a view of some interesting weather, taken from my gyro

This is a photograph taken from my gyro in 1996 showing some interesting weather. You can see my windscreen in the bottom right hand corner, though the fields beneath me may not be visible in the resolution of this photo. The reason for this 'weather' photo is that I made this page when I had just written an article for the old BRA magazine 'Ultralight Rotorcraft' which recounted a scary encounter which I had with Mother Nature in April '99 while flying my gyro. There are very detailed comments on why it happened and what actions I might have been wise to have taken - by Wing Commander Ken Wallis, and more comments also by Peter Lovegrove (the designer of my 'Cricket' type of gyro). I am pleased to say that my gyro and myself both remain in excellent condition!!

The ups and downs of gyro training

- These articles are taken from a series of three which I wrote for The British Rotorcraft Association's old magazine 'Ultralight Rotorcraft' fairly soon after gaining my UK licence to fly gyros - the much coveted PPL(G). They describe the difficulties (training is easier now!) and triumphs during my gyro training, and though a little outdated now, I include them here as some people have asked me to - since they have had trouble getting hold of these back issues. I'm afraid that the original photos that accompanied the articles have long gone, but I will try and see if anyone has any that may be relevant, and add them in as I get them. The old BRA magazine unfortunately no longer exists, instead all BRA members are sent Fly Gyro! (the international gyro magazine which I produce and edit) as part of their £30 annual membership. The BRA is striving very hard to further the UK gyro movement, and needs your support!!

Contact: Peter Cresswell , The Membership Secretary, tel/fax +44 (0) 1295 850141 , Five Farthings, The Green, Great Bourton, Banbury, Oxon, OX17 1QH, United Kingdom. Ask for an information pack.

If you find these articles boring, don't waste your time - try another page!!


The ups and downs of gyro training

Some of my earliest memories are of being sat in my father's aircraft (on the ground!) at air shows where he was doing aerobatic displays for the Royal Navy - the photos are too embarrassing, so you won't see those! It clearly did nothing for my interest in aircraft as some twenty years on I was still totally disinterested in them.

Like many people the James Bond film with Ken Wallis and 'Little Nellie' was my first introduction to gyros. It looked really good fun, and when someone told me that there was nothing directly driving those rotors, the whole thing took on a magical quality and I vowed to delve deeper. That's about as far as it got for another twenty years until one day I was at Weston-super-Mare on a rare outing to the beach with the family. On a windy day the sand really flies at Weston, and after a couple of gritty ice creams and what felt like a half marathon chasing the wind blown ball down the beach, I slunk off to see what else happens in this town.

I found myself at the grandly named International Helicopter Museum, where the first machine, parked outside the museum prefabs, was a Campbell Cougar - a fully enclosed two seater Rolls-Royce powered autogyro. This was not a museum piece of the Cierva era, but a 'modern' gyro which clearly flew and had pictures to prove it. The cashier was quizzed but finally abandoned. The manager was summoned and interrogated about gyros, but clearly knew nothing at all about them - certainly he knew of nowhere where I could find out about training to fly them. I quickly fired off all the remaining holiday snaps at the Campbell Cougar, rescued my family from the desert storm and headed home to spend the rest of the weekend on the telephone.

B.T.'s profits must have risen sharply that year simply due to my efforts to find out more about gyro training. 90% of the gyro people I tracked down turned out to be microlight people. The other 9% were helicopter. Finally, a call to Jim Greenshields, a microlight instructor at Dunkeswell Airfield, put me in touch with a certain Mr Mark Haywood, a man who claimed to actually fly a gyro. Was he quite sure that it was a gyro that he flew? Yes, it really was! Now at last I was getting somewhere; Mark told me that the place I should get to was St. Merryn in Cornwall, the Mecca for gyros, and a man called Chris Julian. Chris would be able to take me flying practically for free in the gyroglider, after which addiction was guaranteed!

Mel about to have his first ever aircraft flight, with Chris Julian in the gyroglider at St Merryn, Cornwall.

Mel about to have his first ever gyro flight with Chris Julian in the St Merryn gyroglider, Cornwall.

