WA pilots try out a gyrocopter at Bunbury Aero Club

The monthly big breakfast at Bunbury Aero Club saw pilots arrive from all over the state to enjoy a different site, a gyrocopter display. The display was organised by Gary Butilion to give pilots a chance to get a closer look at the plane-helicopter hybrid. 

The rotor above the aircraft is unpowered and requires wind or airflow to keep it rotating, which generates the lift of the plane. The propeller at the back is similar to a fixed wing aircraft and propels the aircraft forward. 

The gyrocopter flies at an average speed of 60 to 70 knots and is capable of hovering, similar to a helicopter but is unable to increase its height during the hover. 

Bunbury Aero Club member Michelle Piotrowski recently obtained her private pilots licence and was keen to take a flight in the gyrocopter to expand her experience in light aircraft. 

“There is only a small area of carbon fibre between you and the outside world but it turns out that is part of the thrill,” she said. “The take off was a lot steeper than normal and with no wings in the way, the uninterrupted view was unbelievable.”

Experienced Bunbury instructor Peter Kamp also took a trial flight and said, taking the controls, he was surprised to find the gyro handles like a regular three axis aircraft. 

To attend a big breakfast or for more information about flying, contact Bunbury Aero Club on 9725 4377.