Get your tailwheel ticket.

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by whereisrandall, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. whereisrandall

    whereisrandall Pre-takeoff checklist

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    People kept saying it:

    "Flying tailwheel makes you a better pilot."
    "I never really knew how to land a plane until I learned to land a tailwheel."

    IT'S ALL TRUE. Most of you know already, but I just found out. If you haven't yet, go do it. Run, don't walk. Jus' sayin'.

    R
     
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  2. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Pattern Altitude

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    :popcorn:
    This has potential.


    Glad you had fun. What did you fly for the training?
     
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  3. N659HB

    N659HB Pattern Altitude

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    Not a Luscombe, I'll wager.

    Still, congrats, pilot!
     
  4. saddletramp

    saddletramp Line Up and Wait

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    Endorsement not ticket. I just had to.:D


    Congratulations by the way!

    Now after you ground looped one you're REALLY a tailwheel pilot. This was told to me after I once ground looped a PA-18 by an old bush pilot.
     
  5. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What makes someone a better pilot? To me the best pilots don’t crash and die. Does flying a tail wheel airplane keep you from crashing and dying? I think not.
    One of the chief killers of pilots is inadvertent flight into instrument meterological conditions. Flying a tail wheel aircraft will not help you survive this. Taking the money you spent getting the tail wheel endorsement and spend it training for an instrument rating seems like a better way to avoid dying, this making one a safer, and therefore better pilot.
     
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  6. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Technically, much of what you learn in the taildragger conversion are things you should have learned even in flying tricycle gear aircraft, but if you fly taildraggers you stay current on it. Will you crash and die? Probably not, but you may bend tin that better coordination and ground handling will prevent.
     
  7. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Cleared for Takeoff

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    Someone becomes a better pilot by learning new skills, which the OP did. Since this post threatens you, I'd imagine you have some margin for improvement.
     
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  8. N3368K

    N3368K Line Up and Wait

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    I learned in a taildragger in 1978. Over 1500 hours in them. Love taildraggers.


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  9. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Super Moderator Management Council Member

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    Once you go tailwheel you'll never go back :).

    I really enjoy the amount of landing options tailwheel gives you for any given airport or weather conditions.
     
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  10. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Unless you are going to stay proficient don't bother.
     
  11. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I only fly nose wheels if I’m getting paid.

    That said, while tailwheel demands greater skill because it is less forgiving, you don’t have to be a tailwheel pilot to be a good pilot.

    It’s just a lot more fun to me.
     
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  12. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Unfortunately, the only 'rentable' tailwheel airplane around here that I know of is buy-in only. I would love to get my endorsement, but I wouldn't have anything to fly, unless I wanted to go out dual with an owner or CFI...kinda stinks.

    I did a disco flight in the Super Decathlon before I began PP training and then did a lesson for basic aerobatics and spin training in it. Lots of fun!!

    Glad you had fun! Congrats, Randall!
     
  13. TRocket

    TRocket Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks for sharing, definitely want to get my TW endorsement when I get a chance. Still want to do some flying up in Maine next time I go up to visit the fiance's family too
     
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  14. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I don't have a tailwheel endorsement but I have logged tailwheel aeromachines. :)
     
  15. jimhorner

    jimhorner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I took a quick look on your profile, and it shows you are in SE Tennessee. I’m from Kingston originally and still have family there. How close are you to Oliver Springs? The Oak Ridge flyers out of Oliver Springs (TN08) advertise a Champ for rent. Might be worth checking out.

    http://oakridgeflyers.com/planes/

    And, yeah, a Super D is quite a bit of fun. West Valley flying club in Palo Alto has one for rent, and I try to get at least one flight a month in it to maintain basic tailwheel proficency and whenever I feel the need to turn the world round and round.

    [Edit]Just looked at the Oak Ridge Flyers’ web site in more detail. It’s a buy in club, so probably wouldn’t meet your needs. Sorry.


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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  16. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I must be the weird one here. The only difference I saw between a tail wheel and a nose wheel was the view out front when on the ground. Both types flew the same.

    Turning on the ground was a little different.

    Then again, the only tail wheels I flew were a Piper Pawnee and a PA-18....and the super cub was on skis.

    I imagine a B-17 or a Beech 18 would be a little different.
     