Beware! Chris Julian's passion for gyros is infectious. The man should carry a government health warning, and yes, after an afternoon gyrogliding with him at St Merryn in the pouring rain, I was addicted; frozen to death, soaking wet but addicted! The hangar at St Merryn was stuffed full of gyros, the first ones I had ever seen apart from the Campbell Cougar. There were Bensen, Cricket, Mosquito, Hornet, Everett, McCandless,Wombat - many gyros, and with a little difficulty I was able to lower my 6'3" (1.9m) 13 stone (182lbs, 82.5kg) frame into one of them.

My next course of action was to contact Dick Smerdon, who would be able to train me to fly gyros. However, this was jumping the gun since at that time, before the arrival of 2 seat gyro trainers, I had to have my own gyro on which to learn. I didn't have the money for one, let alone money to train, neither did I know for certain whether I would really enjoy being thousands of feet up in the air in such a machine. Dick told me of the ground exams and the 'hours' I would require for my licence, of which some usually had to be done on a fixed wing aircraft. He recommended a 3-axis microlight as it was (a) cheaper than a light aircraft and (b) closer to what I might expect in a gyro.

I drove to Swansea Airport on a fresh, breezy day for a trial lesson in a Thruster microlight. Wild horses wouldn't drag me back into one of those things again! I suppose it was o.k. at times and certainly I enjoyed the view, but the turbulence over the cliffs ....... it was nothing short of terrifying! However, I managed to restrain myself from executing a Pope-style blessing of the tarmac after landing and was later reassured by Chris Julian over the telephone that gyros were very much smoother than microlights under those conditions.

Soon after this, Dick Smerdon told me that he would not be able to be my instructor as he had just failed a medical and the CAA would no longer allow him to instruct (despite this being instruction with him staying firmly planted on the ground!) He had given me some extremely helpful notes for the ground exams and I managed to pass all of those. - Being a tight fisted and pessimistic so-and-so, I had told myself that I was not prepared to spend any of my hard earned money on flying lessons until I knew that my licence would not be jeopardized by failure to pass the ground exams. To anyone contemplating getting trained, I would say do not take the exams first as I did. They go out of date after a year if you have not yet got your licence and this puts unnecessary pressure on you (I had to pass all of my exams twice - at £12.50 a time!). So take the exams only when you need them, i.e. Air Law when first flying solo, Navigation when ready for solo cross-country. When you have got this far, I promise nothing will stop you getting the other exams - you WILL pass them.

I joined the British Rotorcraft Association and was amazed to find - in the joining pack bumph - that there was an instructor in Somerset - my own county! This was Tony Unwin who had just got a VPM 2 seat gyro trainer, and he would be able to train me to fly in a gyro for no more than it would cost to fly a microlight. All of my training could now be done on gyros. Bliss !, I thought .........

Next month : Ab initio to PPL G ( including a night to remember with Harry the Tarantula in Chris Julian's caravan )

 

Shaken, but not stirred ! - further ups and downs of gyro training by Mel Morris Jones

I started my 2 seat gyro training with Tony Unwin in the wintertime - not a good idea really when you combine the problems of the British weather with those which beset Tony's VPM M16 in its youth. Like a Chinese take-away, there was the ' sweet ' of flying that superb flying machine and the ' sour ' of all those days when I had taken time off work,driven to the airfield, PFI'd the machine and got kitted up only to find that it would not start - or if it eventually did the rain would come down as we taxied out! But nevertheless, soon after you have completed a flight, you feel a terrible craving to get up there and do it all over again.

Flying in the 2 seater very soon made me realise that gyro flying was definitely for me - if I could master it, and it didn't take very long to become reasonably proficient at flying the VPM . As long as you stick to the basic ground rules of gyro flying, the VPM is a wonderfully predictable, stable, easy to fly machine in all aspects of flying. It is also very forgiving and amazingly dismissive of windy conditions and turbulence. In many ways it is the ideal training machine.

My budget stretched to a maximum of £5,000 which ruled out the VPM (although Tony Unwin might well have given me change if I had pressed that cash into his hands on some occasions!). My intentions were to fly some serious cross countries throughout the seasons, so a reliable 4 stroke engine with a pilot pod, preferably a decent sized screen and a long range was at the top of my shopping list.

I had heard of an Everett (basically very similar to a Campbell Cricket) in good condition, with a large screen, 1834cc VW engine and a fully enclosed trailer for £4000. It seemed a good buy but there were snags - the owner would not sell the rotor blades, and the owner was ' Boris,' who had flown the sort of hours in the machine which would stand him a round at the bar with any gyro flying Australian cattle rancher! However I had once owned a split windscreened VW camper whose engine was as sweet as a nut right up until the day when I reluctantly drove the rusted heap to the scrap yard, and I could surely buy a decent set of rotor blades?

