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Emergency landing options

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  • #16
    Does not matter if in a gyro, car, earth moving machine. Seat belt stays on!
    When learning to fly a plane, emergency landing procedure is to
    1). Set up best glide speed
    2). pick landing spot
    3). cabin check list, [one of them is, Harness done up and secure].

    Also, when flying over water, if you are not within gliding distance of land, you should carry emergency equipment such as life jacket. [this is my wording]

    [below is CASA wording]
    Land aircraft that carry passengers and are engaged in:
    (a) regular public transport operations; or
    (b) charter operations;
    shall be equipped with a life jacket or flotation device for each occupant on all flights where the take-off or approach path is so disposed over water that in the event of a mishap occurring during the departure or the arrival it is reasonably possible that the aircraft would be forced to land onto water".

    Regards...... Ross
    Remember: no matter where you go, there you are


    • Tim
      Tim commented
      Editing a comment
      I think I recall another one Ross:-
      4) Fly the aircraft as far into the crash as possible.

  • #17
    If I was planning to do a long distance water crossing in a gyro I'd prob. wear a life vest, attach a marine beacon to my left side body, attach a miniture scuba 10 min. air bottle to my right side connected to a regulator. Maybe some small goggles on standby. If motor conks set off beacon and be ready to migrate to Reo. to avoid the $100'000 bill from the rescue services as you would be prob. breaking the rules. Almost forgot - if you survive the cold water if your down south, not to mention the odd curious white pointer.
    Last edited by mad max; 08-11-2016, 06:51 PM.


    • #18
      Point taken fellas, as this is all hypothetical my reasoning was that trying to undo a seatbelt in the panic of the situation may prove difficult not to mention the possibility of being knocked out during the event.
      The image I have of this scenario is landing with zero airspeed flat on the water, laying it over to stop the rotor blades and then swimming away when safe to do so. All of that in a perfect world.
      In regard to not flying over anything without a safe landing place, a pretty tall order for anyone that doesn't live in the country. From an instruction point of view though definitely the right advice.


      • #19
        One thing I would do is unplug the helmet from the jacks on the way down. I would keep my helmet on as long as possible, even after swimming away from the aircraft. The helmet would help keep body heat in longer as a lot of body heat is lost though the top of your head.

        The last thing on my mind would be landing so as the machine is recoverable. Save your backside first, then if the machine is salvageable that would be a welcomed bonus.

        Rick, I have been known to shortcut across the bay so I know what your thinking when you are low out to sea.


        • #20
          I must say I have crossed some water and if I calculate that I wouldn't glide to the nearest waters edge I would count that time as 'dead mans time'. Calculated risks are of course sometimes necessary. If man never took them we would still be hunter gatherers.


          • #21
            Bert Hinkler used to tie an alarm clock around his neck and rigged it to go off on long water crossings if his head fell down when falling asleep. On another flight from the american continent to africa he took a small tropical monkey to talk to in an effort to stay awake. He took the monkey to England to live with his 3 legged cat but the poor fellow died of the cold.


            • #22
              G'day All,
              Been thinking about this scenario for quite some time now and try as I may, I can't find any references that definitively cover the subject adequately. Maybe because no-one has had to ditch a gyro for real. Whilst I can reiterate my recollections of my unplanned close inspection of the Tamar river, it must be recalled that this was an uncontrolled crash. No input with the flight or engine controls had any bearing on the final flight path. So ..........

              Upon realisation that no pilot input had any effect on the flight path, it remained to become aware of the rapidly approaching river surface and the inevitable contact that would soon be upon me. I managed to get a quick "mayday" out, but did not include position as I'd left the call too late. I know the gyro was nose down but was unaware that it was turning slowly to the left. I don't know what hit the water first, but due to the attitude of the gyro, I suspect it was the rotor blades at about the 10 o'clock position. I don't remember being thrown to the right hand side, but do recall my head hitting the water on my right side. Then, darkness. I had my harness done up, helmet and radio leads still attached at the time of impact. At no time did I consider detaching any of these. I became aware of cold water seeping into the helmet around my cheeks. I guess that's when I regained consciousness. I reached down and lifted the harness face plate which, due to the design of the harness, allowed all 4 belts to come free. Can't remember looking around for the surface, but likely went with the natural buoyancy of the body towards the surface, likely helped by lusty kicks as well. The radio leads detached themselves and I was not aware of any resistance offered by those plugs. How deep at this stage? Dunno. Maybe 3 M. On the surface, I orientated myself and struck out for the shore. I had plenty of time to think things out, like will I kick my gym shoes off. I decided no because feet get cold really quick. Similarly, the helmet. My diving days taught that 80% of body heat is lost through the head, so it stayed on. Actually, it supported it's own weight and was not a problem from that aspect. After that, it just got colder and colder.

              So. There is little to be learned about water entry from that experience. However, with this in mind, if I had to ditch a gyro, I would never disconnect harness or helmet. Radio leads, maybe, assuming that the appropriate calls had been made. I would unlatch doors on enclosed cabins though. In my humble opinion, the ideal mode of entry would be zero forward airspeed with the rotor disc parallel to the surface of the water. The body angle is immaterial. I feel that to achieve this, it would be necessary to flare and slow at somewhere around 20' AGL because it is necessary to significantly increase the angle of attack of the rotor disc to achieve this situation. Flaring much lower would prejudice the clearance between the aft rotor disc and the water surface. If the disc hit the water, the gyro would immediately and rapidly roll/turn to the right uncontrolled. Assuming that one was able to achieve this attitude at the right time, the gyro would drop into the water and sink until the rotors hit the water. Yes, the pilot would still be strapped into this rapidly sinking, soon to be artificial reef. Once the rotors hit the water, they would twist off at the mast somewhere. The water resistance on the gyro airframe/body would be such as to preclude any significant rotation of it in the water when the rotors hit. Once the thrashing has stopped, the pilot releases his harness opens the door (if necessary) and floats/swims to the surface. Remember, allow the cabin to fill with water before trying to open the door. And all the time, our hero pilot stays cool, calm and collected as he plummets towards the bottom of the ocean.

              In my opinion again, the recommended action of flaring and rolling to the right before water impact serves to lessen the rotational/turning force that will result from the rotors striking the water, as happened in my accident. It follows then that this will lessen the impact of the pilot with the water, or the airframe in an enclosed cabin.

              Prevention is better that cure, so following the rules for gyros and over water flight, CAO 95.12.1 states that if you're over water further than you can glide to a safe landing on shore, the max distance from land is 25 NM and each occupant must WEAR a lifejacket and carry an approved ELB or PLB. The exception is trans Tasman crossings.

              Just my sixpence worth.


              In aviation, the only stupid question is the one you don't ask!


              • #23
                I'm going to get around to writing up the story of crossing Bass Strait in the Magni M24 for Gyro News. Yes, it's a long way over the water and I was pretty happy to see the top of Tassie come into view! :-)


                • #24
                  Originally posted by jeff b View Post
                  I was pretty happy to see the top of Tassie come into view! :-)
                  Aren't we all

                  Remember: no matter where you go, there you are