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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:05 pm 
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I see that the latest AAIB report contains details of an accident that Ken Wallis had at Swanton Morley back in May.

There can't be too many 90 year-old pilots still actively flying single-seat flying machines! I wonder if this incident has now curtailed his flying activities. I seem to remember him losing his licence for a while a few years back.

http://www.aaib.dft.gov.uk/cms_resource ... G-ATTB.pdf


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:05 pm 
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Thanks Mike hadnt read that..
One type of flying I would never try!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:26 pm 
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Mike wrote:
There can't be too many 90 year-old pilots still actively flying single-seat flying machines!


Particularly autogyros, famed for their almost invariably fatal accident record...

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:34 pm 
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[quote="Mike"] I wonder if this incident has now curtailed his flying activities. I seem to remember him losing his licence for a while a few years back.

He was thankfully uninjured in the accident to G-ATTB. I can't imagine this incident would curtail his enthusiasm so long as his health remains sound. He's a remarkable character and seems indefatigable! I thought he had some licence restriction a few years back but that it only applied to fixed wing - which was why he disposed of some AOP9s at the time.

Some years ago I was invited by the Vintage Aircraft Club committee to introduce Ken as the guest speaker at our annual dinner. It was a great honour for me and I found him to be a charming, modest and very approachable person. He held us all spellbound regaling tales of his exploits - his involvement in Autogiros seemed to be his proudest achievement but he had a fascinating and varied fixed wing career including wartime stints in command of Wellingtons but even more suprisingly had piloted a USAF B-36 when on secondment!

I do hope he continues flying - he's such an example to us all with his zest for life and inspires those of a certain age to live life to the full!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:51 pm 
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Thanks for the Heads Up Mike.

I actually saw a small piece about this in the Daily Mirror of all places the other week!

This appears to be his second crash in one of his autogyros, as I seem to recall seeing footage of Little Nellie (I think) sustaining serious damage at a display in the UK a few years back, on one of those 'Amazing Videos' type programmes.

Does anyone know were this accident happened?

IIRC, the main rotor unit failed, causing him to hit Terra Firma with a rather rapid & severe thud! :shock: I must admit, it was very surprising to see him get himself out of the wreckage seemingly without a scratch, as looking at the footage, one would have assumed several broken bones at a minimum!

Quite a remarkable man.

Cheers

Paul


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 12:46 am 
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As a matter of interest Little Nellie was seen on a trailer behind Ken Wallis's Peugeot 205 in a layby on the A140 one Saturday morning a few weeks ago. Had I not already been on the drag I would have stopped and had a chat.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:04 am 
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DamienB wrote:
Mike wrote:
!


Particularly autogyros, famed for their almost invariably fatal accident record...

I think there is an element of uninformed hysteria on this point initially generated by the John Judge accident at Farnborough- which is now some 35 years ago.
Like any aeroplane, a Gyroplane is dangerous if attempts are made to fly it beyond its limits. I think Ken Wallis's survival of nearly 50 years of flying his delightful little aircraft is rather a tribute to their safety when flown properly.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:27 pm 
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through sheer coincidence I saw the tail end of last nights BBC 'Inside Out' programme which trailed a piece on W/C Wallis in next weeks programme.... 7.30 Monday...

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:02 pm 
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28Deg East wrote:
DamienB wrote:
Mike wrote:
!


Particularly autogyros, famed for their almost invariably fatal accident record...

I think there is an element of uninformed hysteria on this point initially generated by the John Judge accident at Farnborough- which is now some 35 years ago.
Like any aeroplane, a Gyroplane is dangerous if attempts are made to fly it beyond its limits. I think Ken Wallis's survival of nearly 50 years of flying his delightful little aircraft is rather a tribute to their safety when flown properly.



Uninformed Hysteria ? Nope.. I have read far too many fatal AAIB reports. Check it out and see for yourself.. www.aaib.gov.uk


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:32 pm 
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Sorry, for those of us who obviously don't have your knowledge of the subject, perhaps you would like to educate us a little further from the perspective of your experience in understanding gyroplane operations?
You have obviously studied the subject in some depth and I feel we could all perhaps profit from your assessment of these aircraft.
I, for one, look forward to gaining the benefit of some of your expertise in this field.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:03 pm 
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http://www.aircraftdesigns.com/gyro2.html


http://www.prachapter34.com/gyro_safety.htm


Good luck !
;-)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:10 pm 
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ARLG
I've browsed the internet sites you offer as evidence and I have a few concerns as to your argument.

