In January, of 2014, I bought a used Air Command Gyroplane. I took it completely apart and rebuilt it with many, many upgrades. I named my Gyroplane the “N.O.V.A. Cop-Ter", because my business is N.O.V.A., and I'm a Cop. The picture below on the left is of the used Air Command Gyroplane when I first bought it. The picture on the right was taken 2 years later after I re-built it.
Visit the "N.O.V.A. Cop-Ter" link to see all that was done.
N90135 - N417PC - N395SC
My History of Flying
Sgt. Charlie Wakamatsu
I started my law enforcement career in 1984, with the Honolulu Police Department in Hawaii. In Hawaii, I was a patrol officer in the downtown Waikiki area, as well as in the Intelligence and Enforcement Unit investigating organized crime. In 1988, I moved to Orem, Utah, to work for the Orem Police Department. In Orem, I was assigned to patrol, the gang task force, and the Community Education Unit teaching citizens about safety, drugs, gangs, bullying, and media awareness. I was crossed trained as a fire fighter, and became an Arrest Control Tactics Instructor.
In 2003, I was assigned by the Police Chief to create a new drug awareness program. With the help of Dr. Paul Jenkins, a child and family Psychologist, and several officers, the “N.O.V.A. Principles” program was created. You can learn more about the N.O.V.A. Principles program by going to www.novaprinciples.com.
In 2013, I stumbled across a Gyroplane video on YouTube. My first reaction was, “What in the world is a Gryoplane? After watching a ton of Gryoplane videos, I wanted to see one up close and fly in one. I learned that in my home State of Utah, Airgyro Aviation out of Spanish Fork Airport, had one and that they do introductory flights. I flew in an Autogyro Calidus (picture of the red Gyroplane below) with CFI Mike Burton and the rest is history.
My Six Chuter Paragon PPC Adventure!
When I first started dreaming of flying Gyro's back in September of 2013, I knew I wanted to acquire a tandem 2 seat Gyro someday. I did not get into the sport just to fly around by myself, my dream was to share the thrill of flight with family and friends. However, along the way I ran into a snag.
On December 5, 2016, the engine seized on my single seat "NOVA Cop-Ter". I knew it would cost at least $9K to fix, however, I wanted to upgrade my Gyro so it would fly better and be safer, and realized that it would cost about $16K to do so. As I pondered about what to do, the thought came to mind that I should turn my Gyro into a 2 seat Tandem Air Command. However, I soon realized that this project would cost about $23K, and would take at least 1 year to complete.
Months rolled by when one day I talked to an owner of a Tandem Air Command who recommended I not build one. He said that it is an outdated aircraft and I would not be happy with it. He suggested I get a $50K - $70K Autogyro MTO Sport instead. As I thought about this, I realized that he was right, I would not be happy with a Tandem Air Command, and I would want something better. However, I also came to the conclusion that I could not afford a $50K+ aircraft, I could not afford the $5K+ yearly insurance for it, nor the $150/month hanger fee, nor the cost to maintain it.
In late October, 2017, something wonderful happened! I was on Youtube and came across some Paramotor, PPG (powered paraglider), and PPC (powered parachute) videos and and became intrigued. The more I learned about them, the more interested I became. I spent hours and hours doing research, and became very interested in one particular make of PPG. I was all set to purchase it, but then learned though further research that there are no PPG's in the US that will legally allow a person to fly with a passenger. I talked to several different PPG Reps about this problem, and they said that most people just do it anyway, and pretty much coached me into thinking that it's just what people do and that it would be fine.
Well, that just did not sit well with me. The thought that these people would sell me a PPG and suggest that I fly it illegally was just wrong. At this point, I began to feel my dream of flying with a passenger was slipping away.
Then I talked to Paul Plack, the Guru of Aviation, and told him of my dilemma. He said that it was possible to take up a passenger legally, however, just not in a PPG... It would need to be in a PPC. He said that there are only a handful of PPC manufactures that are FAA certified to allow this. So I went back to the drawing board.
I was able to find several PPC manufactures, where I could buy and register a PPC with the FAA and get an "N" number that would allow me to take up a passenger. However, the problem was that these PPC's were certified aircraft, meaning I could not do repairs on them, I could not do the Annual Inspection on them, and they either came with a Rotax 582, or Rotax 912 engine, which I did not want. They also cost $35K+.
Then I came across Six Chuter PPC's - I could not believe it. They are the only PPC manufacturer that sells a PPC kit that allows a person to do a 51% build, where I could build one as I wish, where I could do my own repairs and modifications, where I could do my own Annual Inspections, and where I could use an engine of my choice! Subsequently, I did tons of research on Six Chuter PPC's, and soon realized that this was the way to go for me. In my opinion, everything about Six Chuter PPC's was 1st Class! For me, it was not just the only choice, it was hands down the BEST choice!
I sent an email to Six Chuter asking for information about their PPC's. Doug Maas, the President of Six Chuter, responded to my email, and let me tell you... Doug is absolutely an amazing guy! Doug is a class act and in a league of his own when it comes to customer service, advise, and the products he manufactures and sells! I can't explain just how wonderful it has been working with Him. Just when I thought he has given me the best deal possible and I'm so happy with it, he comes up with yet another way to give me even a better deal! I honestly don't know why anyone would want to deal with anyone else but Doug and his company! There is no sugar coating here... It is the plain and simple truth!
So, what did I end up buying? I ended up buying a Blue, Six Chuter Paragon AM, with an Aeromomentum AM13, 100 hp engine.
When I fly Gyro's, I call myself Gyrocho. Now that I will be flying PPC's. My wife suggested Paracho... Why not? Paracho it is! Para... Short for Parachute of course... And Cho for my family nick-name that I grew up with.
Then I got to thinking... I will need an "N" number for my PPC. I thought long and hard and decided on N417PC. It was available so I reserved it. 417 is my wedding anniverary month and day, and PC is the phonetics for Papa Charlie. Well, it just so happens that my 14 Grandchildren call me PawPaw, and my first name is Charlie... I think I like that... A lot!
Go to the Six Chuter Paragon AM Build link above to see the build!
Sad News for N90135 - The N.O.V.A. Cop-Ter
On December 5, 2016, the engine on the N.O.V.A. Cop-Ter seized and is now no longer operational. I have been weighing my options for a long time, and after much thought, I have decided to get into PPC (powered parachute) flying and to buy a Six Chuter PPC instead of fixing the N.O.V.A. Cop-Ter. If all goes according to plan, I will be up and flying my Paragon AM PPC before the summer of 2018. See the "Six Chuter Paragon AM" link at the top of this page to learn more.
In the interim, as I don't want to stop flying, I have fixed up a once, non-flying Sportcopter Gyro, and am flying it presently. Here are some videos of me flying the Sportcopter Gyro. Enjoy!
I first soloed the N.O.V.A. Cop-Ter on April 18, 2016. Then, on June 6, 2016, I received my Sport Pilot License. I have put several video's of me flying the N.O.V.A. Cop-Ter on YouTube. To view these video's of me flying the N.O.V.A. Cop-Ter, click on the buttons below. Enjoy!
This is me on April 7, 2016, after soloing for the first time in this Autogyro MTO Sport.