I bought the aircraft, acquired a second hand set of Rotordyne rotor blades, changed it from CAA to PFA and was ready to begin my single seat gyro training ....... or so I thought. I just could not find anywhere in central or south western England where I could train. The mention of the words VW and gyro always produced the same response : " I'm really sorry, but ....." When on full throttle, with no silencers on my old straight pipes I can only say that I couldn't blame them for saying no!

A Bensen gyrocopter at Perranporth Airfield

A Bensen gyrocopter at Perranporth Airfield, Cornwall. - photo by Keith Balch

But Perranporth Airfield, bless their hearts, said yes, o.k.. Perranporth, for anyone who doesn't know, is deep down on Cornwall's northern coast. It meant a journey of about four hours towing the trailer from my house, but Tony Unwin and his wife Sue were able to take a few days off work, so we met up at the airfield and Sue managed to find us a local Bed&Breakfast.

As soon as I started ground handling in the single seater I realised that this was a totally different beast to the VPM. All control inputs I made seemed to have a far more dramatic and instantaneous effect. Over the next couple of days of 2 wheel balancing and 'hops' down the runway this was reinforced even more. I had my hairy moments - flying nose high with insufficient power is not easy, and definitely not a good idea!

On our final day at Perranporth Chris Julian turned up, and after a few more 'hops' and the wind more or less down the runway for once, the consensus of opinion was that I was ready to fly my first solo circuit. It is something that surely nobody ever forgets. That moment when you realise you are on your own, climbing steeply, getting higher and higher, running out of runway, then passing that point of no return - you just have to fly a circuit. My first circuit was a good one - fairly tight, as Perranporth Airfield is right on the cliffs and Tony and Chris had forbidden me to fly over the sea, and to my surprise I produced a near perfect spot landing. I was immediately sent off a couple more times to repeat the trick before we had to load up the gyro and start heading for home.

The obvious problem with training at Perranporth was that it was just too far away for both me and my instructor. Having tried in vain to find somewhere to train amongst all of the smaller airfields, I started on the big ones. Heathrow? Maybe not. Filton? To my surprise they said come and talk to them. They knew Tony Unwin as he had recently force landed an airliner there, so the two of us went to see them and it was agreed that we could do a limited amount of training there at their quiet times.

The first day went well, but on the second day - disaster. I had almost completed my first circuit of the day in hot and sticky conditions with a light to moderate cross wind. I had descended near the threshold of this vast runway (testing ground of the mighty Brabazon and Concorde) and as I had the whole long runway to myself I decided to fly low along the runway for a while before touching down. This was fine for a while until I found myself drifting sideways across the runway rather faster than I liked. I should have sorted myself out and landed at that time, but instead elected to go around and just land normally. This was where my real troubles began. I wound on full power, lowered the nose to build up my airspeed before climbing out, but managed to get crossed controls as I tried to climb out. A hurricane suddenly seemed to be blowing into my tiny cockpit and I seemed to be failing miserably to gain any height. It didn't seem to be a good idea to keep heading towards the looming city of Bristol at the end of the runway if I was not gaining height, and so believing that I was probably just about high enough to turn the crosswind leg I turned right. This was in reality more like turning downwind - because of the crosswind. I was at full power at the time, so I couldn't add any more power for the turn, and so the result of this meant that I lost much of what little height I had. Still hoping to climb out, I was going across the ground in the blink of an eye. I found myself in a narrow 'channel' with trees and hedges on either side and some gypsy caravans straight in front of me. My snap decision argued that I couldn't guarantee to clear the caravans or land in front of them in the split seconds available, so I elected to turn right hoping to 'horse' the machine over the tall hedge, or otherwise flare into it.

Gyros make very effective, if expensive hedge trimmers! "You were lucky mate," said one of the gypsies, 'so were you,' I thought as I turned the fuel off, unstrapped myself and clambered out of the hedge. Apart from my rotor blades, prop, one wheel spat and being six feet up in the hedge, the gyro looked o.k. - but an ambulance and two enormous fire tenders were bearing down on me. I had landed in the rough stuff close to the perimeter fence and the firemen were preparing to swamp my poor battered little machine with foam. I managed to stop this final indignity but gratefully accepted a ride back in the ambulance. My injuries were very minor - scratches and a sore shoulder. Like one of 007's cocktails I was shaken but not stirred!

