Gyro Hard Landing - Morningstar

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Gyro Hard Landing - Morningstar

Postby Gyronaut » Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:13 pm

Before the rumour mills start, I had a hard landing with one of my training Gyro's at Morningstar this morning at 0935Z.

My student and I were busy with Excercise 14, emergencies. We had completed simulated engine failures throughout the circuit in previous lessons and he had just been briefed on EFATO, which I usually leave until last and until I am comfortable the student will behave appropriately.

Being a heavy student we took off, flew a normal circuit and landing and then after take-off we flew another circuit repositioning about 100' agl on final, took power and climbed to about 200' agl checked that the airspeed was good and closed the power pushing the nose forward to maintain speed and energy for the round out. In essence no difference to a glide-approach initiated lower than usual. Well, the Hands of the Gods intervened and we ended up with a very high Rate Of Descent and too little distance to regain adequate airspeed on the roundout resulting in a three pointer bounce which left the nose-wheel behind. We skidded about 30meters down the runway and came to a stop on the grass next to the runway. The engine was still running so we shut down and put the rotor brake on. After leaving the machine we walked back up the runway to fetch the wheel and noticed the windsock had swung 180deg and the wind was picking up to gusts of 7 to 10kts.

As the instructor I do believe that I failed to notice the wind shift and got caught by the dragon of the downwind.
Lesson re-learned. I will remind myself constantly that EFATO demo's need more care and attention in future. Phew. Close. Thankful its just a nose-wheel, prop tips and some fiberglass-work. Toys can be fixed - fortunately there were no injuries or worse.

To my student, Ok Paul, Thats how NOT to do it, see? vhpy :shock:
Well at least you know what to expect in a real EFATO in future, beware! If you and I both learned a valuable, potenitally life-saving lesson, then it was a good lesson.

We'll be up and flying real soon.

Len
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Re: Gyro Hard Landing - Morningstar

Postby nicow » Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:48 pm

Glad you're OK (!!) (^^)
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Re: Gyro Hard Landing - Morningstar

Postby mak » Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:31 pm

Sorry to hear Len, glad you are both ok.
Always a stark reminder for me that if instructors and experienced pilots can still get it wrong, then we as weekend warriors need to be even so much more care full and alert.
I just hope it wasn't the gyro that was suppose to get you to Carnarvon!!
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Re: Gyro Hard Landing - Morningstar

Postby Gyronaut » Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:12 pm

We'll be in Carnarvon.
Fortunately we have a spare machine (for exactly these circumstances - come to think of it, so not fortunately - foreplanning… lol)

See you there!
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Re: Gyro Hard Landing - Morningstar

Postby MightyMike » Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:34 pm

May this one be the worst Incident you experience to the future! Glad to see you and paul are well! Ps you are my first post here! "the silver lining"
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Re: Gyro Hard Landing - Morningstar

Postby jtresfon » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:22 am

Nose wheel & prop tips..... WOW! Must have been quite a smack! Glad you guys are ok. At least the stick in the back stayed put vhpy

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Re: Gyro Hard Landing - Morningstar

Postby crazydoc » Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:45 pm

Thanks for sharing,
Lot to learn. Glad you and student OK!! vhpy vhpy
Ps. See you in carnarvon!! (^^) (^^)
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Re: Gyro Hard Landing - Morningstar

Postby Gyronaut » Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:22 pm

MightyMike wrote:May this one be the worst Incident you experience to the future! Glad to see you and paul are well! Ps you are my first post here! "the silver lining"
Welcome to the forum Mike.
For the record, Mike is undergoing training and is about ready for Solo in a Gyroplane.

Yep, It is not the worst I have experienced but I certainly hope it is the worst I will. (-)

Having flown many hours in EZR and witnessing the whole thing, I know that you will be VERY aware of the dangers of EFATO from now on and hopefully it won't catch you unawares, as the simulation did me.

All part of the learning experience… vhpy

EZR is already being repaired. "It will buff right out" vhpy

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Re: Gyro Hard Landing - Morningstar

Postby okflyer » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:38 pm

Gyronaut wrote:Before the rumour mills start, I had a hard landing with one of my training Gyro's at Morningstar this morning at 0935Z.

