How fast does a gyroplane fly?

A gyroplane flies between 35-100 kts, while maintaining altitude.  It can slow to zero forward airspeed, but only during a gentle descent.

How high can a gyroplane fly?

Performance varies greatly among Gyroplanes, but most can easily climb to 7,000 or 8,000ft.  But practically, most people fly much lower, typically from 500 to 3,000 ft.

The sport pilot certificate restricts maximum altitude to 10,000 feet MSL

(with a 2,000 feet AGL exception for mountainous areas)

Can I take cross-country flights in a gyroplane?

Yes! Just like with airplanes, you can enjoy exploring new scenery and visiting new airports.  For example, our AutoGyro MTO Sport carries enough fuel for nearly four hours of endurance.  We don't often fly for that long at once, but it means you don't need to refuel at every place you land either.

 

How many people does the MTO Sport AutoGyro fit?

Two, the pilot plus one passenger or CFI

 

How is a gyroplane different than a helicopter?

A gyroplane can do everything a helicopter can do except hover and take off vertically. A common sales statement is 'A gyroplane can do 90% of what a helicopter can do, at 10% of the operating cost".

The primary flight controls consist of the cyclic (stick), rudder pedals, and throttle.  There is no Collective control, because the angle of attack of the individual rotors does not change mechanically, the rotors are thought of more as a 'disk'. 

Do I need a medical certificate to fly a gyroplane?

No, an FAA Medical Certificate is not required to fly under Sport Regulations.  Alternatively, you DO need to possess a valid Driver's License. 

Do I need a pilot certificate (license) to fly a gyroplane?

Yes. To fly in the U.S., you need a gyroplane rating, under either a private or sport pilot certificate.

 

How do I obtain a Gyroplane Pilot Certificate?

To become a Sport Pilot, 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 a knowledge test, and complete a minimum of 20 hours of training in a gyroplane.

If you already have a pilot certificate, obtaining a gyroplane rating takes an average of 10 to 15 hours of training with a Gyroplane CFI to prepare for an endorsement flight check with a second, different Gyroplane CFI.

Do any restrictions affect where I can fly an Gyroplane?

Yes. The same restrictions apply as with your sport or private pilot certificate – you must comply with airspace restrictions and all FAA regulations covering certain geographical areas.  A sport pilot can fly in Class E and Class G airspace without endorsements from an Instructor.   To fly into Class B, C or D airspace, training and an endorsement is required from an Instructor.

Are gyroplanes difficult to learn to fly?

No, learning to fly a gyroplane is similar to flying an airplane, and probably easier than learning to fly a helicopter.  Many students are able to solo with less than 15 hours of dual instruction.

Is it true that Gyroplanes can be dangerous?

Just like standard aircraft, Gyroplanes have an increasingly improved safety record as they continue to develop.  Early generation Gyroplanes were largely homebuilt, made by builders with a wide range of manufacturing skills, and possibly self-trained as pilots.   The most recent generation of Gyroplanes, built within the past 10 years, are engineered to incorporate large safety margins, and flight training has improved drastically.  The European manufacturers are the leaders of the modern Gyroplane resurgence, but several American manufacturers are catching up. 

Are Gyroplanes really safer than fixed-wing aircraft?

In the case of an engine failure, a Gyroplane is probably the safest aircraft flying.  You can continue flying in the same manner while searching for a place to land.  There is no need for immediate action, like in a helicopter, to autorotate to the ground.  There is no requirement to maintain a glide speed, like in a fixed-wing aircraft.   You can descend almost vertically, you can glide much like an airplane, and you can rotate immediately in the direction of your preferred landing location.  You need about 50 feet of space to land safely.