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lindyman
07-28-2004, 04:23 AM
I'm about to buy a share in an aerobatic machine, but before I can enjoy it, I need conversion training for tail draggers.

I wonder, those of you who fly tail draggers, and have had to re-learn from flying nose gear planes, how long did the training take?

Just curious.
_
/Bjorn.

lindyman
07-28-2004, 04:23 AM
I'm about to buy a share in an aerobatic machine, but before I can enjoy it, I need conversion training for tail draggers.

I wonder, those of you who fly tail draggers, and have had to re-learn from flying nose gear planes, how long did the training take?

Just curious.
_
/Bjorn.

ELEM
07-28-2004, 05:20 AM
Took me about 3 hours to convert to my first tail dragger (Bellanca Citabria). Loved it so much I never went back to trikes. It just feels so much more natural. What are you converting on? One thing I would say is always keep the rudder active as this is your most important control surface in a t/d and don't let the a/c get ahead of you. It will teach you to fly properly.
You are always learning things in a taildragger and they are always trying to bite back, as with my little experience posted on this thread...

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=400102&f=23110283&m=912100175

I wouldn't join any club that would have ME as member!

http://img35.photobucket.com/albums/v107/Elem_Klimov/I-16_desktop.jpg http://img35.photobucket.com/albums/v107/Elem_Klimov/dhm_787_small.jpg

[This message was edited by ELEM on Wed July 28 2004 at 09:58 AM.]

lindyman
07-28-2004, 05:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ELEM:
Took me about 3 hours to convert to my first tail dragger (Bellanca Citabria). Loved it so much I never went back to trikes. It just feels so much more natural. What are you converting on?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm not sure what I will make the conversion on. It might be a Bellanca Super Decathlon, it might be a Super Cub, it might be a Cessna 182, and it might even be a Citrabria. I'm currently trying to see what my options are.

The thing I'll fly later, however, is a Steen Skybolt. Can most probably not do the conversion on that plane, though.
_
/Bjorn.

IL2-chuter
07-28-2004, 09:00 AM
I took to it instantly. First takeoff (7AC Champ) veered a little to right but stayed on runway. Instructor just kept saying "keep the rudder moving" and that was it. Once you get comfortable in taildraggers a seaplane rating is easy as the technique is the same (you just have to learn to read the water).

My favorite non-trike (that I've flown) would be a toss-up between a Beaver (big round engined cub - like a big old teddy bear) and a Robertson 185 (brute performance). http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

"I fly only Full Real in Il2 Forgotten Battles." -Mark Donohue

tfu_iain1
07-28-2004, 09:36 AM
"I'm not sure what I will make the conversion on. It might be a Bellanca Super Decathlon, it might be a Super Cub, it might be a Cessna 182, and it might even be a Citrabria. I'm currently trying to see what my options are."

isnt the cessna 182 a trike a/c as well? do you mean a different plane (just curious, not nitpicking). either way, wish i could afford to be a private pilot.

lindyman
07-28-2004, 11:57 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by tfu_iain1:
isnt the cessna 182 a trike a/c as well? do you mean a different plane (just curious, not nitpicking). either way, wish i could afford to be a private pilot.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hmmm... It's listed as a 182, but it is definitely a taildragger, ski equipped in the winter. Maybe it's a rebuild, maybe it's not the correct designation.

Edit: Rechecked, it's a 185. My bad.

tfu_iain1, find some way to get the money. If I couldn't fly, I'd probably spend the same amount of money on shrinks http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

_
/Bjorn.

[This message was edited by lindyman on Wed July 28 2004 at 11:57 AM.]

Vladimir_No2
07-28-2004, 03:28 PM
Cessna 185 [certainly a taildragger]
http://www.howardaircraft.com/N2231T-close.jpg

http://img78.photobucket.com/albums/v255/vladimir_no2/polishsig.jpg
Der Spaziergang uber Warshau

TX-EcoDragon
07-28-2004, 04:46 PM
Awesome!! You will Love it I am sure. . . I find that tailwheel aircraft even make pattern work fun as it was back when I was training!