Len
Thanx for being so honest and sharing your experience with us.
That indicates to me that you must be a very good FI.
A good landing is when the everybody walks away unharmed.
Therefore, it was an excellent landing. I had such excellent landings, too. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: (but not in a Gyro)
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Re: Gyro Hard Landing - Morningstar

Postby jacester » Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:04 pm

This could not have been in the Sycamore. They are much stronger than that so must have been in one of your other fancy soft planes vhpy vhpy
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Re: Gyro Hard Landing - Morningstar

Postby John.com » Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:11 am

I am very pleased that the outcome was not catastrophic. 5 - 10 less meters to recover and the result may have been quite different.

Having suffered one or two hard landings myself, I would have all critical 'structural bolts' and critical components that could have experienced undue load/force replaced.

Whereas I don't fully understand the structural design of a gyro, a high-G impact like this would most certainly have placed components under enormous load. If the impact sheared off the nose wheel, you can rest assured that somewhere else in the airframe and rotor mechanism some strain was imparted. For example, the engine mountings. The extent of this is very hard to assertain without x-ray inspection and the like. Far easier to replace critical parts and to be sure.

I'm sure you would be able to make this assessment by just stepping back and considering what might have taken strain in the landing.

Wishing you the best with the repairs!
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Re: Gyro Hard Landing - Morningstar

Postby crazydoc » Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:29 am

Hi Len
This is actually a very tough one.(the more i think of it).

Practising EFATO, there is this mindset that now ,you have to put it down,cause the donkey is suppose to be dead and one is now committed. And even if you felt uncomfortable there must have still been an automatic reluctance to abort the excercise because that is exactly what you are practising now .How,s your luck that the windchange came at this moment!? :shock: :o

Secondly, how far should one go in checking for structural damage? Just visual inspection of undercariage mountings, rotor tower cracks, etc.? Or xray as John suggests.
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Re: Gyro Hard Landing - Morningstar

Postby Gyronaut » Fri Oct 03, 2014 5:56 pm

I have just spent 11 hours on a ferry flight so forgive me if I am brief.

Okflyer, you humble me with your compliment. Thank you.

Jacester, My favourite trick was to kick the front tyre of my Sycamore to show the machines' inherent strength. Upon reflection on this incident, I am thankful that the nose-wheel sheered and absorbed the shock or my student may have had both his ankles broken if the frame snapped. The line between absolute strength/weight and impact/crumple zones is oblique. Crumple zones worked for us.

John.com, The machine has been stripped to the frame, the frame has been sent to professionals for straightening if not true, thereafter it will go for full metallurgical non-destructive testing, better than X-ray (ultrasound/ultrasonic flaw detection). Should the frame be certified sound, then ALL load bearing bolts, mounts, brackets, bearings etc will be replaced or, if considered acceptable by the AP re-assembling the machine, refitted. A detailed inspection and run-out will be done on the head and if necessary a full head overhaul will take place. (My life is worth a hell of a lot more than the money or time it may cost).

Yep Crazydoc, I couldn't agree more. Of course there is a reluctance to abort the very thing you are demonstrating! The split second hesitation lost us the 10 feet we needed! Simple. I have admitted elsewhere that it was entirely my fault and that I should go for retraining, specifically in EFATO. Any volunteer instructors?

Thank you all for your concern.

Fly safely and lets remember that we are recreational aviators so lets not forget to fly for the fun of it.
(^^)
Len
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Re: Gyro Hard Landing - Morningstar

Postby mikemat » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:18 pm

Hi Len.

Long time no see! I skimmed through the posts on this quickly, so forgive me if this has been covered or is a no brainer, but having myself also endured a hard landing some years ago,you would obviously want to look at potential stressing of the rotor blades. In my case the blade tips never connected the ground, but try as I (and the Mockes) might, we couldn't balance the blades properly. Only when we laid my rotors next to a new set, did it become obvious that the flexing had slightly bent the aluminium core which runs along each rotor blade. I took the pain for a new set but all was sorted.

All the best.

Mike
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Re: Gyro Hard Landing - Morningstar

Postby Gyronaut » Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:45 pm

Very interesting MikeMat, thanks.
The AP will do a rotor-head overhaul and run-out as standard practice but I would not have thought that the blades could 'bend'.
Wow. Good point to check. I wonder if the composite rotors could possibly suffer de-lamination or worse?
I'll rely on my AP/AMO to advise whether they are compromised in any way before we fly the machine again for sure.

Thanks for the heads-up.

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