A Beach Cruise Treat in the Gyrocopter
A few days earlier in my training Denny, my instructor, mentioned they have taken some demo rides along the beach in Jupiter Florida. Our instruction was taking place at North Palm Beach County Airport which is about 10 miles as the “crow flies ‘from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean at Jupiter Florida. I was interested in spending 30 min to take a flight to the beach as a part of my instruction.
We decided to head out, do a quick tour of the beach (impending and intermittent rain was on the way so we might not have enough time) then head back to the practice area to prepare for my check ride on Thursday.
After takeoff we headed east. We followed a small river as our ground reference route. About 500ft above the ground the view was spectacular. Green grass and a flowing river to follow. Good practice is to keep emergency landing sites in view, just as in any aircraft, in the event of an engine failure although extremely rare. There was a road along the river which satisfied that requirement. Remember Gyros can land in small areas.
We reached the Jupiter lighthouse a great landmark then headed out to fly along the beach. The view was spectacular. The waves of the Atlantic and the spectacular beach homes made for incredible views. The wind was strong out of the east so not many people on the beach sans a few kite surfers. Denny guided me slightly away from them as sometimes they can fly up and possibly into our path. He mentioned the reef about 100 yards out to sea and that on a calmer day you can see many sharks around the reef. Even on days with swimmers in the ocean, closer in than the reef, he said “little do those people know there are sharks out there”. Not a safety issue however as these sharks apparently are consumed eating the fish around the reef.
After the beach cruise, we headed back to the practice area and went through the Practical Test Standards maneuvers to get ready for the check-ride happening the next day. Another terrific day in the Gyro. I hope I am ready!