Irish Sport Rotorcraft Club

Gyroplane flying training can only be provided by an IAA approved Registered Training Facility [RTF], which has to meet certain operating standards at regular inspections. The flying is provided in a certified and registered, fully dual-controlled, approved training aircraft. The training is given by IAA authorised Gyroplane flying instructors, who themselves are checked regularly.

Do not be put off by all the approvals and controls — they are there to ensure safety and quality of participation.  What comes out the other end in our environment is a friendly, maybe even apparently 'laid-back', recreational flying ambiance you will easily fit into and become part of. Sure, the regulatory backbone is there, but it remains under the surface.

           How does the Introductory Flight work?

You do have to be an Irish Sport Rotorcraft Club member to participate but this can be at no initial cost to yourself. The Club has a straightforward form that can be filled out on the spot — you are then an Irish Sport Rotorcraft Club Member member for a 28-day trial period.

There are a number of components to a good quality Introductory Flight — it is not a simple case of just hop in and have a go! The objective is to give you a good and fair sampling of what recreational gyroplane flying feels like, plus an insight into the flight training process.

The Introductory Flight follows the same sequence as a normal instructional flight:

        Pre-flight briefing
You will usually spend a little time in a classroom being convinced, in simple non-technical terms, that you do not have to be some kind of supernatural being to be a pilot and that a gyroplane is much the same as any other flying machine. The aircraft essentially works all by itself and you are there to control it — make it take you where you want to go. It is just another machine to learn to control; like a bicycle, car or boat.

        Aircraft pre-flight inspection
You will be shown around the aircraft and while it will be clear that the machine is inspected prior to flight, you will not be involved in any technicality at this stage. You will be shown how to get in, adjust the seat so you are in optimum control position and how to strap in. The cockpit equipment will be briefly outlined to you, as well as the actions to be taken in an in-flight emergency. Much like the pre-flight briefing by the cabin crew when flying as a Commercial Airline passenger.

 

        Flight procedures
Your flight will be in the vicinity of the airfield and for usually about 30 minutes total. During the flight you will be exposed to the sensation of being both in a very light aircraft and aloft in a very personal form of aircraft. You will be shown the airfield from the air, the local scenery and points to orientate yourself by. You will spend more than 50% of the time with control of the aircraft in your hands, under the guidance of the instructor.

No need to be alarmed about this — it is a simple matter of being shown how to raise and lower the nose, plus turn and level the gyroplane. This will give you a 'feel' for the machine in its natural environment and you will find it surprisingly easy. You will only be asked to do things the instructor knows you can easily accomplish and absorb.

Nothing odd or abrupt will happen. Your instructor will give you advance notice if the engine note is going to change or if the aircraft is going to change attitude, plus what it will be doing. You will not be subjected to aerobatics or unusual attitudes — you are primarily orientated to a two-dimensional world and we make the transition into the three-dimensional world of flight understandable, progressive and comfortable.

        Post-flight debriefing
Your instructor will answer any questions you have and underline a few of the main points of the exercise in which you have just participated. Your options on where you go from there will be explained to you, partly verbally and partly with literature the Irish Sport Rotorcraft Club provides for new members. Then it is your decision. There is very little 'hard selling' in Recreational Gyroplane Flying — nobody should be pressured into learning to fly — you should WANT to, deep down within yourself.

If you are still unsure then you can obtain three flying training lessons from the school, within the 28-day trial period, before committing yourself to full membership of The Irish Sport Rotorcraft Club.
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