Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Is flying a gyroplane more dangerous than other aircraft?
A. The modern Gyroplane is one of safest aircraft known. It will not stall because it is always in a state of auto-rotation, which provides lift even if an engine failure occurs.
Q. How is a gyroplane different than a fixed wing?
A. Gyroplanes fly by a large spinning rotating blade similar to that of a helicopter. However, this ‘blade’ is not powered by a mechanical device; rather thrust is generated by forward airflow produced by the propeller from power supplied by the engine.
Q. How is a gyroplane different than a helicopter?
A. Gyroplanes can do everything a helicopter can do except hover and takeoff vertically. I find gyroplanes much easier to fly and a lot easier to manage if the engine goes quiet. The primary flight controls are the cyclic (stick) rudder and throttle.
Because gyroplanes are less complicated there is less maintenance and they are less expensive than even the most basic helicopter.
Q. Do I need a pilot’s license to fly a gyrocopter?
A. Yes. To legally fly in the USA, you need a "Gyroplane" license, either a rating under a Private Pilot's license or Light Sport Aircraft license. Under the "LSA" a new student pilot is required to be 16 years of age, read, write and understand English, have a current U.S. Driver's license, pass an FAA Sport Pilot Knowledge written test and complete a minimum of 20 hours of training in a Gyroplane. If you already have a Pilot License you need only an average of 7-15 hours of Gyroplane training with a CFI and a check ride and endorsement in logbook with a different Gyroplane CFI.
Q. How fast does a gyrocopter go and how high can it fly?
A gyroplane may fly level as slow as 25 miles per hour and as fast as 120 miles per hour. Under the FAA's Light Sport license you are restricted to a maximum of 10,000 feet ceiling with a 2,000 AGL exception for mountainous areas. Under FAA's Private Pilot license you are restricted to 14,500 feet.
Q. Can I go cross country in a gyroplane?
A. Yes, one of the joys of flying is exploring new scenery and visiting new airports.
Q. How many passengers can be in a gyroplane?
A. One Passenger plus the pilot.
Q. How long does it take to assemble a gyrocopter?
A. An experienced builder can complete an MTO Sport build-out in a week and a half. The other two models require a little longer build time due to their complexity.
Q. Are there limitations to where you can fly a gyrocopter?
A. Yes, you are restricted to your particular pilot license limits, airspace restrictions and all FAA regulations covering certain geographical areas.
Q. Can a Gyroplane fly in rain?
A. Yes, it can fly under normal VFR (Visual Flight Rules).
Q. Can a Gyroplane fly at night?
A. The Gyroplane can fly at night if appropriately equipped, however the pilot must be licensed to do so.
Q. What inspections are required?
A. The FAA requires an annual condition inspection done by the original builder or a licensed Airframe and Power plant mechanic (A&P).
Q. How often do I need to take my pilot test?
A. Once you have a pilot license it is issued for life, but you will need to take a bi-annual (24 months) check ride with a CFI who is certified in that type and kind of aircraft.
Q. Can I fly out of my own property in a Gyroplane?
A. Yes, if your local area has no restrictions regarding that and you have adequate space for a runway.
Q. Can I change my own oil?