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A "Spicy" Tailwheel Endo?

Old 23rd Feb 2017, 03:14
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A "Spicy" Tailwheel Endo?

G'day all,


After having been through the ringer for the last 18 months, things are slowing down albeit for a brief while, and I want to have some fun as well as tick off some bits and pieces for future flying.

With that said, can anyone recommend an operator or owner/instructor combination that can do a tail wheel endorsement in something a little more interesting than the standard Citabria or RV? Looking for vintage preferably.


Have had a poke around and am looking at doing it in a Chippie over in Albury, but just curious to see if there was any other local knowledge around.


Prefer East Coast of Aus.


Cheers all.
junior.VH-LFA is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2017, 03:43
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You'll probably find that a Citabria is 'spicy' enough for your first 10 tailwheel lessons.,
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Old 23rd Feb 2017, 04:00
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If you want something that will sort you out as far as tailwheel 'respect' is concerned, find someone willing to train you in a Maule M5 or M7......that is something worth experiencing.
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Old 23rd Feb 2017, 04:03
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Isn't the Citabria vintage? I did my tailwheel on one and found it challenging enough especially doing 2 wheelers. 3 Pointers were fine though. Now a Chippie would be great having had 2 air experience flights in the UK ATC when a teenager. A Tiger Moth would be even better!
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Old 23rd Feb 2017, 04:23
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Why not ring Curtis Aviation in Camden and ask what they can do? Can't hurt. I know they used to have access to a Cessna 180 (a bit of a handful for an initial tailwheel but achievable with a bit of time) and a MX7 Maule (which will also keep you on your toes).

Explain you are willing to pay to not do it in a Citabria. NB It will almost certainly take a few hours longer to do it in a C180 or Maule than in a Citabria though. Alternatively, get it in a Citabria (a very sweet fun aeroplane BTW) and then get checked out in the different ones once you have some experience with TW.

Also ask around Camden generally - there are some J3 Cubs and Tigers hiding around there that you may be able to do it in if you know the right people to ask. The J3 is a lovely aeroplane too despite looking like a toy. It has been teaching pilots how to fly well since the 1930s. It will happily embarrass people who think it is an easy aeroplane just as much as its bigger and more modern friends and will teach good habits.

I don't know of any Chipmunks at Camden anymore (there used to be) but they are also a nice plane to get a tailwheel on if you find one. They swing the opposite way on take-off to most TW planes you will fly and the brake and flap operation on landing will make you wonder why god didn't fit us with 3 hands. Take-off and climb is maybe not J3 Cub standard but still rather leisurely compared to things like the Citabria etc... once in the air - gorgeous feel

That said, don't dismiss the Citabrias. If you can fly one of those with balance, verve, polish and confidence you are doing alright - they will make you learn that the rudder is not just for taxiing and are a sweet aeroplane to fly when you master them. They will do basic aerobatics too.
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Old 23rd Feb 2017, 06:02
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I'd recommend doing it in a DHC 1 chippy. There is one at Camden, I think it is with Curtis Aviation.

Flying it is like a spitfire with a small cockpit.

They do great dead stick landing on golf courses, I did Frankston in 1984 in a Chippy, best day of my life, survived the landing and it was ladies day!!!!!!
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Old 23rd Feb 2017, 06:17
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If you want something that will sort you out as far as tailwheel 'respect' is concerned, find someone willing to train you in a Maule M5 or M7......that is something worth experiencing.
I would have thought the only thing spicy about a Maule is its steep climb angle and the roc attained. It's a nice aircraft to fly and not particularly difficult on the ground.

I support the Chippie choice and the tender mercies of Stephen Death :-)

Kaz
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Old 23rd Feb 2017, 19:12
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Aero Advance in South Australia offer TW endos in a Cessna 185.
Check out aeroadvance.com.au
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Old 23rd Feb 2017, 22:11
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I've never had anything to do with a Chippie but of the various tailwheel machines I've flown I agree with 747 that the Maule was 'interesting'.

I seem to recall they've a fairly short wheelbase so rather quick in terms of any directional movements (intended or otherwise!) on the ground.

