My Taildragger Training as well as primary training

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Utah-Jay, Sep 2, 2020.

  1. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I was 7.3 hours into my training all in a Archer to this point and today was the transition to taildragger. It was AWESOME! Got 2.1 logged in the Rans S-20 with 5 full stop landings. Each got progressively better and the last one was really nice on the “home strip” (24 feet wide) which is UT9 at the moment where I am taking lessons.

    Differences:
    1) Sight picture out front is very different as should be expected, what looked straight and level was a 150’ per minute climb. Blue painters tape is going up for tomorrow’s lesson

    2) The Raven (S-20) is super sensitive on the controls, just the slightest pressure and it reacts. Just took a bit to get used to it.

    3) Flaps in the Raven make the nose go down, the Archer was up

    4) On the takeoff roll when the tail comes up it looks like the plane is pointed down.... yikes. CFI told me not to worry as the horizontal stabilizer won’t allow the prop to strike as long as there are NO brakes

    I will say I was apprehensive about the taxiing prior to the lesson, it was super easy even on the VERY narrow taxiways at West Desert Airpark. With only 5 landings under my belt I am still a bit anxious about the whole “happy feet” thing on the landings, but it went way better than I expected.

    LOVED IT!!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
  2. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sounds like a blast! I need to take my CFI up on his offer to fly his Cessna 120.
     
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  3. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You sure you're in a taildragger? I feel like most people are in a descent when they bring the nose down enough to feel straight and level.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2020
  4. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    yep

    It was much better today tho

    0BBFF419-13B2-4625-A9B7-562906A12A39.jpeg
     
  5. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Day 2

    Lots of great stuff and disappointing finish to the 2 hour lesson

    Practiced power on and power off stalls, recover from emergency situations, steep turns around a point, “S Turns” down a road.

    In the image from FF you can see a turn around a point, I did one then he had me come out and re-enter for two full turns around the point then the S-Turns.

    142363C7-5FCA-4830-82F1-A3C778B527BE.jpeg

    Now the bad... But I have some nice rectangular traffic patterns

    The landings.... well more like the roll out after landing. I was using too much rudder input and over correcting. I need to use shorter/quicker rudder input on landing rollout.
    CA75587C-3198-4405-9984-B223F7BDE31A.jpeg

    It was a VERY disappointing finish to an otherwise great 2 hours.

    I have gone over it in my mind and will be ready tomorrow morning to correct today’s mistakes.
     
  6. Howard Wilson

    Howard Wilson Line Up and Wait

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    You'll get it. The roll outs can be the trickiest part of flying taildraggers. Never stop flying it until it's tied down!
    In a lot of high winged planes you can look out at the bottom of the wing to see that it is parallel to the horizon to approximate level flight.
     
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  7. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    You’ll get it, that’s the norm while learning... it’s a blast! When you get back in a nose dragger you will be shocked how boring it will seem...and oddly flat on the ground...
     
  8. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    yes you do they are delightful little planes to fly... I’ve put 200 hours on mine in 18 months... you’ll be in the market for one once flying one.
     
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  9. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    No going back to nose wheel for me, this is the plane I will be flying not only for training but going forward
     
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  10. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Good for you! welcome to the fraternity :) But rent or borrow a docile 172 or Cherokee 140 after you are TW proficient just to see what I mean!

    first time I flew my club 172 after buying my cessna 140 I wished idda packed a lunch for something to do after the wheels hit the ground
     
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  11. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Day 3/1.7 hours

    Did the typical power on and power off stalls, did .5 hours of IFR which was fun and no issue at all. Followed a VERY rural road at about 150’ AGL doing left and right hand slips holding altitude while staying on the road. Those were my first slips so all good.

    My CFI changed up the takeoff a bit today, we just let the tail come up naturally with airspeed rather than pushing the stick forward like the past couple of days. This seemed to simplify things as just made everything easier.

    Pattern work and Landings.... I was really nailing my speeds on final at 52-55 MPH with 2 notches of flaps. Landings were much better today so that is great as I did not feel good about how things ended yesterday. I got on 9 full stop landings today. Taxiing continues to be much easier.
     
