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Tricks of the trade for flying tailwheel?

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Tricks of the trade for flying tailwheel?

Old 15th Nov 2020, 10:23
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Tricks of the trade for flying tailwheel?

Gday all,

Hope you are all well,

I have recently booked myself in for a Tailwheel endorsement down at Tyabb, and am wondering if anyone has any tips for a bloke with limited to no experience in flying a taildragger.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Mach 1
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 10:35
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Yep. Why not let the person doing your endorsement provide the tips?
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 10:42
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Yeah. Well I could, but I thought it might be a bit more beneficial to ask some questions here to get my head around it before I embarrass myself.
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 10:47
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- keep it straight on the takeoff and landing roll. Best to overcontrol than let it get away.
- keep off the brakes during takeoff / landing roll.
- if you think youíve achieved the three point attitude on landing, go a bit further. Touching down mains first during a three point landing will result in a bounce, touching tailwheel first wonít.
- 2 bounces then go-around, donít wait to be told.
- after touchdown, keep the stick easing back until you hit the stop and hold it there.
- donít look inside or at taxiway exits during the landing roll until youíre at taxi speed. That includes resetting flaps / trim.

these notes arenít too bad.

https://www.faa.gov/regulations_poli...5_afh_ch13.pdf

what type will you be flying?

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Old 15th Nov 2020, 10:55
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When I did my tailwheel conversion I was told it would help to take tap dancing lessons ! I got the point.
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 11:06
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Talking

Originally Posted by roundsounds View Post
- keep it straight on the takeoff and landing roll. Best to overcontrol than let it get away.
- keep off the brakes during takeoff / landing roll.
- if you think youíve achieved the three point attitude on landing, go a bit further. Touching down mains first during a three point landing will result in a bounce, touching tailwheel first wonít.
- 2 bounces then go-around, donít wait to be told.
- after touchdown, keep the stick easing back until you hit the stop and hold it there.
- donít look inside or at taxiway exits during the landing roll until youíre at taxi speed. That includes resetting flaps / trim.

these notes arenít too bad.

https://www.faa.gov/regulations_poli...5_afh_ch13.pdf

what type will you be flying?
Thanks for those tips! trying my hand in a decathlon, and did some aerobatics in it last year (about 5 hours) but never landed or took it off, only taxied and flew the thing upside down a bit, but I have caught the bug and am chomping at the bit to fly it!
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 11:08
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Originally Posted by ancientaviator62 View Post
When I did my tailwheel conversion I was told it would help to take tap dancing lessons ! I got the point.
Shame I cant tap dance! ive been told to "KEEP IT STRAIGHT" ill keep this in mind!
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 11:34
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Tailwheel Issues

Very much a 'type' issue and how good your type checker is.
However there are a couple or things you can do to be ahead of the system.
Know how 'your' actual tail wheel/skid should work.
In the case of a TW there are several types which run from fully castoring to lockable, and the common spring connected types with a self center bias**.
In the case of a skid some are fixed and some steerable.
If you understand the way the TW 'should' work it helps.
X winds are more of an issue with a TW so be aware of this and the limitations.
Grass surfaces are a bit more TW friendly, but if you are faced with a tarmac situation be very aware of an out of wind situation and/or a zero wind as any departure from the norm will be more 'lively' and faster. Be Aware, Anticipate, and have sensible limits whilst you build EXPERIENCE which is the real teacher.
** These are common on lots of TW machines, but need to be correctly set up as they involve springs and 'break out' systems. your local engineer can explain how it works, but make sure the springs are connected when its wheeled out.
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 11:39
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Originally Posted by Mach1Muppet View Post
Shame I cant tap dance! ive been told to "KEEP IT STRAIGHT" ill keep this in mind!
Just enjoy it. Flying tailwheel is exactly the same as what you know. The takeoff and especially landing will certainly make you use the rudders! As before, stay off the brakes and stall it onto the runway.
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 11:41
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Originally Posted by Capt Fathom View Post
Yep. Why not let the person doing your endorsement provide the tips?
So using some nous, trying to get a "bigger picture" by asking on a website for thoughts/input from people who, you know, well....actually have experience and might contribute...is a bad thing??

Strange concept that I'll fight to the grave! Against increasingly oppressive odds so it seems!

