Monday, May 17, 2010

The plan for getting back in the air after 'gyro in the lake incident'

Greetings again from Thailand! It's been just over a week since my unscheduled stop off began and I initially thought that was the end of my circumnavigation record attempt. Photo shows Norman 'suited, booted and rearing to go' at a Buddhist Temple near Nongprue, Thailand (may be used with permission

However, the expeditious retrieval of the aeroplane prevented any permanent water damage and after removing the outer yellow bodywork shell things looked more positive. The crucial, fundamental structure of any aircraft is its airframe and on the gyro that frame comprises a central, horizontal keel running the entire length of the aircraft. This keel directly supports the tail section and also the vertical rotor mast. All the other components of the aircraft are supported from this box section stainless steel skeleton.

Although GYROX suffered superficial damage to the fixed undercarriage, fortunately the main airframe keel retained its integrity. Norman with the Nong Prue crew who saved the day L to R. Dan, Steve, Peter, Norman, Ian, Paul, Tom, Tiger (Owner Nong Prue Airfield).(may be used with permission

The main damage has been a bend in the main rotor mast section about 3 feet down from the rotorhead. This was sustained as the gyro turned over in the lake. The engineers have examined the damage and it appears we are going to be able to cut out the damaged part of the rotor mast where it attaches to the box section and weld in a new piece to repair the damage. An approved CAA/DCA (Thai CAA) welder has obtained authority from the UK CAA to work on the aircraft and will be brought in to make good the repair to the required standards.

Once this has taken place then we will put the stripped down aircraft back together and carry out checks on the instrumentation for long-term water damage and other electrical components on the aircraft. The engine was run shortly after the event but this will be re-checked prior to flight trials and rotor balancing. Photo shows Norman's personal items being cleaned and dried not long after the 'autogyro in the lake' incident (may be used with permission

I will issue some regular reports as the process proceeds to get GYROX airborne again. The anticipated timescale is approximately 2 to 3 weeks, depending on the availability of people and parts.

There are worse places than Pattaya for an enforced stop over!


  1. Glad to hear things are looking up and there is now a timescale for a return to the air. Best of luck with the repairs, and I look forward to hearing how things are progressing.

  2. The best news we've had for ages. Thank goodness for the quick reactions of the guys at Nongprue and great respect goes to you Norman for not giving up. The spirit of adventure lives on in all of you. We look forward to further updates and can't wait until the day comes when you can get the go ahead to resume your adventure. Be safe and take it easy in Nongprue (it must be hard having to spend time in paradise ;-)and restart your quest refreshed and with new hope! The rest of the world is waiting for you :-)

  3. Nice to hear that you are still optimistic about completing the mission Norman. Fingers crossed all round.

    In the meantime here's a little video to amuse the supportes whilst we await your ETD.



  4. Good to hear its repairable and can be put back together Norman. I think it's almost time to move on with the next leg of the circumnavigation anyway. Thanks for the update and letting us know the situation. Still rooting for you Norman,good luck for now.

  5. I'd like to thank Frank for the video he postd the link to. After the great news we recieved today from Nongprue, his video was quite watchable, with a wry smile ;-) Cleverly done and a great message at the end :-)

  6. Dorothy ThompsonMay 17, 2010 at 9:13 PM

    Just read the good news Norman.The very best of luck with all the repairs to get you in the air again.
    We knew you would not give up on your journey.
    All in Larne will be thinking about you.

  7. Great news, Norman and thank you for the update. Now to get chopping some air again will be sweet sounds to the ears.
    Looking forward to you getting here to Vancouver.
    Some Alaska pics to look at when you have time:

    John from near Garvagh NI. but now living in

  8. Thanks very much Norman for all the details in your update....interesting to see what's needed, the time frame involved, but most importantly that it looks good for continuing!! Up, Up and Away !! Best of luck, Randy Findlay, Burnaby, B.C. Canada.

  9. Norman, great news, hope the repairs and testing go well and you are up in the air in no time. Have been following your quest for some time, and was very disappointed to read of the mishap. Cheering you on from Canada