  17. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    You're not the only one who feels this way. For the most part, I think airplanes fly like airplanes so the only thing you need to really figure out is each type's specific quirks and characteristics. But, having given a little tailwheel transition instruction it seems that many people that started out in tricycle gear airplanes struggle with directional control and controlling their rate of descent when taking off or landing. Tailwheel airplanes are simply a little more demanding in the takeoff and landing phase of flight, and will tell you when you're screwing up. Trikes have the ability to cover up a lot of those mistakes.

    One of the more demanding airplanes I've flown is a tailwheel twin with a free castering tailwheel and questionable brakes. I cringe at the thought of an engine failure on takeoff - things are going to get out of hand fast and there's basically nothing you're going to be able to do to stop what happens.
     
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  18. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    You must be old... ;)
     
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  19. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Tailwheel is where it's at for sure.

    Trained from the ground up in tailwheel, for sure built a better foundation for it.
     
  20. Sundancer

    Sundancer Pattern Altitude

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    I think you might be a better "lander" and "taxier" (is that a word?) with tailwheel time. Otherwise, I never noticed a diffrence in the rest of the physics of flight. Some tailwheels are much older designs, and have quirkier handling in other phases of flight; I guess mastering an airplane with some design flaws will boost your skills - you'll learn how to compensate for those?
     
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  21. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Always seemed to be the older designs flew better
     
  22. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    Congrats Randall.
    Keep on livin your dreams man. I hope to get my tw endorsement too.
    I don't need any help being loopy though haha
     
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  23. Dana

    Dana Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It's not so much design flaws as design choices. When those older planes were built, pilots expected (and preferred) different things than pilots today. Tailwheel or nosewheel is one of those choices, of course, but other things as well. For example, adverse yaw... nowadays pilots expect planes with adverse yaw mostly designed out so they hardly ever touch the rudder pedals, whereas back in the 1940s pilots just expected adverse yaw, but they had a big rudder and expected to use it. Most of them are lighter, too, requiring more active flying in any kind of wind.
     
  24. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Takeoffs as well. A lot of folks seem to think that the only challenge is landing….which leads too many tailwheel airplanes balled up on takeoff.
     
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  25. colojo

    colojo Line Up and Wait

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    I got my TW endorsement in 2014 after almost 30 years of flying. I wish I would have done it MUCH sooner. TW airplanes are a BLAST!

    Did it make me a better pilot? Probably not. But it definitely made me a more versatile pilot.
     
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  26. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    They’re a bit far for me, otherwise they would be worth looking into. The place I’m at now has a Super Decathlon, but as I said it’s buy-in only to fly solo.

    Thanks for looking, Jim!
     
  27. jimhorner

    jimhorner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You’re welcome. Hey, you could always fly to Oliver Springs to rent the Champ and get your endorsement, at least you’ll have step one taken care of and have your endorsement. Step two, finding an accessible plane, would have to come later.

    If I remember correctly, Oliver Springs airport is an interesting place. It has a grass runway and a couple of hills on either side of the runway. Kinda a neat place to visit.


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  28. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    The predicament lies in having an airplane to fly once I earned the endorsement. I could get the endorsement in the Super Decathlon at my club, but couldn’t fly it solo once completed. A few months back they had a share open up and if I recall correctly it was around 20k. I suppose I’ll just stay happy flying training wheels for awhile. :)
     
  29. jimhorner

    jimhorner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah, that’s a shame. Out here in the SF Bay Area, we are lucky to have a multitude of options with regards to renting tailwheel aircraft. At Palo Alto, West Valley flying club has a Super-D and 4 Citabrias, and Advantage Aviation has 2 Citabrias, a Stearman, a Great Lakes, a Pitts, an Extra, an AT-6, and a BT-13. At Reid Hillview, Aerodynamic has several Citabrias, a Decathlon, a Champ, a Cessna 170, and a Husky. Livermore, also, I believe has several options for tailwheel rental.

    I got some free instruction in the AT-6 one time. The owner, my tailwheel, IFR, and CPL instructor, was repositioning from Palo Alto to Livermore, and the back seat was open. He offered to let me have the back seat from Palo Alto to Livermore, and then he would drive me back to Palo Alto. What a wonderful experience. Great flying airplane. 0.6 of dual in an AT-6 in the logbook. I’m all trained up and ready for when someone gives me their P-51!