"Thank God you went into the hedge," said the Head of Flight Operations, ( these were not exactly my initial thoughts! ), "you could have crashed into our newly refurbished Airbuses on the apron." There was much sympathy from everyone at first, then the analysis into how and why it happened. My instructor had simply asked me to do a circuit and the fact that I chose to extend the landing to a spot further down the runway was my decision and one which I had to live with - and pay for! However, it is very easy to get a single seat Cricket type of gyro flying out of balance, and the result to anyone not used to being in that position can be alarming at least. I would strongly advise anyone teaching first time flyers on a 2 seater VPM to actually induce that situation so that it doesn't come as a shock if the student finds himself in that scenario in the single seater. In the VPM you have to apply 'heavy welly' to the rudder to induce the problem, and even then the aircraft will try and fight its way back into total balance and stability. This is not so in the single seaters (mine at least) and you have to know about keeping that string coming straight back at you at all times. The crosswind was not helpful but should not really have presented too much problem, but combined with the hot and sticky conditions which detracted from the performance of the rotors, prop and engine, together with my own limited novice flying skills ....... I had a problem.
Filton sympathetically but firmly said "no more gyros" (sorry everybody), but made me promise to tell them when I got my licence - which I did.

Next month : Licenced at last ! - The final hurdles.


Licenced at last! - final hurdles in the ups and downs of gyro training by Mel Morris Jones

After my exploits at Filton Chris Julian rebuilt my gyro almost as quickly as I had bent it. Crack testing and close scrutiny showed that the rotor head was o.k., but there was a very slight bend at the top of the mast and in the control stick - both had to be replaced. I managed to get hold of a second hand prop and Chris lent me the solid spar Rotorhawk blades off the St Merryn gyroglider. Everything was duly inspected, weighed, hang checked and flight tested, and I arranged to collect the gyro from St Merryn where Chris had done the flight test (but training is no longer allowed) and go with him and Tony Unwin to Perranporth for some more training. I spent the evening watching gyro videos with Chris until well into the night, then was introduced to my room mate in the caravan where I was to spend the night. This was Harry the Tarantula who lived in a glass vivarium and was, I was told, a bit of a Harry Houdini. "If he gets into bed with you don't make him jump" said Chris's wife Judy in all seriousness, "because he's got his skeleton on the outside of his body and he could damage himself if he fell to the ground." Nothing to what my shoe will do to him if he climbs into bed with me, I thought. My head was buzzing with gyros and tarantulas and so I didn't get much sleep. When I woke up, Harry had left his den and was watching me from the nearest corner of the Vivarium, no doubt ready for his breakfast.

Perranporth was to prove a sad contrast to the last time I was there. Chris had warned me not to expect the rotor blades to be as efficient as my previous ones. As these were nothing to write home about anyway I feared the worst. I was not happy with my attempts to get flying again. Chris staggered round a circuit, followed by Tony who on landing announced "sorry Mel, but I won't continue to train you on this set up." Marginal performance is really not acceptable with gyros, especially while training. I didn't want to start with another instructor at this stage of my training and anyway he was right, and any other instructor worth his salt would have told me the same thing.

At my work I had mistakenly overpriced a large contract yet won the tender, and so for once in my life I found myself with some money that belonged to me - and not the bank! Bearing in mind that I wanted to stick with my VW engine I decided to treat myself to the hugely efficient and quieter Prince P-tip propeller - PFA approved and surprisingly little more expensive than the British ones. As for rotor blades, I already knew that the real answer for my heavy old gyro was high lift carbon fibre McCutchen blades. To quote an anonymous source whose opinion I greatly respect : "they transform the machine." Anonymous because although many thousands of hours have been flown on McCutchens on VW gyros similar to mine, nobody has ever formally cleared the blades with the CAA and so they are still illegal to fly on my type of gyro. Phone calls to all of the instructors, inspectors and examiners I could get hold of - (practically all,) confirmed the blades effectiveness. So what was stopping me getting them legalised? Other individuals had tried, it seemed, but endless red tape and a lack of endless funds had scuppered their attempts. But I was now with the dear old user friendly PFA, so it was worth a try.

