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Tail wheel Flying

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Tail wheel Flying

Old 12th Apr 2014, 10:19
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Dublin
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Tail wheel Flying

I have recently completed my first lesson in a taildragger and while I really enjoyed it I am a little disappointed at my performance.
It almost seemed like learning to fly all over again. I found taxing difficult and I just wasn't quick enough using the rudders.

I can't wait to get back in the aircraft for another lesson and get more of a feel for the aircraft.

Any advise or words of encouragement from seasoned taildragger pilots would be appreciated.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 10:23
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Join Date: Apr 1999
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recently completed my first lesson

I think there's a clue here...

Once you have let this experience sink in your next lesson will feel a lot better. You will know what to expect and begin to build the natural reactions needed. Do you have to think carefully about which foot to use on the brake pedal in your car? No - it has become instinctive with practice....
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 10:30
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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I fly a tailwheel twin turbine for a living, around 1500 take off and landings a year and still have my moments.

It will get easier with time and you will find it incredibly rewarding flying. Keep an eye on the wind sock and be quick with your feet.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 10:47
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The difference is that with a nosewheel you push the pedal and keep it there until the plane is pointing where you want.
With a a tailwheel you only keep the pedal in long enough to initiate the swing, and then return it to neutral, before putting in opposite rudder in anticipation of stopping the swing at the desired point.

I'm no expert but taking this on board and using short sharp inputs rather than the longer ones I had been used to in nosewheel planes got me through my tailwheel endorsement. It took about an hour of circuits to alter my behavior and then it all started to come together.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 15:53
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Flying a tail wheel airplane is no where as difficult as many pilots make it out to be.

It is all about recognizing yaw and controlling it before it starts to become a problem controlling it.

When I teach pilots how to fly tail wheel airplanes I make sure they can control it on the ground at all speeds from slow taxi to high speed runs down the runway with the tail in the air.

When they are comfortable with direction control on the ground we go flying.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 16:51
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Sir George Cayley
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Tail wheel twin turbine? Struggling to think what that might be.

What a/c are you learning in? Sometimes the a/c handling characteristics can get in the way of making progress.

I was lucky in having docile ground handling to cut my teeth on which helped build confidence.

Stick at it - it will come good.

SGC
 
Old 12th Apr 2014, 17:20
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Join Date: Feb 2000
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Originally Posted by Sir George Cayley View Post
Tail wheel twin turbine? Struggling to think what that might be.
Turbine Dakota?

Basler Turbo Conversions - Home

G
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 17:25
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Maybe this?

McKinnon G-21G Turbo Goose (ZK-ERX) Aircraft Pictures & Photos - AirTeamImages.com

It was one of the more demanding machines I flew for a living.

But it really performed with those PT6's compared to the piston engine Goose.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 17:45
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Dep Chief PPRuNe Pilot
 
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..... a splendid murmuration of multi hued Dorniers beloved by their pax and wheeled on with both elan and panache.

Rob
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 17:53
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Can you give us a link to the machine you speaketh of Rob?
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 17:57
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..... a splendid murmuration of multi hued Dorniers beloved by their pax and wheeled on with both elan and panache.

Rob
Very kind of you Rob.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 18:02
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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I started flying a 180hp tail dragger 4 years ago, apart from the initial 10 hour insurance mandated instruction check out, the rest of my learning is self taught with lots of reading books like The Compleat Taildragger, Stick and Rudder etc. I now have about 300 hours in it.

The main points I think are as follows:
Anticipating use of the rudder.i.e don't wait till the arse starts swinging for you to get on the rudder pedals

If the wind is blowing from the right on takeoff don't assume the left turning tendencies like torque when the tail comes up will cancel out the need for a proper cross wind take off technique. Get full right aileron in and reduce it as speed picks up, if not you will find yourself skipping down the runway which is hard on then gear and if the wind is strong enough you will be heading for the bushes off the side of the runway.

When taxiing in confined spaces allow momentum to build before trying to turn, then use frequent short stabs on the brakes to get it turning which saves revving the shit out of it.

