Taildraggers - What's the big whoop?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by FormerHangie, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    I'm not that old, it was a paved runway and I soloed with 4.5 hrs
     
  2. Threefingeredjack

    Threefingeredjack En-Route

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  3. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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  4. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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  5. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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  6. hook_dupin

    hook_dupin Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't understand the fight.

    I love teaching in my Champ. Regardless of where the little wheel sits, students learn about adverse yaw, really slipping an airplane, how the ignition system is segregated from the rest of the (non-existent) electrics, safe hand-propping technique, and why an aileron needs to be up during a cross-wind taxi.

    It's not the be-all, though. I find my instrument skills really degrade after long stints of tailwheel. Occasionally, I look like a pig trying to read a wrist watch when it comes automated systems.

    There are few better feelings than a perfectly executed cross-wind wheel landing. You should get your tailwheel... not because it will make you the next Waldo Pepper, but because it's challenging and fun. For powered flight, the cost to fun ratio can't be beat.
     
  7. GeorgeMac

    GeorgeMac Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi everyone, I am new to this site and still can't figure out how to start a new post,
    can someone tell me how it's done?

    Many thanks
    George,
     
  8. GeorgeMac

    GeorgeMac Filing Flight Plan

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    PS. sorry for being so rude and cutting in between your conversation like that,.
    G.
     
  9. 1600vw

    1600vw Pattern Altitude

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    At the top of every page you will see a list. Click on Pilots of America Message Board.
    Click on a topic, we will use hangar Talk. Look at the top of the page and it will say..New Thread...Click on this and start your topic.

    2 Grand for a tail wheel endorsement.....WOW.

    I would tell anyone wanting one of these to go get an ultralight, Tail wheel airplane, something like a legal eagle and teach yourself.
    Then find an instructor and get the sign off for hardly nothing.

    How I did it.

    Tony
     
  10. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    Yes, grass does INDEED make a significant difference. Funny thing is I solo'd tailwheel on pavement and was worried about my first time on grass. It put a huge smile on my face. They are definitely in their element on grass.
     
  11. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    Go to the forum page where you want to start the thread, such as "Flight Following." Press the "New Thread" button at the upper left and a subject field and text panel will pop up. A subject will be required, as of course, text will also be required.

    Some forums require a minimum number of posts before starting a new thread is allowed. I've been on this forum long enough that I don't remember if that applies here, and I didn't catch your post count before writing this.

    Welcome to the forum. We look forward to your new thread.:)
     
  12. Neal Howard

    Neal Howard Cleared for Takeoff

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  13. Fellix

    Fellix Filing Flight Plan

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    If you've ever flown a taildragger (I learned how to fly in a C-120 and a Bellanca Decathlon have over 140 hours in both) and then go to fly a tricycle gear (Aerostar 40 hours, Piper Aztec 10 hours, Cherokee 140-180 50 hours) then you would realize how much more challenging it is to fly a taildragger.

    Compare the C-120 to the Aerostar (which is a very complicated twin that has been upgraded to have 2 IO 540 Lycoming engines with 2 turbos a piece) even with how complicated the Aerostar is, flying and landing it is easy because of the skill that I attained by learning how to fly in taildraggers.

    I have yet to have a challenge landing or flying anything because of how I learned to control a 120 that seemingly couldn't hold an altitude and required A LOT of rudder control to keep straight and have coordinated turns. I don't even have to touch the rudder peddles on any of the tricycle gear planes that I fly because they just dont need it and using it only leads to sliding.

    At the airport that I fly at there were only 3 people including myself who could fly taildraggers, and all of those could fly tricycle gears as well, the point being while any taildragger pilot can fly a taildragger or tricycle gear airplane very very few tricycle gear pilots can fly taildraggers.

    The general consensus from taildragger pilots is that learning how to fly a taildragger has improved their abilities as a pilot. Now thats not to say that you are a bad pilot because you never learned to fly a taildragger, its just that having learned to fly a taildragger you learn to fly at a higher difficulty which does improve your flying ability.

    If you have any doubt to whether or not flying a taildragger is harder simply ask yourself why you have to get a rating to fly a taildragger and not a tricycle gear.

    Oh and as for advantages, they work much better in short field takeoff and landing situations that include landing in less than even terrain, thats why bush pilots use them.
     
  14. txflyer

    txflyer En-Route

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    Fly it like you STOL it ♦
    There ya go. Fellix told everybody with his first post. Welcome. :)

    Everybody should check out the latest AOPA pilot magazine. On the cover is a 185, with the caption below that says, "Where tricycles FEAR TO TREAD."

    That about sums it up. :yesnod:;)
     
  15. Neal Howard

    Neal Howard Cleared for Takeoff

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  16. jonnyjetprop

    jonnyjetprop Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'm guessing, but I bet the FBO's insurance requires 10 hrs to solo. Therefore, the $2000 figure.

    FWIW, I used to rent a Citribra in Vermont. 5 hrs min for insurance. Could have been signed off in 2.