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  30. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Wow! Consider yourself lucky. Out this way, we’re lucky to have anything other than a basic Cessna or Cherokee for rental.


    I bet that AT-6 was a blast! The owners of my club/flight school have a Stearman and offer a free ride in it for completing a Private Certificate with them. It’s been almost 4 years and I still haven’t taken them up on it yet. Crazy right?? Hope to do it one of these days soon.
     
  31. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    Hard not to... :)

    Same here...it's either a 45 minute drive for a 1977 C172 with crap avionics and an iffy alternator, or a 45 minute drive for a hard to start 2003 DA40 with a leaky prop.
    The 172 is the trainer and is booked quite often, soooo...

    I will give the FBO kudos though. They are now on the prop, and have a great insurance policy. $500 deductible and that's all. No other expenses incurred. (so they say, havent' seen it in writing yet)

    Only other option is a '66 Cherokee 140 "sort of" maintained and you will be charged for every nitpicking thing I hear, including $300 yr. insurance fee with a $5,000 deductible.
    However, the overwhelming gas smell is free.
    Edit to add:
    Spoke with a pilot recently who said he was going to get the 140 for some pattern work.
    Upon opening the hangar he saw a huge puddle of fuel under one wing, and the right tire largely swollen.
    He called the owner/flight school operator/CFI, and said "Hey there is gas everywhere and the tire is sitting in the gas and is way swollen".
    Owner replies, "Just hit the drain with a wrench. It does it all the time. As far as the tire goes, just don't land it very much".
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  32. NoBShere

    NoBShere Pre-Flight

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    I've been thinking about the tw endorsement as well. The place I rent has several and they look like fun. Since I haven't flown one yet, I'm just guessing that learning something related to flying that is at least slightly different would increase my flying knowledge/skill at least some degree. Did I mention they look fun to fly.
     
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  33. ebetancourt

    ebetancourt Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Where do you get your statistics? According to the Nall report, in 2016 fatal non-commercial fixed wing accidents happened 78.2% in day, VMC conditions. I think you might find that LOC both in-flight and on runway are much more common fatal causes. Stalls during take-off and climb out are a big killer (more than the base to final turn!). I think we all agree that once airborne the tailwheel is immaterial, but the tailwheel airplane is much more likely to provide adverse yaw and require rudder skills that modern tricycle airplanes don't. Typically their general flight characteristics vary greatly unlike the more typical modern GA airplanes. Stick and rudder skills matter, learning the edge of the envelope matter; tailwheels tend to teach those skills better. However, they can be learned in a tricycle airplane, it's just not as likely.

    Ernie
     
  34. jimhorner

    jimhorner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So considered. When I got back into flying after a 23 year hiatus, it was via getting a tailwheel endorsement. Don’t know what I would have done if there weren’t so many tailwheel options.

    And yes, the AT-6 was a blast. I got a free ride in a Stearman one time also. We were vacationing at South Padre Island in Texas several years ago, and I had bought and was flying a stunt kite on the beach and struck up a conversation with another guy flying his stunt kite there also. Turns out he was from Midland, TX, so I asked him if he knew anything about the CAF museum in Midland. Turns out he was the president of the Midland chapter of the CAF. He owned a Stearman and offered me a ride. That also was a fun flight. Lessee now, some time in primary trainer and an advanced trainer, yep, definitely ready for someone to give me time in P-51!

    You should take advantage of the Stearman ride as soon as possible. Remember, real airplanes have 2 wings, a round engine, and a tailwheel (or so I’ve been told), so the Stearman definitely qualifies.


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  35. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    You better do it soon before it's gone!
     
  36. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Lawd Mercy.JPG
     
  37. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They say if you can fly a T-6, a P-51 is easy.
     
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  38. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Heard that too. Knew an old WW2 B17 pilot who said they moved him to the P51. No checkout, anything. Said the T6 prepares ya for it, so he flew the P51 in WW2 too.
     
  39. jimhorner

    jimhorner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So, there ya go. Bring on the Mustang. After all I’ve got a whopping 0.6 hours in the Texan, and the instructor did the takeoff and landing. Should be no problems, right?


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  40. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Planning too, very soon!