Monday, November 14, 2011

11-12-11 Craig's New Auto-Gyro

To anyone who still reads my blog, sorry I've been behind! Life seems to get in the way of writing about life sometimes!

As I’m sure a lot of you are aware, Powrachute’s sister company, Soaring Concepts is now importing the Auto-Gyro brand gyroplanes. My friend Craig McPherson has purchased the MTO Sport and is in the process of being trained to become an instructor.

Craig called me to tell me he was heading my way for some training. I had to help Phil change out the glass in the fuel gauges on the Aeronca Chief (another story!), but I had time to get that done, then drive over to Taylor to meet Craig. I ended up spending most of the day at airports. I had a family friend who I owed a birthday ride in the PPC, so I loaded up the trailer and took it with me.

I drove to Taylor, and Phil flew the Chief over as well. When Phil landed, he was rolling out and turned off the carb heat. The engine promptly died. I asked him if he ran out of fuel since we’d just changed out the gauges. He said there was no way. We ended up pushing the plane over to the fuel pumps and he put in 9.5 gallons, which topped it off. Since it’s a 15 gallon tank, fuel wasn’t the issue. We would end up assuming it was carb ice and resolved to use carb heat more often – not a good assumption, but again, that’s the next story!

Craig arrived and everyone pitched in to help him get the rotor blades assembled and attached for his lesson. It took awhile, but eventually he was ready. I think he gave me a few dirty looks since I’d recommended this airport and it was very busy! It’s not usually! I was happy taking photos of planes and trying to get that elusive prop blur.

Soon Craig and his instructor Ira were off and flying. When Craig took off, the nose of the gyro turned hard to the left. He landed and they adjusted the rudder trim tab and on the next flight, they were happy with the results.

I watched as Craig practiced emergency landings and was really impressed with the performance. I sure wouldn’t mind owning a gyro, just a little out of my price range at $75K!

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