Another Tailwheel Question

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Crashnburn, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Line Up and Wait

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    As you know, on takeoff, the nose comes down when the tail comes up and gyroscopic precession forces the nose right. You need left rudder to compensate. So, do you wait for the nose to start moving right before you feed in left rudder, or do you anticipate with a little left rudder as you advance the throttle? Thanks
     
  2. SToL

    SToL Line Up and Wait

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    Don't try to over think things. Whether tailwheel, nose wheel, clock wise or counter clock wise helicopter, you simply use whatever pedal you need to keep the nose straight. After awhile it'll all just happen instinctively.
     
  3. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Administrator Management Council Member

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    This.

    Just react quickly to things that change. Don't overthink it. It will never be the same input due to wind or other forces... so just keep the nose straight.
     
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  4. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks, I seem to be getting there. The more I do it the slower things seem to happen; I guess that’s what’s called instinct. Mostly, I try to stay out of the panic zone.
     
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  5. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Contrary to the “happy feet” advice that you probably hear a lot, I’d say it’s more about your eyes...notice the changes earlier and you’ll need smaller corrections. Anticipating can cause far more trouble than it solves.

    My favorite movie quote as it relates to aviation... “Aim small, Miss small”.
     
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  6. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If you are flying a big engine monster, there is likely a big effect as the tail comes up. If you are flying something with a Rotax, Continental 85 or the like, you are not likely to even notice - particularly when compared to wind gusts and that sort of thing.
     
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  7. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    When the tail comes up, gyroscopic precession forces the nose left, so you need right rudder to compensate.

    But as others said above, you don't anticipate, just add rudder as necessary to keep it going straight.
     
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  8. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

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    I will point out that every tail wheel plane is different. Even within type.
    Within the group of three Cubs I regularly fly, they all have obvious differences in the use of the rudder (and brakes) on the ground, and in the air.
    Learn the airplane and the technique will take care of itself.
    From type to type things can get really crazy.
     
  9. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Pattern Altitude

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    Flying is part science, part art. Sometimes you have to just fly the airplane without overthinking it.
     
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  10. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    I rarely anticipate because there are too many other factors in play. Soft surfaces, winds, etc. I react. The more you fly the more acute your senses are and you'll react quicker with less thinking. And conversely on the days you aren't as sharp as you could be or you're distracted you'll react a little slower. We all have those days occasionally.

    What model plane? Smaller tail draggers make you work your feet. Bigger ones like Skywagons not as much. Go fly a Cub on a bumpy day where you lift the wings with rudder. It'll wake your feet up better than anything I know.
     
  11. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    Never try to plan for what rudder inputs you'll need on takeoff or landing. You watch the nose and end of the runway and when they just start to think about considering maybe coming out of alignment a little bit kinda sorta, you put in whatever input is necessary to talk them out of thinking about such nonsense.
     
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  12. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    ...and all this time I thought gyroscopic precession was one of the four left-turning tendencies. o_O

    :p
     
  13. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Pattern Altitude

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    One of the reasons I specifically drop the "left" out of my lessons and just teach turning tendencies.
     
  14. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Size of the engine doesn’t really matter that much because......bigger engine birds have rudder trim!

    I don’t have to use any more rudder on the T-6 (600hp) than I did on my 145hp Cessna 170. If anything, I use less.

    The big killer with regards to directional control on takeoff in any tailwheel (but can be worse in some high HP warbird fighters and other big tailwheels like the Beech 18) is forcing the nose down/tail up too early. I’ve seen and read about more loss of control on takeoff accidents from that than anything else.

    Don’t be in a hurry to get the tail up. And don’t do it too quickly/abruptly when you do.
     
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  15. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    While it is quite possible to get familiar enough with some tailwheel to just react, there are a lot of good
    Reasons for Happy feet...

    Feel the width of the dead or slack area in the rudder, this width often changes as speed changes.

    Feel how much you need to move the rudder to make a small corrections, you will feel the rudder pressure increase as the rudder starts to be come effective to each side.

    Subconsciously make small corrections

    Train yourself to multitask, when learning many pilots stop moving the rudder when they move the stick,

    Let your instructor know your feet have not shutdown, like while you move the stick.

    When you need to make a correction you are probably already moving the rudder the correct direction before you recognize you need to make a correction.

    Often called Dancing, but maybe more like marching. Left, right,left, right, Leeeeeeeeeft, right.... I.e just pause when you need to make a correction
     
  16. Daleandee

    Daleandee Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Recently we were discussing three point vs wheel (two point) landings. As for take-offs I mostly use a three point attitude although I will at times raise the tail a bit for a tail low takeoff. On grass runways getting the tail wheel out of the grass early in the roll makes sense.
     
  17. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    I’ve never flown a tail dragged that required “happy feet”. YMMV.

    I do, however, strongly disagree with moving your feet just to show your instructor you’re still moving them. I see enough people get themselves in a pickle because they were doing something for the instructor rather than the airplane.
     
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  18. Hacker

    Hacker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just use the rudder as required to keep the nose pointed down the runway.

    Different aircraft are going to require different amounts of pedal deflection and differing speed of that deflection to make that happen.

    Be a pilot.
     
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  19. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You probably already know this, but there is nothing on the instrument panel that will help you keep the airplane pointed straight.
     
  20. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Taken a step further (or in a different direction), the ball is NOT a yaw instrument. I’ve seen guys get rudder inputs 180 degrees out of phase with what the airplane was doing by reacting to the inclinometer.
     
  21. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Line Up and Wait

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    Sorry, my bad on not being precise about the precession, but it does precess. I think the nose movement is also influenced by the direction and magnitude of any cross-wind.

    Too many people to credit for the advice, but the takeaway seems to be, do whatever it takes to keep the nose pointing down the runway; don't anticipate, but make your corrections as quickly as possible.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
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