That said I strongly concur with those that have suggested using something a little more docile, at least for your initial training. Unless you're used to driving a forklift at 100km/h across rough ground you're not going to really enjoy the machine much until you've got an hour or so under your belt...

FP.
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Old 23rd Feb 2017, 22:14
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I love the Chipmunk and have a few hundred hours in them. They do provide some very nice handling characteristics and are a great basic training aircraft. However, I think they might be a bit too docile for 'spicing up' a tailwheel endorsement. They have a wide-track undercarriage, which significantly reduces the risk of ground-looping and with proper oleo suspension you have to go some to cock up the landings/bounce. The brake system, whilst slightly eccentric, works very well and can pull you up in some pretty short distances and with the new-fangled electric starter motors you can't experience the unpleasant smell of a damp starter cartridge when it fails to start and just fizzles and smokes. To anyone else looking to fly a tailwheel aircraft I think these are all admirable traits and commend the design of the Chipmunk. For someone looking for 'spicy' then you need to be looking at a decent powered Pitts etc (which I don't necessarily think is a good way to go when getting initial training)
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Old 23rd Feb 2017, 22:22
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The Chippie is the sweetest flying airplane I've ever been in. Didn't seem particularly difficult on the ground but once in the air it is pure joy. You'll know immediately why they call it the poor man's spitfire.

Not sure if they still have one but Airborne Aviation at Camden used to have a few.
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 00:03
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Runaway Gun said it best.

I did my TW endorsement in a Citabria way back in '82. After flying one of those, the Pawnee was a 'walk in the park!'
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 00:35
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Chipmunk at Albury combines 2 desirable things - a delightful, iconic and hard to find aircraft, and excellent instructor.
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 01:15
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+ 1 for Runaway Gun, Pinky and jonkster. Easy enough to "spice it up" in something once you've got the TW endorsement. Citabria a joy to fly and I found the 2 wheelers a challenge.
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 02:08
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Junior,

Have you flown a C150, 172 or 182?
If you have, then find a 180/185 to do your training in - you will appreciate the familiar flying characteristics & being in a familiar cockpit. You will also find a 180 or 185 quite 'spicy' enough, challenging, capable and fun to fly once you can do it well.

The Chippie is the sweetest flying aeroplane I've experienced and one of my favourites. I think once you can fly a 180/185, you will transition to a DHC1 fairly easily and have more headspace to learn the vagaries of the Gypsy Major, that oh-so-British cockpit and, of course, aeros.

pithblot

Last edited by pithblot; 24th Feb 2017 at 02:19.
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 04:27
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Most of my flying has been on PT6 powered machines. I've done plenty of aero's, spinning etc.

I've flown a fair amount of tail wheel in the past, dual only Winjeel etc, just never got the endorsement.

Thanks for all the advice, let me just clarify though, by spicy and interesting I meant in a unique aircraft, not neccssirly something more difficult to operate.

I think at this stage I'll be going with Deathy and the Chipmunk.

Cheers all!
junior.VH-LFA is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2017, 05:00
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If you have TW experience on big stuff like a Winjeel and aeros/spin, why not think about a Pitts?

Roll rate like a Mirage. Will keep you concentrating on landings.

There may be other operators who have them but I know Curtis have one, explain you previous experience and I am sure they could sort you out.
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 08:59
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Pitts... BK or CN

Porter, they're fun

Cessna 185 at Kingaroy with Tony Pratt.

All fun
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 09:12
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Originally Posted by junior.VH-LFA View Post
G'day all,


After having been through the ringer for the last 18 months, things are slowing down albeit for a brief while, and I want to have some fun as well as tick off some bits and pieces for future flying.

With that said, can anyone recommend an operator or owner/instructor combination that can do a tail wheel endorsement in something a little more interesting than the standard Citabria or RV? Looking for vintage preferably.


Have had a poke around and am looking at doing it in a Chippie over in Albury, but just curious to see if there was any other local knowledge around.


Prefer East Coast of Aus.


Cheers all.
Depending upon your budget, I can do J3 Cub, Champ, Decathlon, Husky, Scout, Stearman, Beaver or Harvard.
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Old 24th Feb 2017, 12:03
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Of course, "spicy and interesting ... in a unique aircraft" for you = "risky and expensive ... if you bingle it" to an owner/operator.
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