The fixed wing pilot would approach the gyro with the attitude that it was going to be very easy and simple to learn to fly it. He would figure that he had a head start on learning to fly the gyro because he was already a pilot.
I had a slight touch of attitude myself when my husband and I began teaching ourselves to fly our gyro. Teaching yourself to fly the gyro was done by neccessity back then for there were no two place gyro trainers or gyro flight instructors . I was a fixed wing pilot, so I thought to myself, "the gyro is going to be very easy to learn to fly". I knew how to do take offs, straight and level, climbs and descents, landings, stalls, and all the rest that had to do with flying. But that was in airplanes. I quickly learned that the gyro was a diffeent breed of cat and knowing how to fly an airplane didn't help me at all in learning to fly the gyro.
Lucky for me my husband Docko, didn't have the same attitude I did about learning to fly the gyro. "We will learn to fly the gyro by the Bensen pilot's manual", he said. "We will learn it step by step and learn it throughly". If I wanted to fly the gyro then I had to do what he said for it was his gyro and he wanted to be sure I didn't wreck either his machine or myself. It wasn't long before I discovered the man was right ...both men, Bensen and Docko,were right. Most of what I knew about flying airplanes didn't apply to flying the gyro. So, my attitude underwent an adjustment.
Years later I went for the check ride to become a gyroplane flight instructor. Part of the test included a thorough oral exam. The inspector said , " I am a fixed wing pilot and I come to you for instruction in the gyro; what can I bring from my backgrond in airplanes that might be a problem in learning to fly the gyro?".
" ATTITUDE", I replied. The inspector slapped his hand on my shoulder and said.
" you are so right".
As a gyroplane flight instructor I had plenty of airplane pilots come for gyro flight instruction who needed attitude adjustments.They would say, " How hard can it be to learn to fly that little machine, or,I fly Bonanzas and other high performance airplanes, or, I need only about one half hour of instruction to transition to the gyro, or,I really don't need any instruction at all, or, I'm a real fast learner". I heard it all. Some of those real fast learners got a shock when they found it was more difficult to learn to fly that simple looking little machine than they had anticipated. None of them even considered that it wasn't a matter of transitioning from one aircraft to another as from a Cessna 150 to a Cessna 210 for example. Rather it was a matter of learning a completely different category of aircraft.
Then one day a man flew his Cardinal into our place to inquire about gyro flight instruction. We had one of the gyro trainers sitting on the ramp . He looked it over and said that he wanted one half hour of instruction to transition to the gyro. I explained that I couldn't teach him everything he needed to know about the gyro in one half hour and described our full flight training program. Apparently I had insulted him...He drew himself up to his full height, thumped himself on the chest and said , " I'M A PILOT! What can you possibly teach ME about flying that thing!( pointing to the gyro) ?". I replied that I probably couldn't teach him anything. He stomped off, probably thinking that I had paid him a compliment. Now there was a guy who was in dire need of an attitude adjustment.
Till next time