Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Worldwide > The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions
Reload this Page >

Question: Landing tail-wheel aircraft in a tail wind

The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

Question: Landing tail-wheel aircraft in a tail wind

Old 23rd Feb 2011, 10:17
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,995
Question: Landing tail-wheel aircraft in a tail wind

Latest issue of the magazine "Australian Flying" (March-April 2011) features a regular flight safety column by South African pilot, Jim Davis. See page 75.

He reports on a Citabria that ground-looped while landing in a 10-12 knot tailwind. What had me mystified was part of his report which stated:

"The rudder steers a taildragger on the ground, but for it to work properly the wind must come from the front. As the aeroplane slows down the rudder gets less effective and eventually starts working in reverse - right rudder turns you left. So the groundloop was not surprising."

I have flown a few taildraggers in another life but cannot recall the rudders working in reverse as the aircraft slows down.

Can someone please explain the rudder in reverse theory, put forward by Jim Davis?
Centaurus is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2011, 10:20
  #2 (permalink)  
Silly Old Git
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: saiba spes
Posts: 3,729
It would take a massive skill failure to ground loop a Citabria in any conditions
tinpis is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2011, 10:29
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 11
I guess once the tailwind component exceeds forward speed the wind could catch the deflected rudder and push the tail the opposite way to what's intended...?
avnut is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2011, 10:33
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Qld troppo
Posts: 3,468
One of only two occassions that I have been close to bending an aeroplane was landing a C185 with a tailwind.

Oh, but that was cause I ran out of runway!

Dr


PS: Fortunately the rudder saved the day - working in the correct sense!
ForkTailedDrKiller is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2011, 10:47
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Londonish
Posts: 780
Quite - with sufficient tailwind you'd maybe have reverse flow over the rudder - notwithstanding any propwash. In my humble opinion, the chances of that providing sufficient reverse control to effect a groundloop - minimal. I'd be more concerned about the earlier reduction in effectiveness in it's normal operation. Anyway, the toebrakes still work (and in the correct sense..)
Mark1234 is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2011, 10:48
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,102
Sometimes Mr Davis just seems to get way off track.
10 kts of wind from the rear vs some little forward speed plus a little bit of propeller slipstream still equates to forward airspeed over the tail. True that the tailwind results in less airflow over the tail so that in itself is a factor

I wonder if he was thinking of this scenario - tailwind so a long float - try to get it on the ground but still going fast as it touches down - stick a long way from back - perhaps the stick even bounced forward as the tail came down - he/she doesn't do anything about moving the stick back further - no load on the tailwheel so not much directional control as the airspeed reduces .....
djpil is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2011, 10:51
  #7 (permalink)  
Silly Old Git
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: saiba spes
Posts: 3,729
Anyway, the toebrakes still work (and in the correct sense..)
Yes, there's nothing quite as frightening as the old reverse sense toes brakes syndrome, its right up there with a Thronomister failure.
tinpis is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2011, 10:57
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Paradise
Age: 61
Posts: 1,370
Question: Landing tail-wheel aircraft in a tail wind
Just one question............why?
chimbu warrior is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2011, 11:11
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Qld troppo
Posts: 3,468
Just one question............why?
Hmm! Well in my case - landing the other way was kinda scarey due to the geography and various man-made obstructions, and I failed to detect the big gust that hit me up the arse when I least expected it!

Dr
ForkTailedDrKiller is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2011, 11:12
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: YBBN
Posts: 1,025
10-12kt tailwind wouldn't be enough to overpower slipstream effect, even at idle power, would it?
Maybe he ground looped it trying to turn and stop before the end of the runway
Pyro
PyroTek is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2011, 11:36
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 449
Maybe thinking about taxiing and applying opposite direction aileron when you have a quartering tailwind?
Cynical Pilot is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2011, 20:37
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Under a wing
Age: 57
Posts: 724
There are times when operating with tailwinds on landing, are unavoidable. Ag- ops for eg. It just requires a bit more focus. There should be no reason to float in a t/w aircraft, since one can plant the mains at any speed. My 2cents.
185
185skywagon is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2011, 21:01
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: these mist covered mountains are a home now for me.
Posts: 1,665
I'm concerned that some people are over calculating just how much thrust their prop puts out at idle...

Twelve knots of tailwind is quite a lot, and in a bulk package. Whereas an idle slipstream is minimal in comparison.
Runaway Gun is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2011, 23:11
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Qld troppo
Posts: 3,468
since one can plant the mains at any speed.
Plant
Plant Plant Plant Plant Plant Plant



Last edited by ForkTailedDrKiller; 24th Feb 2011 at 02:35.
ForkTailedDrKiller is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2011, 00:46
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Under a wing
Age: 57
Posts: 724
Not me, Doc. And I never will again......
185skywagon is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2011, 01:05
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NZ
Posts: 181
Why do so many people spend so much time working out which rudder and how much they need before they get into the aeroplane?
Fly it with your ass and use what you need to keep it STRAIGHT.

Going back to the point, a tailwind landing was the time I had my scare, in a Pitts. It probably wasn't as big a deal as I made it out to be but it caught me well off guard that's for sure, because I hadn't checked the windsock out to notice the windchange....
M14_P is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2011, 01:11
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: ChCh NZ
Posts: 402
It can be difficult planting the mains in a taildragger in a tailwind situation. We are generally talking one-way strips which often have a slope to aid the shorter length.
The trap is the negative wind gradient effect encountered on short finals, - the airspeed is trying to increase just as you are endeavouring to wash off the speed.
The tendency is then to throw the mains on the ground, in turn leading to a bounce.... and another etc.
The tailwind chews the remaining runway up very quickly, the bloody wheel brakes aren't working from 3 feet up.... oh s**t....
Nowhere to go, one-way strip..
Finally on the deck, no runway left, too fast to brake before the end....
panic.... hard on one rudder/brake(even harder) and prevent the over-run..

Phew... made it.. !!
(in a fashion..)

That wasn't so scary was it pax ??
baron_beeza is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2011, 02:51
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Under a wing
Age: 57
Posts: 724
I generally wouldn't land downwind with pax anyway only on Ag-type ops. No probs putting mains on in the 185.

baron, I mainly deal with fairly flat country, where you can go ahead and go around. Different story on a true one way strip.

Just to clarify, that it can be a dangerous practice if you don't have a plan B organised if things aren't looking right.

Last edited by 185skywagon; 24th Feb 2011 at 03:09. Reason: clarification
185skywagon is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2011, 03:09
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 753
Why do so many people spend so much time working out which rudder and how much they need before they get into the aeroplane?
Fly it with your ass and use what you need to keep it STRAIGHT.
Agreed doesn't matter how much is discussed/flight sim'd/read, doing it is the only way. It can even vary between aircraft of the same type. Downwind landings are used a lot on AG op's.

Last edited by Super Cecil; 24th Feb 2011 at 03:11. Reason: to optimize dynamic abstractions
Super Cecil is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2011, 05:24
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: somewhere in Oz
Age: 50
Posts: 913
Originally Posted by 185skywagon View Post
... Different story on a true one way strip.

Just to clarify, that it can be a dangerous practice if you don't have a plan B organised if things aren't looking right.
What is plan B on a one-way strip?
Andy_RR is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.