     
  17. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    $200hr for dual in Citabria? Pretty steep.
     
  18. Dav8or

    Dav8or En-Route

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    The whole tailwheel vs. tricycle gear thing is so fuggin' stupid! Look, it's easy-


    1. Figure out what kind of flying you want to do. Flying into gravel sand bars and mountain tops, or going Miami to Key West? Doing loops and hammer head stalls, or sight seeing with the kids?
    2. Buy which ever airplane does the mission you defined in step one the best.
    3. Become proficient in that airplane.
    4. Enjoy flying.
    If you have no interest in backwoods flying, or vintage airplanes and you successfully manage a 30-40 year, 5,000 hour flying career in nothing but trikes, who cares about all the tailwheel flying you never did? You flew, you had fun, you accomplished the mission.

    The reason this discussion goes on for so long is, tailwheel pilots won't give it a rest. They keep going on about how a tailwheel pilot is a better pilot. Don't think so? Just ask one, they'll tell you.

    The tailwheel endorsement does not make you a better pilot. It makes you a more versatile pilot. You can fly more types of airplanes than the guy without the endorsement. That's it. That's all.

    So, in that light, which is the better pilot?

    Basic PPL + Tailwheel endorsement?
    Basic PPL + Seaplane endorsement?
    Basic PPL + Complex endorsement?

    All are more versatile than the basic PP, but that's about it. Until someone can show me one single shred of statistical evidence that earning a tailwheel endorsement makes you less likely to be in an accident, I maintain the "better pilot" theory is BS. Tailwheel pilots screw up a lot, just like they did back in the good ol' days and just like the rest of us do now.

    The only way you could claim getting a tailwheel endorsement might make you a better pilot is, you are engaged and learning something new about aviation and this is good, but this is true of all the endorsements and ratings. Conversely, there are those that will learn a new skill and still go out and screw up anyhow.

    It's just an endorsement. Get it if you need it, want it, are just sick of doing yet another BFR, or skip it for life. Makes no difference.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
  19. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    There is a tailwheel 150 conversion for rent not too far from my house (@KRYY), walk in rate is $128 per hour, instructors get $65 per hour, add tax and you're a little over $200 per hour, times 10 hours, equals $2000. If you join their "club", you'd save about $15 per hour, not sure what the club costs.

    There's another school that rents a Decathlon for $205 per hour.
     
  20. ClimbnSink

    ClimbnSink Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Right on. In addition to the multi and seaplane stuff I believe extra categories is where the pilot brain grows. An airplane is an airplane, nothing more.
     
  21. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas En-Route

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    Actually, this thread has been really quiet for the last week or more. Before that, much of the argument was from trike guys who felt that tailwheel flying was overrated or useless or stupid. The thread was started by one such person.

    Sure, tailwheel guys often make noises about their flying, but pilots as a whole usually like it made known among the groundbound crowd that they're pilots, right?

    Maybe tailwheel flying is one of those subjects that belong in the Spin Zone. It annoys too many people.

    Dan
     
  22. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Exactly, it's an ego thing. Flying isn't difficult, tail wheel flying isn't difficult. Because each is an 'exclusive' activity though, people like to define themselves by it setting themselves apart from others.
     
  23. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    I never said that tailwheel flying was overrated, useless, or stupid. What I was trying to establish was whether learning to fly a conventional gear airplane was indeed particularly valuable to those of us who are not planning on flying them after we got the endorsement. My conclusion is that it would not be. YMMV.
     
  24. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Cleared for Takeoff

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    Why is this so dang difficult? Lots of trike pilots seem to like to distort reality. I've asked this before and I'll ask it again. Where here or anywhere else did anyone say that tailwheel pilots are better than trike pilots? It didn't and doesn't generally happen. There is a big difference between a statement like that and a statement saying that learning new skills makes you a better pilot than YOU were before. It's not about being a better pilots than anyone ELSE. Understand??

    Says the guy who I'm sure has little to no tailwheel experience. Read above. It definitely CAN add to your skill level. People who get so defensive and upset about people talking about tailwheel flying are the ones who have no experience with it, nor pay attention to the pilots who have learned to fly tailwheels and reported an addition to their skill set. I'm not sure how you're defining what being a "better" pilot is, but adding skills is part of my definition. Find me someone who has ever said that some marginally skilled pilot who has a tailwheel endorsement must be a better pilot than anyone else out there who flies trikes only. I know lots of trike only pilots who are much better than some tailwheel pilots. But that doesn't mean these trike pilots cannot benefit from learning new skills.

    So I ask one more time for you defensive trike pilots out there. What the heck is so controversial and upsetting about the idea that learning to fly an airplane that requires new skills and FORCES a significantly higher level of precision during the landing process can add to your skill set and make YOU a better pilot? And let me repeat....tailwheel flying is a drop in the bucket when it comes to all the possible new skills that can be learned in aviation. Most pilots barely scratch the surface of what's out there.

