Taildragger time!

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Sazzy, May 15, 2019.

  1. Sazzy

    Sazzy Filing Flight Plan

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    Alright, here's my newbie question of the day--any good tips for someone who's only ever flown faster, nosewheel aircraft who is about to be thrown into a Champ?
     
  2. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Have fun, don't overthink it.
     
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  3. iamtheari

    iamtheari Pattern Altitude

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    If you have time in the CTLS in your avatar and if the CTLS is as squirrely as the CTSW I have some time in, then the Champ will be pretty easy. My main tip is to fly it all the way to the tie-down, and that especially means following through with your crosswind inputs when you land.

    And as mentioned above, have fun! I flew a Champ over 7 hours one day last year and, when I got out of the plane on my 4th and final stop for the day, I actually wanted to get back in it and fly some more.
     
  4. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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  5. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Keep it straight, that's all you have to do.
    Nothing on the panel will help you keep it straight, so don't bother to look at it.
     
  6. Seanaldinho

    Seanaldinho Pattern Altitude

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    Did champs ever come with heel brakes? Those are fun to use.

    Just have fun with it, flying tandem is fun too.
     
  7. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

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    Fun in a pain in the butt sort of way.

    But really, all you should need brakes for is to hold the airplane during run-up. If you need them otherwise, you have done something wrong.
     
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  8. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    Champ is about as straight forward honest an airplane as you can fly. The oleo landing gear makes you look like a rock star. The 65HP is a dog don't get behind the power curve especially if you are heavy.
     
  9. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Fly it from start uo to shut down. enjoy it.
     
  10. champ driver

    champ driver Line Up and Wait

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    All the early Champs came right out of the factory with heel brakes.
     
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  11. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    Heel brakes when positioned right are no big deal. The J5 I was flying they were really out of the way and hard to use in conjunction with the rudder pedals although you could do it if you got your foot angled right. The Champ I fly they are in a great spot and work well with the rudder pedals although you shouldn't really need them but never hurts to have them if you do.
     
  12. Eric Stoltz

    Eric Stoltz Line Up and Wait

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    Maybe find a copy of Stick and Rudder and find the pertinent parts? You're going to really learn how to fly! I loved teaching 0 time pilots how to fly normal airplanes. They'd get into the nose draggers and complain on how easy it is to fly. :) Have fun with it!

    Steveo and Chops have pretty good infotainment vids on their YT's. Search for a Garry Wing and his channel about wheel and 3 point landings in his cub. Good stuff and some of the first good TW vids on the YT. MAKE SURE YOU SEARCH GARRY WITH TWO (2) 'R's and a G to make sure you don't accidentally look up the other 2 R named YT guy but spelled differently who's content is very very different.
     
  13. texasclouds

    texasclouds Line Up and Wait

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    Pro Tip: the little wheel should never be in front.
     
  14. Hacker

    Hacker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Happy feet.
     
  15. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    My first tailwheel instructor had me read 2 books and some excerpts on flying tailwheel. All with graphs of how much torque vs P factor must be overcome vs gyroscopic precession on the takeoff roll. I didn't learn much with that instructor. I tried to over analyze everything and try to have a reason for each rudder input I had. Then I flew with another instructor that said "Just do what the airplane needs you to do to keep it straight" I learned a LOT more with that CFI. It's not like flying a 152 around the pattern where you need to "hit your numbers" it's all about feeling the airplane listening to what it says :).

    Have a blast!
     
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  16. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    :rofl:

    Yea, real big deal in a Champ... I don't think I have ever actually noticed that big gyro thing in a small taildragger.

    One little quirk that you (O.P) may become aware of: In a car or a tricycle gear airplane, you hold the steering input (wheel, pedal) to maintain a turn on the ground, then let go to let it straighten out. With a tailwheel, it's more of a "start the turn", then "stop the turn" with opposite pedal- not much rudder required during. But, as Mr. Skies pointed out, do whatever you gotta do to make it do what you want.
     
  17. Sazzy

    Sazzy Filing Flight Plan

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    My instructor owns one that he keeps at ENW. He wants to try me out in it, God bless him, because he knows how for I drive to RAC and wants to help me save money so that my class time is more focused on actual education rather than watching the clock on hiw much I'm spending.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  18. Sazzy

    Sazzy Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks all for your tips and info! I'll definitely be checking out the suggested YT channels and reading.
     
  19. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I’m jealous! If you decide to buy one and keep it at C81 (I think that is Campbell) keep me in mind as a partner! I think that is in the middle of us if you are North Shore. I’m NW burbs.

    Enjoy!
     
  20. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    This. If you're like me and you learned to fly in a nose dragger at a 141 school, you fly the panel. You rotate at the airspeed the book tells you to, you approach at the airspeed the book tells you to and you land at the airspeed the book tells you to. When you turn, you fumble with the pedals to try (and often fail) to keep the ball on the panel in the center.

    When you are taught correctly to fly an older tail dragger with a wing profile that older tail draggers tend to have, you come to find that the windscreen and the nose is now your panel. The windscreen tells all if you know how to listen. And if you know how to listen, the windscreen becomes your primary instrument, the panel becomes secondary. Ball centered? Yes it is. But you don't know it from looking at it, you know it from the nose and the horizon and just verify by cross checking the panel now and then.

    When I was training for the multi rating I remember the CFI talking about the airspeeds we would be approaching and landing at and I remember thinking boy this is going to be a challenge because that's so much faster than the Supercubs I'd been flying for several hundred hours previous to that. Once I was in the plane and flying, I didn't really think too much about the speeds and at all. I mainly flew the controls and the windscreen same as I'd been doing in the slower lighter stuff. And I remember thinking as we rolled out after that first landing that it just flew like an airplane. Even though the speeds were faster, I didn't notice because it was telling me it was ready to rotate and fly just the same as the slower planes did and it was telling me it was ready to land just the same as the slower planes did. We ate up more runway obviously, but otherwise I couldn't tell the difference. Flying the windscreen does that for you IMO.

    Good luck and enjoy the snot out of it. You'll never be the same. ;)
     
  21. Somedudeintn

    Somedudeintn Cleared for Takeoff

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    I just did my first tailwheel lesson in the champ last week. Initially I was actually overusing the rudder during steep turns and stalls. There is a lot of rudder authority and it did not require as much pressure/movement as I expected.

    It was a calm day and I did several 3 point landings in the grass that made me feel pretty good about myself. I'm guessing once we do crosswind work on pavement I'll change my mind.
     
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