The flight safety of the gyroplane lies directly in the pilots hands. The pilot is the individual who decides intially that the aircraft, weather and that they themselves are ready and airworthy for flight. No one is pointing a gun to your head to make you fly so there is no reason to pressure yourself into "having to fly". Nothing we do for the fun of flying is worth compromising over safety. Accidents will happen in aviation but there is no logical reason put put ourselves in a postion we have no reason to be in.
When we talk about the actual act of flying we have greatly added the human element. The gyroplane is an inert object and only when properly operated by the person at the controls can she show her true beauty.
All aircraft have limitations and rotorcraft in particular have much smaller tolerances than those of our fixed wing counterparts. One of these areas is weight and balance and cg location. While a homebuilt gyroplane is somewhat limited in how much it can physically carry it is still very possible to exceed limitations due to density altitude, temperature or operating outside the safe envelope.
The following video was downloaded from YouTube and I think you can identify the gyroplane involved. The thing I would like you to notice is just how fast a normal situation can become critical and how "well" a gyroplane is designed to absorb impact.
As can be seen by reviewing the contents of this website and others like it the gyroplane is a very unique aircraft and requires the specialized flight instruction to safely and efficiently fly the aircraft. The size and speed of any aircraft is enough to kill anyone not skilled enough to recover from an emergency. If you doubt me do a search on Lt. Selfridge and see what you learn.
The gyroplane does not fly like a fixed wing aircraft, it has completley different handling characteristics. The gyroplane does not fly like a helicopter either, the gyroplane is as all federal aviation authorities around the world agree an aircraft in its own right. As a pilot the sooner you understand this and understand that the gyroplane must be flown within its design parameters the sooner you will begin to become a safer gyro pilot.
As a pilot how would you approach a V-22 Osprey? Fly like an airplane? Fly like a helicopter? You had best fly like a V-22 pilot, think of what happens with the aircraft cg when the aircraft transitions from helicopter mode to a fixed wing mode and back when those big engine nacelles move foreward and back. The cg actually moves several inches when making this transition, what handling effects does this have and what safety parameters have to be met to avoid dangerous flight conditions.
Your gyroplane needs to be flown with the same considerations. The rotors are different, the flight dynamics are different.
Be sure to seek out quality flight instruction. Your flight training will instill the proper techniques and skills to identify emergency situations and implement the proper procedures to attempt a safe recovery. Your flight training will naturally give you confidence in your pilot ability but at no point should bravado or ego enter into the safe handling of the gyroplane and any occupants.
You have been presented with the consiquences of mishandling your gyroplane and the surviveability of your well made machine in the event of a mishap.
You have also been presented with the need to seek out qaulity flight instruction and given a resource in the Code to employ safe standards to gyroplane flight. The final results still ends the way we started... the flight safety of the gyroplane lies directly in the pilots hands.
Don't forget to check the weather before departing:
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has created some very outstanding, interactive, on-line courses that are free and only require a free registration. The following link is to one such course offered among the many and is about avoiding thunderstorms or what to do if caught in one and how ATC can help you.
For our aviation educators out there I would like to present an organization devoted to making you a better teacher or instuctor. Known as the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators or SAFE is open to all educators of the aviation field. This includes public and private school teachers, flight instrucotrs both flight and ground, as well as aviation technician instructors and avionics as well as manufacturer's educational staff.
SAFE is raising the bar in aviation education with many benefits and resources for the aviation educator.This is where safety starts- the educators.