  12. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    I recommend winds gusting to 40 kts, quartering from the rear, to make 172 landings interesting.
     
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  13. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Day four in the taildragger

    Didn’t get to fly yesterday due to a massive wind event here in Utah. Today was cold so the I felt like I had an extra 30hp today which was great.

    We had about 12-15 mph from the NE today on the ground, a bit more 2000 AGL and my CFI wanted to use that for steep turns around a point. It went very well, did two loops around two different points, here is one
    004F322E-EFA6-423D-8041-A801FCBF1BC9.jpeg

    Then we headed to U14 (Nephi) with a slightly wider runway to work on landings. There was a slight crosswind from the right. Today was the first time I have dealt with wind and/or crosswinds. I also did my first wheel landings, the first one was a greaser and the second one was pretty good as well. I like my nice squared off pattern work too.
    1E5216F0-B33D-453E-AD0D-6C9E9A9A02A0.jpeg

    On the flight back from U14 We did some really slow flight at 40-43mph indicated while holding altitude.

    Last image is a cross mid-field to a teardrop entry to the right downwind for RWY 35.
    0432B03E-1C13-4F65-85E9-277FC95CD06E.jpeg

    Today was a FREAKING great day, saw massive improvement in all tasks
     
  14. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Some good stuff today, got in 1.6 hours and my total training time is now 16.2 hours with 8.9 hours in the taildragger

    Did some “backcountry” type flying down a long straight 2 track road holding the plane about 1-3’ off the ground for about 3 miles at a time simulating holding off for a wheel landing. Also did some big time slips at about 25-50’ off the ground down the same road. This video shows a nice slip in for the landing after that practice over the road.



    Not my best takeoff, but here it is none the less
     
  15. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Wish I could land that good.
     
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  16. champ driver

    champ driver Line Up and Wait

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    Why not do a simple 90 degree right turn instead of a left 270 to 35?
     
  17. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    Might be the CFI. Before my Class C solo years ago, my CFI warned that they "might" give a delay 270* turn for spacing ... that's EXACTLY what I got (first time ever) and I thought the CFI might have set that up via phone while I was on my way;)
     
  18. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Good question, and the CFI gave me the choice. I chose the teardrop to get perfectly configured as I am a serious Type A about my pattern altitude and speeds.
     
  19. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I feel Iike I am making good progress, I think it really helps that I am flying 2 hours a day and 4-5 days a week
     
  20. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    After not flying for a week due to work, I got in a 3 landings today. 1st was a normal (2 flaps) 3 point landing, followed by a short field takeoff, then a 3 flap landing and lastly a 4 (full flaps= 49*) landing. The 3 and 4 flap settings were my first outside of the normal 2 flaps landings. 3 was a non issue.... 4 flaps was a bit interesting as I had to have a steep angle of decent to maintain airspeed and I flared a bit high as the ground was rising pretty quickly it seemed. When I leveled off was 49* of flaps the plane wanted to get on the ground ASAP :confused:

    Greased the first two, the third was a bit of a hard landing. Need to work on that new sight picture for 4 notches of flaps.

    352F4CEC-932C-441A-8CC5-3158BCD34EC6.jpeg
    Still happy with my squared off pattern rather than the typical rounded patterns I see from other student pilots.

    The plan is to solo on Friday
     
  21. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Was not going to fly today due to some pretty big winds, instructor sent me a message... “Let’s fly, I want to see how you do in the crosswinds.” Of course I responded I’m on my way.

    I liked this... Turns around a point in a 20MPH wind
    9E02D6E6-48D3-4773-B414-48337678B69E.jpeg

    We did a ton of maneuvers and a bunch of landings, all wheel landings with the 11-18mph crosswind component on the surface. 9 landings with 3 go arounds, one go around was due to a massive dust devil blowing across the runway on short final. The DD was sporty to say the least.
    867386CF-B52A-4753-959F-1F4ECF10AFB5.jpeg

    Power on and off stalls, “S” turns, emergency loss of engine on a downwind heading.... He thought he was gonna get me on that one, but I turned into the wind on best glide immediately :)

    Weather permitting I solo tomorrow, gonna wear a favorite shirt my wife hates.... That way we will both be pleased.
     