In the initial stages of learning to land, if your gonna bollox up the 3 pointer it's better to let the tail wheel contact the ground first then the mains, if you keep letting the mains touchdown first it then forces the tail down which increases your angle of attack and the whole thing balloons back up and your left 10ft above the ground in a pregnant pause on the edge of a stall.

If you get caught in a situation where the landing is pushing up against the planes or your own personal cross wind limits, land it at an angle across the runway, most runways are wide enough to allow you to shave 10 or 20 degrees of the crosswind and in a small 2 or 4 seater TD they will pull up before you run up off the tar and onto the grass on the upwind side of the runway. And don't pay any heed to what the spectators say, your the PIC and it's your safety.

All the talk about you have to be some kind of expert or super pilot to fly a TD is nonsense, just treat every Takeoff and landing with full concentration (as you should with any plane regardless of type) and think thru what the wind is doing and the config needed to combat and/or use it to your advantage.

And finally I am sure you've heard this before, you ain't done obsessing about wind direction till it's in the hangar.

Every day is a school day !
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 18:23
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Tailwheel landings

Hi Logie101,

I did the whole of my PPL on tail-wheel aircraft (or 'conventional undercarriage' as we called it then,) from scratch. (Anyone flying nose-wheel then was considered posh).

One thing I clearly remember my instructor saying to me was that even when I had completed my PPL course, I should expect that only about three of my landings in every ten would really be any good.

So in the early stages post PPL I should not be dispirited if I found myself frequently doing go-rounds and making a second attempt. It would require some post qualifying experience before I would be able to land tidily first attempt.

Good luck Logie101; keep at it.

BP.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 18:37
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I'm probably gonna get slaughtered for this but here goes,

I have never done a go around in my (admittedly low time) 300 TD hours due to a botched landing, even though I have had plenty of them, I find it's easier to just recover and use power and attitude to set myself up to try again without the need for another spin round the pattern.

I have done plenty go a arounds due to bad estimations of height and distance but they are usually commenced above 100 ft AGL.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 19:23
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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Logie 101


Any advise or words of encouragement from seasoned taildragger pilots would be appreciated.
When you aren't in the airplane, push the shopping cart backwards in the supermarket. You'll get the hang of it.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 19:36
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Logie 101,
I had around about 500hrs on gliders, and 150 hrs on nose wheel aircraft when
I converted to a chipmunk. Took around 4 hours on grass.
Have over a 1000 hrs now on a Pawnee and Grob 109, and still hate landing
on a hard runway.
You will get to grips with it shortly, and will never stop learning.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 20:32
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As with successful cornering on a motorcycle, you have to 'Look Deep'. Look as far ahead as you can and soon you'll get your 'eye in' and wonder what all the fuss was about.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 23:00
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logie101:

When you don't get the hang of it, have another lesson. Then a nother. Then one more, and perhaps just one more.

Sooner or later, you will get the hang of it. Every other tailwheel pilot has gone through the same learning cycle, and it gives them (and you) a new skill to add to your pilots pot of skills.

Well done for your first lesson!

Russ.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 23:30
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I fly a tailwheel twin turbine for a living, around 1500 take off and landings a year and still have my moments.
You a meatbomber guy?
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Old 13th Apr 2014, 02:26
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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I occasional fly a 100hp PA18-95

Are you on tarmac or grass? I know the cub really prefers the grass as it doesnít hurt it footsies as much. In fact if you walk past the cub while itís sleeping in the hangar you may it see it dreaming of flying through the trees and landing on riverbeds, beaches and farmers fields, that where it really wants to be. If I win the lottery I may buy one and release it back into the wild.

Give it a few lessons and it gets to know you and it will behave a whole lot better, always have to watch it as it will occasionally remind you to remember where you are.

As for getting flying advice on technique such as rudder pressure etc. from the internet you have to make sure it canít sense you are using internet sourced tips. This cub is 3x as old as the internet, it thinks itís just a fad, it may starting trying to flick its tail in protest
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