Cheers
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 11:44
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No big deal, flying conventional U/C machines are just learning another skill. The 'bogey-man' mentality is alive and well out there when it comes to the third wheel in the correct location. Enjoy the ride, the experience will make you a better handling pilot but don't over think it! -)
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 12:13
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Blimey! When I learnt to fly, there was no such thing as a "Tailwheel conversion". With the possible exception of the Piper Tri-Pacer, everything was tailwheel, even the the twin I did my multi on. Fings is different now, it seems.
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 12:33
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You will no doubt be briefed "when in doubt - go around" Well that all depends if you are talking about approaching to land too high. Then you have no choice but to go-around using the correct go-around procedure for the aircraft type. The POH should tell you the procedure because a specific flap retraction sequence may come into it.
.
if you happen to bounce on landing then all you do is apply a little power and ease the aircraft down and land ahead as long as you have enough room. . It's called "cushioning" the bounce.

Ask the instructor to demonstrate how to land from a bounce. It is perfectly safe providing you use good airmanship and good judgement. If he refuses to do so he has probably never done it himself. He shouldn't be an instructor in that case
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 14:28
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When you put the nose down on takeoff remember that the prop is a gyro and will go left or right depending on the machine.

Don't land too fast in a supercub or you will ground loop.

Phil
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 15:56
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Pedal like a bastard and pull the stick into your belly as soon as you touch down (in a three-point landing), and pedal like a bastard. Tap-tap, tap-tap on the pedals. Don't put in a bootfull of rudder and then leave it there or you'll just create the opposite problem to what you had; put it in and then take it off. Tap-tap, tap-tap.

Don't let it get away from you, sort out any deviations immediately, be quick and sharp on the pedals. I always reckon that a pilot has got the hang of tail draggers when he knows what the aeroplane is about to do and stops it before it does it.

In the air you just need to get used to co-ordinating turns with some rudder, the differences are all on the ground. It's not magic, and it's not the stuff of supermen. Stay both relaxed and alert and just make sure you enjoy yourself.
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 16:15
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Also think about taxiing - you don't have a good view over the front so have a clear idea of where you are going before takeoff and after landing
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 16:25
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Just remember it is UNSTABLE on the ground and you only have limited forward vision
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 16:30
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Start the take off roll with the stick well forward to get the tail up early, as it comes up and the aircraft speeds up ease off to avoid going nose down. When you reach the stall speed for your weight and flap setting add 5 kts, then get off the ground cleanly into a positive climb. You don't want to be mushing along, barely flying, maybe bouncing a bit, which is what happens if you heave it off before it can fly nicely.

Caution; that worked for me with the Austers I learned on, and later a Prentice, others may be different.

Become au fait with precession (see peco above) and how to handle crosswinds.

If you want to fly it on to a wheelie, use a trickle of power. For a 3-point landing (for proper pilots) plan your approach so that you can chop the power at 500 ft and glide from there to your aiming point. Trying to use power, ie dragging it in on the prop, for a 3-point landing is a recipe for disaster. Especially if the engine quits at the wrong moment. Indeed, use every landing as a forced landing practice.

When you want to show off, execute your approach in a series of sideslips, or curving in on a sideslip, so that you can keep an eye on where you're going. Either way the sideslip should terminate low enough to straighten out and touchdown as soon as the aircraft is straight. OK, that's for later after a bit of practice!

Last edited by old,not bold; 15th Nov 2020 at 16:48.
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 17:12
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Take off's are fairly straight forward, once you've got the hang of keeping the nose pointed straight down the runway, it's muscle memory and after a few goes you'll put in the right amount of boot to keep her straight.

Landings are slightly different, tail draggers will ground loop if you don't stay ahead of the plane. Tap dancing is a good description, bear in mind you won't have power so less rudder authority, you may need full rudder to stop incipient swings. Hand on the throttle to give more authority to the rudder if needed (or to go around if you're not comfortable).
Control your speed as always, don't come in hot and wheel it on, especially with a cross wind component. Try and stall it on with stick right back as you land, any energy you lose before landing is a bonus,

Agree with previous comments about grass being kinder than tarmac, tarmac with a cross wind component can be challenging, my experience is Piper Super cub and Auster Autocrat, other types may differ.
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 17:23
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M1Muppet, the UK's Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB) knew you would be asking this question, and so very thoughtfully published the results of an inquiry into a Hawker Hurricane accident in their November accident bulletin. Apart from the obvious benefit of understanding how other people got into accident or incident scenarios, there is a great summary on some of the factors behind ground looping and dealing with a crosswind in a tail dragger. Well worth a read, and it will encourage you to find out where your tail dragger's C of G sits!

https://assets.publishing.service.go...HRLI_11-20.pdf
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