight since January with no wind.  I had become rusty at landing with no wind, especially with a dead stick.  Nothing major, I just did not like the first two landings with zero throttle.  The first one, I came down a bit slow and hard, but, landed in the spot I was planning.  On the next landing, I wanted to maintain more airspeed and wound up with a fairly smooth landing, but, not where I wanted to land and wound up way down the runway.  On my final approach, I decided to use the throttle to ease the machine down the final few feet with less airspeed than the second approach and hit the spot I was looking for.
Needless to say I need to practice more when the wind is not blowing.  I have been spoiled by the winds that have been persistent the past several months.  Having a 5-15 mph or more wind in your face, even a quartering crosswind makes taking off and landing much easier.   The rotors spin up quickly on take off and the ground speed for both the take off and landing is much slower.  Landing requires a little less throttle into the wind and always results in very minimal ground roll.
On cross country trips this summer most days will be with little wind and with a higher density altitude both thrust and rotor performance will be reduced increasing the need for longer take off rolls and more throttle on final down to the runway.

Just a couple of days later I took The Beast out for a quick 15 minute flight.  Once again there was no wind, but, the temperature and humidity were both lower thus a much lower density altitude.   I also only had 4 gallons of fuel on board compared to the previous flight of 12 gallons.   The landings were all much easier to perform requiring less throttle.  I also kept the nose down longer as I started to settle through ground effect.   The combination of better technique combined with a machine that was performing much better resulted in all three landings being very smooth.

Gyroplanes are affected by density altitude as much and perhaps more than fixed wing aircraft.   Gyroplane pilots must keep all the performance factors listed above in mind when taking off and landing, especially on short and or grass fields.