1½ hours test flying a full variety of maneuvers with a thorough written report, totaling three hours in all, Francis Donaldson sensibly suggested. He said it would be quicker for me to get the test flying done by David Beevers, the PFA's usual test pilot, in Yorkshire and he would be able to do the report exactly how he needed it. It may take a long time to get clearance for anyone else to test fly. His fee would be substantial but as he said, "it's my life up there." I didn't believe this to be a huge threat to his life, particularly the paperwork,but was not about to argue. A quick whip round some of the McCutchen fliers (no one wants to fly illegally) soon secured promises for the required money. Jim Montgomerie kindly offered financial help too.

I bought a good second hand set of McCutchens at a fair price - David Beevers had flown on this actual set of rotors in the days when Air Commands were still flying in this country, and he said they flew very well. The PFA told me that I could expect final clearance for the test flying imminently, then, " should be Wednesday ". I was able to take that day off work and it was a day when the test pilot was available to fly in the afternoon, so as the forecast was good I set off for Melbourne Airfield in Yorkshire well before dawn. Unfortunately my elderly trailer axle bent after crossing a far from level crossing some ten miles short of the airfield, (this turned out to be just the beginning of an awful couple of months.) Temporary repairs were made to the trailer so that I managed to get to the airfield, but phonecalls home revealed that the clearance had neither arrived by post nor fax. I had hoped to be able to take the gyro back down south straight away after the test flying but this was obviously not now going to be possible. I had arranged for it to stay at the airfield if necessary, so put it in the lean-to shed and took the trailer to be properly repaired at a local garage, with the understanding that I would be back to collect it in a couple of weeks.

Some hope! After a couple of months of waiting things went from bad to worse when the PFA told me that the CAA wanted full involvement in the testing, the 1½ hours test flying went out of the window to be replaced by what amounted to unlimited time at an unlimited cost. Every single thing down to the colour of the pilot's socks had to be analyzed, weighed, measured - you name it. I didn't know any local people well enough to help with all the various demands which seemed to come one after another - short of being there permanently myself it seemed impossible. Enough obstacles were eventually put in the way for me to realise that I was fighting a lost cause. As I had neither unlimited time nor money I decided to cut my losses, face the many "I told you so" phonecalls, and somehow get this gyro licence completed by collecting my aircraft and getting hold of what I believed to be the next most efficient type of rotor blades. These were 'Dragon Wings,' which poor Terry Holmes spent a very long time and small fortune getting approved.

I bought a 'nearly new' set of Dragon Wings on my way back from Yorkshire from David Charity, my new propeller arrived from America and soon I was driving down to Chris Julian again in Cornwall for a hang check, small adjustments and flight testing on the new setup. The only good thing to come out of the Yorkshire experience was that while I was waiting for the CAA to decide exactly what they wanted (incidentally, neither they nor the PFA ever wrote or phoned to tell me what they wanted - I had to keep phoning the test pilot), I got a pair of Henry Beevers type silencers made up by the welder of the trailer - a pilot. We did a static thrust test on my propellers. The new one produced an extra 30 lbs of thrust, which was great, but what really pleased me was that on cruise power it would fly on really low rpm - very quiet! a direct drive VW! The silencers and efficient rotors obviously played a big part too. To cap it all, Chris said he couldn't remember another 'Cricket' that flew so well.

Mel taxying in at Dunkeswell Airfield

Mel taxying in at Dunkeswell Airfield

At Dunkeswell Airfield in Devon they don't really like gyros - they once had a gyro fatality there - but the operator kindly agreed to let me complete my training there. On Friday 13th of January I arrived with gyro and Tony, my instructor, to resume my single seat training (I had occasionally been flying the two seater with him). Tony flew an extended circuit and was pleasantly surprised at how little power was needed to keep it flying - a complete contrast to the last time he had flown it! The thumbs up from Tony meant that I was on my way again, at least for half an hour until the rain came down, and so began the wettest three months in the West Country since records began!! However, I was able to snatch a few hours here and there during this time, thanks mainly to Tony's 'free time' at this time of year, and progressed well so that I was flying along the main runway doing all the exercises that I could do short of flying a circuit. Then Tony got the licence to operate from Kemble - a huge recently vacated RAF airfield near Cirencester, with hard runways in all directions. The main runway is over 1¼ miles, and all of them are clean enough to eat your dinner off! - and there is nobody else there, still! True, there is now a small microlight club also based there, but they are conspicuous only by their absence. They only seem to venture out on those rare days when the windsock is hanging limply. This place is a gyro student's dream come true - if only it had happened to me a couple of years ago!