  22. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Soloed today
    1st takeoff

    1st landing



    15.7 hours to Solo and tailwheel endorsement

    Such a cool day
     
  23. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Administrator Management Council Member

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    Taildraggers are the worst... That is all :)

    Enjoy! IMG_20200925_073449.jpg
     
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  24. KeepWatch

    KeepWatch Pre-Flight

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    Enjoyed reading your progression. I learned in a Citabria, so there was no transition other than to a tricycle gear later on........ not even sure they call that a transition.
     
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  25. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks

    No plans to go to a nose dragger :)

    The whole plan is to be able to fly to remote fishing locations in Idaho’s backcountry. The plan is to be ready next June
     
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  26. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    After my initial solo on Friday today was my first day out and on my own for some practice.
    Took off on RWY 35 and headed west to the practice area. Did a bit of everything, slow flight, stalls, turns around a point, S turns and some really low (5-10’ AGL) flight down a remote road (4 miles each time) three times working on wheel landing sight picture and keeping the plane straight simulating an approach.

    C08AB25C-E405-4658-832B-DE5B158D4123.jpeg

    Then went in for pattern work, did five 3 point landings. You can see my initial takeoff on RWY 35 and the turn out to the west, then cross midfield from the west to enter a right downwind for 35. After a few landings the wind changed and I made a loop to re-enter the pattern mid-field for RWY 17 for the remainder of the landings.
    20DC23D3-08EE-4BAF-9461-093B528EC008.jpeg

    Got in 1.8 hours today
    I now have 17.9 hours in the taildragger and 25.2 total.

    Then I got to do some wrenching.... Added a retractable sun shade, changed out the battery, topped off the oil, and cleaned the bugs off.

    Happy Days

    I have a couple of weeks of work travel starting Wednesday, then doing my dual cross country the day after I get back.
    UT9 —-> KEVW —-> KHCR —-> UT9
    Totals 208 miles and about 2.5 hours
    Now I have to plan it out on paper :( It’s so easy on FF
     
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  27. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    That looks like you've got an instructor I'd get along with really well.
     
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  28. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My CFI is really good, I liked the guy I had prior (7.3 hours in a Piper Archer while waiting for the Rans S-20) to my current taildragger CFI, but to be honest Matthew at West Desert Aviators (UT9) is amazing.
     
  29. samiamPA

    samiamPA Pre-Flight

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    Wow, great videos and a lot of fun to watch your progress! Just saw the first solo landing video... so smooth it was hard to tell when it touched the ground :)
     
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  30. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks, I am having a blast and really trying hard
     
  31. samiamPA

    samiamPA Pre-Flight

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    It's obvious that you are trying hard indeed, not settling for "good enough" and holding yourself to very high standards. That's a great way to start your aviation career.
     
  32. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I am going to be flying into some rather demanding areas come next summer, so I figure I need to be on my game all the time. Hence I am really working on discipline in the pattern for speeds and consistency. No rounded off pattern work for me. Yesterday when my straight road that I fly really low over started to make some bends I stayed on 3-5’ AGL and followed the bends in what I figure would simulate some Idaho backcountry approaches and curved landing strips. The challenge is fun
     
  33. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Knocked out the Dual Cross Country today, my flight planning was within 2 minutes of the actual and the fuel was right there too. Paper planning is not much fun, glad it is over but also good to know I understand it really well.

    Solo Cross Country tomorrow

    UT9 —> KEVW via the Provo Canyon up and over a couple of reservoirs to I-80 then east to Evanston. Then KEVW —> KHCR back down the same track.

    Scheduled for 207 SM with good winds as of tonight.

    Getting there, looking like the check ride is next week.
     
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  34. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Completed my Solo Cross Country today
    UT9 —> KEVW—> KHCR —> UT9

    Exactly 200 miles and 2.8 hours on the clock, but some was sitting on the ground in both Evanston to get notes in order and Heber was clogged up with a lot of traffic and I waited 5 minutes to take off following a Challenger landing.... Did not want to deal with wake turbulence in a 1280# light sport

    It went better than expected.

    Only thing left is Friday’s short CC and then the mock check ride. My CFI is trying to schedule the check ride for next week.
     
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