Quote:
The reason for the many, many fatalities in England can be attributed to two key people, Ken Wallis and John Kitchen, who to this day still claim that gyros, with teetering rotor blades, do not need a horizontal tail. Both of these pilots have no technical understanding of the difference between static stability (which most gyros have) and dynamic stability which gyros (without a horizontal tail) do not have. They both preach, that gyros do not need a horizontal tail and many people have listened to them and have died as a consequence. In the USA, we know the truth.


I'm no expert (don't claim to be) but I'd question the validity of much of this.

The queries I have are highlighted in black
1) Many, many?--is that tens, dozens or hundreds? The website highlights an accident in 1970--that if my arithmetic hasn't yet failed me is 36 years ago. If the last time one killed someone is 36 years ago then it's a bloody sight safer than most hobbies which involve internal combustion engines.
2) Ken Wallis apparently knows nothing about these machines--interesting statement.
3)Ken wallis is also through negligence the cause of many deaths.
I'd have thought I might have heard something of all these people being killed. The news reptiles are usually keen to fill the endles hours of TV news with death.
Smells like hysterical author syndrome to me.
Got any real technical evidence?

Also from the other piece:-

Quote:
Lack of proper training is the number one killer of Gyroplane pilots


So where is the inherently dangerous machine element there?

I could make the statement:-

"Snorting Cocaine is the number one killer of solo motorcyclists"

That statement in itself doesn't make motorcycles inherently dangerous.

Please note.
I added the statement below after I'd written the stuff above. I do accept that there has been a number of fatalities since 1970.
Quote:
Also looking through the AAIB site the last three fatal accidents with these aircraft, 1989, 1996 and 2003, it seems the probability of cause is pilot error. In two cases it seems the pilots were inexperienced on the machines in question
.
I look forward to your response.
Andy

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:08 am 
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'Many' is dozens, Andy.

My original remark, to which 28Deg East seems to have objected, was that accidents in them were famously almost invariably fatal. This is perhaps overstating the case but the accident reports certainly include a lot of fatalities in the things... and ALRG's second linked page can't be brushed off. The other one slating Ken Wallis and another chap is not helpful to anybody.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:46 am 
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AIB

It’s all subjective isn’t it?

You have a nice bike... my personal view is they are death-traps and I wouldn’t get on one. I aired a similar view to gyros and am asked to back up with 'technical' knowledge?

However, I thought the two sites I offered did raise some interesting points.. critique rightly or wrongly of Ken Wallis and his designs being one.

The second and probably more useful in hindsight, being designs without horizontal stabilisers are hazardous - a factor I had seen previously in the AIB reports. I accept PIO is a main factor, its also interesting to read that many fatalities occur on the ground due to the blades coming off and leaving the pilots head exposed.

28 Deg East wrote "I think Ken Wallis's survival of nearly 50 years of flying his delightful little aircraft is rather a tribute to their safety when flown properly." My personal view is the AIB report at the start of this thread suggests he flew outside of his limits on this occasion ... and crashed, and not for the first time. Perhaps old bold pilots do exist!

That’s my last on this.. will keep my personal opinions to myself in future.

Best regards
ARLG


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:54 am 
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I last had involvement with Wallis's Autogiros in 1986 so am unaware of the accidents post that date. However, I had several discussions on their operation previous to that time, both with John Kitchin and with Ken Wallis , who converted me onto type and examined me for my gyroplane rating. I witnessed the Judge accident at Farnborough and examined the film some years later with Ken as part of the training. It was pilot error. Incidentally Ken never knowingly sold his aircraft to private individuals post 1970 so the statement made about him is pretty libellous. Also the Wallis design did adopt a small tailplane -of Spitfire planform and indeed a small canard on some as well.
Peronally I know of about six individuals , including myself, who had incidents of various sorts involving dinging autogiros. Although the results were occasionally spectacular, we all survived intact.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:27 am 
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Does anyone have any contact details for Mr Wallis. I would be very interested in talking to him about his experiences on Wellingtons.

thanks, Steve

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:27 pm 
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As an aside, there is a programme on Ken Wallis on Monday 9th (Inside out)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/east/index.shtml

Page not updated yet, but this is where you'll find the details.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:17 pm 
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Steven Hatton wrote:
Does anyone have any contact details for Mr Wallis. I would be very interested in talking to him about his experiences on Wellingtons.

thanks, Steve

He lives at Reymerston Hall, near Dereham, Norfolk. No doubt if you search Google, you'll find more details.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:11 pm 
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Thank you for the information. A letter is in the post.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:24 am 
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Just found these.

Old Warden, 1986.

Note Ken's Roller, and the 'old' Warden 'tower' which certainly had come off the back of a lorry, and is now at Breighton...

Image

Not digital technology or quality, but you can almost hear the blades scythe past...

Image

PS Andy, yup, looks like the same speakers...

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