Hello Nano Family!
I hope everyone is well and getting ready to fly. I am in Grant-Valkaria, FL for training this month. I have trained with 2 instructors down here and here are my thoughts.
Richard Lanning, PhD CFI Gyroplane @ Gyrocopter Flight Training Academy @ X26 Sebastian Airport. I flew the American Ranger AR1 gyroplane with the Rotax 914 (turbo) engine. This gyroplane has a hand brake in front of the throttle and a hand lever for pre-rotation. The aircraft is fairly short but has air foil main-gear pants. The effect of this is to nose down (tail up) at higher airspeeds. Not a big issue, just something you need to remember. The Nano does not have any of that extra lift. This Gyroplane has push pedals much like most airplanes where your heels stay on the ground unless you are pushing full pedal and have to lift to get the range. As for the instructor, Rich is very nice and knowledgeable. His instruction focuses on getting flying and the mechanics of how to fly the aircraft. No nonsense getting down to the base instruction that will get you flying fast. He does provide information about the why it works, but as part of the flight more than as a separate lesson and is not in great detail.
Raul Salazar, PhD CFI Gyroplane @ Blades Over Me @ X59 Grant-Valkaria Airport, 11 Mile North of Sebastian. I am flying a Sky Blazer with Rotax 914 (turbo) engine. This aircraft is set-up very similar to the Nano with a hand-brake on the stick and a throttle and pre-rotator on the left side. The throttle can be adjusted with the same hand you hold the pre-rotator with much like the Nano. This gyroplane is longer giving us big folk much more comfort and the pedals are rocking like the Nano with both feet fully on the pedals at all times. The aircraft itself is somewhat an airfoil giving you a much more forgiving feel at speed over the ground (ground effect). The Nano is skinny and will not produce much ground effect lift. As for the instructor, Raul is incredibly knowledgeable and a professor at the local university as well as an Aviation Safety Instructor with the FAA/EAA webinars. As such, Raul places a lot of emphasis on the how and why the gyroplane acts the way it does with control input. If you are looking for deep learning and being as safe as possible, this is the place to come. As an added bonus, Raul relates every maneuver and discussion to how the Sky Blazer, American Ranger, and the Nano differ and are similar making the training perfect for us flying something that can't really be trained in. He will also prepare a lessen plan for you for the Nano once you are ready to solo!
Either way, you will likely fly with both of these guys if you are looking for an add-on Gyroplane Rating as one will train and sign you off to test and the other will be your examiner. If you just want to be safe flying your Nano, either one will be a good choice. I have my favorite, but that may not be the same for you.
Safe flying and wherever you go, get as much training as you can and enjoy it at the same time!