    Ah...another conclusion from someone with little to no experience with what they are talking about. Lots of trike pilots land with drift and crab angles that they never noticed before because their trike airplane just does not care nor force them to be better. For lots of pilots, learning to fly tailwheels opens their eyes up to small crab and drift angles that they never noticed, and were not important before. They become important in tailwheel flying. Again, this is true of many pilots. There are, of course, some trike pilots who already have this level of diligence and precision. But they are not the majority.

    If your only standard of being a "good" pilot is whether or not you will ultimately kill yourself in an airplane, I'd say your standards are very low, and you're a driver, not an aviator.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
  25. Jimmy cooper

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    Rans will build you a fantastic tail dragger, an S6 or an S7 if you call them , or, you can build it yourself. The Rans S 7 is very unique in design , good looking and a real performer. However......you will not be competent in either in five hours,nor will you be competent in a Stearman, Cessna 195, Citabria or any other taildragger in five hours. To be really good in one, cross winds, short field landings, slips, stalls, spins, soft field landings, take offs, I'd say 3-500 hours would be more like it as a minimum. There's a prior entry by a fellow who went on to fly an aerostar, etc. that explains it very well.
     
  26. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well put.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  27. Cpt_Kirk

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    This guy gets it.

    And again.

    Don't knock it until you try it. If I had my preference, I'd would train and fly in a tailwheel. It didn't take me but 2 hours to get my sign-off.

    It's the same reason I will always drive a manual.

    I see too many lazy pilots out there who get it on the ground (barely) and "drive" to the ramp. The easier you make something, the worse off the student is going to be at the end.
     
  28. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Hey, what the heck is up with all this talk about taildraggers.....I thought this thread was about car engines???
     
  29. 83Golf

    83Golf Pre-Flight

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    You answered your own question with the best answer so far. As long as you are continuously seeking out new skills and polishing the ones you've acquired, you are making yourself a better pilot.
     
  30. Dan Thomas

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    I used to see that when I was instructing. And I saw it in myself before that. I got a PPL in 1975 and by the time I went to upgrade to Commercial/IFR and all that in the early '90s, I found that my skills (and knowledge) had degenerated considerably. As long as I was taking some training on a regular basis, I was sharp. Not so much now, just doing aircraft maintenance and flying occasionally.

    I should go finish that floatplane rating. After that, get the Instructor rating back. Then the IFR. Here in Canada all that stuff expires after a couple of years.

    Dan
     
  31. peerlesscowboy

    peerlesscowboy Line Up and Wait

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    There are some back country strips where inside half a mile final you're committed because abruptly rising terrain make a successful abort inside that unlikely.
     
  32. Jimmy cooper

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    You might have been signed off in two but you were a hazard on landing in a stiff crosswind. I'm sure they would not have let you solo unless it was quite calm. If not they were either desperate or nuts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  33. peerlesscowboy

    peerlesscowboy Line Up and Wait

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    You might try slowing the airplane down a little before deploying the flaps.
     
  34. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

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    The 180 Cessna is one of my favorite airplanes. I never could afford one when younger but was checked out in one when I had about 2000 hours in TWs. I flew it a total of about ten hours. Wish I could have really been proficient in it but never got the chance to do it. Wonderful airplane. If I didn't have to fly light sport, I'd have one and a Stinson 108 with a 180 lycoming conversion.
     
  35. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Why would you want to ruin a good aircraft?
     
  36. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Yep, may as well put the O-470 on it. That sucker had incredible climb and could nearly hover.
     
  37. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

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    Your wrong. I've seen one take off many times with a 180. Great performance. Used on many aircraft. The engine is proven. The franklin is old news and always in question as to who's building it, parts availability, etc. the fellow who I saw with the 180 conversion claimed it was a perfect fit. I'm going with him. He had owned it a long time.
     
  38. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Who said any thing about a Franklin.?

    TSIO 360-KB
     
  39. txflyer

    txflyer En-Route

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    Fly it like you STOL it ♦
    180s have a reputation as a pilots airplane. And an over all reputation as one of the greatest singles ever built. But you don't just jump in one and go fly. You have to get checked out a few more hours than normal. It pays to find a good 180 old hand who can show you some tweaks and what the aircraft is fully capable of.

    My first 180/airline/commercial/CFI instructor for the dual insurance hours was landing my plane all over everywhere except on the runway at every small field where we went. It scared the **** out of me at first. I was thinking, "what is he trying to do to my beautiful new (to me) aircraft? But he was showing me how hard it is to break a 180, and how it loved grass. He was much less gentle with the plane than I am even now. Later, he told me he had a ball flying mine and how he loved skywagons. He was glad he got the gig.

    I call it my Ford F250 of the sky. :yesnod:
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  40. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

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    I can say a lot about a franklin which is why I mentioned them . many 108 stinsons were powered with them and many were converted to various other brands. The problems with franklins is well known. If you want to put a higher powered engine than a 180 lycoming that's your choice. I would only do that if flying in the bush, carrying very heavy loads, ie: Alaska. For typical pleasure flying the 180 hp is a perfect match.