Mel at Kemble Airfield

Mel at Kemble Airfield

The rest of my training at Kemble went quickly and relatively smoothly. Because my training had been spread out over a long time I had taken all of the ground exams twice and would soon have needed to take Air Law for a third time if I hadn't passed my GFT when I did. Mr Ernie (Simmo) Simmons examined me on a warm, sunny, windless day, and after he signed me out I was able to send everything off to the CAA. Within a week I had that elusive PPL(G) in my hand !!

My thanks to the many friends who have helped and encouraged me, in particular Chris Julian, Boris and my instructor Tony Unwin. My long suffering family must be mad to put up with me - who would have thought that a windy day on the beach at Weston-super-Mare would lead to this!

Since getting my licence I have continued to harass and pick the brains of the three above named flyers - any opportunity to learn something new or improve some technique, I will seize it. At this time I have only flown seventy something hours on gyros, but three things I have learned on my own - very nearly the hard way are :

1. Don't get too cold on long cross country flights - your brain slows up and you have to pinch yourself to be really alert for even a simple landing.
2. Don't get caught out by failing evening light when flying home into a headwind. It's easy to fly over those fascinating twinkling lights - it's the landing that is the worrying bit!
3. Carburetor icing is really scary, but isopropinol seems to be magical stuff on four stroke engines - I've no idea if it is usable on two strokes ?

........................................................................................


Short Hops. Been there - Done that - Got the licence

Shirley Jennings (the UK's first and only lady gyro flyer) has published a really excellent in-depth book on her own gyro training, the sort of things that a student gyro pilot will have to master and in a lot of places - how to do it! Shirley starts off her Forward "I am not an instructor and this is not a training manual. ............... Under no circumstances should you attempt to teach yourself. Go to a qualified instructor, train carefully - no matter how long it takes - and you will fly safely. There are no short cuts, but the reward at the end is priceless."

The book is ringbound and has 57 large sensibly written A4 pages of small print with very clear colour photographs and plenty of well explained explanatory diagrams. I would have loved to have had a book like this available for moral support and guidance when I was training. Shirley is a natural writer (and gyro flyer) and I will show you a brief section taken from one of her student Cross Country flights - this one flown in 'formation' with Simon Ledingham, a friend who was also learning to fly gyros at that time.

"As well as the Grand Prix that day, there was also a big air display being held at Duxford, due east of Silverstone. I couldn't believe my eyes as only a few miles ahead of us, the magnificent sight of a Lancaster bomber flanked by a Spitfire and Hurricane fighter emerged from a downy patch of grey. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in full splendour! I glanced down at Simon who was well below me as usual, hoping that he'd seen the proud formation too: they were only slightly higher than me and flying right across our track. I couldn't have wished for a better view.

Time stood still. Without thinking I'd brought Delta-J to a halt, and we sat poised beneath the fleecy vault of cloud watching the valiant old war birds pass in front of us, absolutely stunned. To meet them in their own element and share the sky with them for one priceless moment was beyond words, and my heart was in my mouth. Silvery wisps of stratus caressed their wings with ethereal veils, and like phantoms they slipped back into the heavens and vanished. What a treat."............

And I thought that I was the only gyro to have flown along with them!! They must think that the air is filled with gyros!

Shirley's book is priced at £15 (15 UKpounds). She says that she would gratefully accept any currency - Dollars, travelers cheques, jellybeans or anything! So just work out the latest exchange rate and I'm sure that that will do. Postage and packaging are free to anywhere in the world.

Shirley Jennings: 4 Parc-An-Drea, Whitecross Road, Cury, Helston, Cornwall, TR12 7BJ, United Kingdom. Telephone no.(UK) : 07931 457305.

If you are ever in Cornwall and want to do some gyrogliding training with Shirley at the lovely clifftop airfield of Perranporth, contact her. Her rates are £20 per hour (which mainly goes to pay the airfield owners and for maintenance on the glider). In the UK an instructors rating is not required to teach on the gyroglider - and Shirley has had a lot of experience!

 

If you are desperate enough to want to read another two articles of mine (written more recently) then click HERE - no photos yet!

 

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