I did my tailwheel transition at two different places in two different aircraft, I did about 5 hours in a PT-17 Stearman and was told I was pretty much done for going to a Decathlon type (the stearman would take a bit longer), then finished up at another school with 3 more in the SuperDecathlon that I was going to be competing in (I combined this with a checkout at a new FBO, even though I had to add the extra time) afterwords I had usually had to do about 1-2 hours dual in any subsequent type for rental purposes, unless a greater amount is specified (for instance, the pitts often has a good 20 Minimum hours of dual required). There are places that will sign you off in less 5-10 hours, but trust me, you won't save yourself any headaches going the quickie route here. So plan it so that you can get ample practice doing normal wheel, and sometimes 3pt departures, 3pt and wheel landings, S-turns and all types of takeoffs and landings in a legit cross wind of a sufficient velocity to push your comfort level. You don't want to be landing with a 23 knot cross wind with no other airport nearby, wondering if it is possible or not, and if it is, if you are capable of doing it! Get a good CFI, not one who will make it take 50 hours, and not one who promises to spit you out in 5 hours before he has even flown with you!

I have observed a strange phenomenon that new pilots seem to take to it quicker than the guys with loads of experience, especially airline experience because trikes allow and even encourage lazy feet, and the mroe time you have practicing the wrong way the harder it is to unlearn. . . of course this isn't always the way it is, it mostly depends on the pilot's initial training. One thing I suggest is that you practice the falling leaf stalls in the aircraft you normally fly. to wake up those feet, it is a good excercise to practice deep oscilation or "falling leaf" stalls, with a good instructor of course, basically you enter a conventional power off stall at about twice the alt you use for normal stalls, and at the break bring the yoke all the way back to the stop and keep it there, now keep the wings level hile maintaining heading and keep the plane stalled for a 1,000 feet of descent or so until you are comfortable with this, and untill your feet work fast enough, and in the proper magnitude to keep on heading, and to keep the wings on an even keel. Beware though, that using aileron to l evel the wings, or skidding the rudder will require immediate corrective action to prevent the ensuing unusual attitude form turning into a spin. . . so as I said. . . do this ONLY with a good instructor who is comfortable with spin recovery. When landing a trike most of us focus our energy on the flare and making a soft touchdown, if we are in the first 1/3 of the runway and in the vicinity of centerline nearly all atention goes into that round-out. What I have noticed when I am in the right seat, is that around that time the nose starts to yaw (do these pilots know which way it will go?) and they usually either left it yaw and land sideloaded, or they overcorrect. . .and land it side loaded. Many of these guys are the types who make you pay for dinner if your landing was firmer than theirs. . .they have learned to land soft, to impress passengers and even most CFIs, at the expense of the other components that comprise a well performed landings, and as such are performing sub-standard landings in my book, and then turning around and saying "how'd you like that landings!!" with a big grin. (I am speaking about someone in particular, I hope he isn't reading this. . ;-D) When he expressed an interest in getting into aerobatics I began to prep him to go into the tailwheel aircraft and this meant I had to stop flattering him and I just did this by saying "Groundloop" after any of these sideways touchdowns. I had to keep telling him . . "right rudder" or "Left Rudder"
and he acted like I was nuts. He simply did not see that the nose was yawing, his perceptions were on other things, and when I made him pay attention to it he thought his landings went crappy. In fact his landings were better. He used to land fast and flat which makes soft landings in Cessnas a bit easier, he didn't keep the aircraft lined up with the touchdown surface very well, though from a trike perspective he did very well, and was used to getting praise about his flying ability, and he didn't pick a touchdown point very near the threshold. (I only add in this last point because for many pilots tailwheel airplanes and short rough strips with obstacles in the mountains go hand in hand!) It took him a little while to change what he used to judge his landing attitude, and learn to land in a tailwheel approved manner, but once he did he started taking pride in that, even if the touchdown was a little firmer than he used to make.


As far as the aircraft selection keep in mind a few points:

The Cessna 180 and 185 are great, and useful planes, but don't bother with them if your heading for a skybolt. (plus it will be pricey compared to the citabria and decathlon)
The Citabria, and Decathlon have better over the nose visability than most trikes so you will miss out on an a couple important aspects of tailwheel training, you wont be learning to S-Turn, which actually can be something of an art in gusty x-winds and tail-winds, and you won't have to develop your peripheral vision to land it. For me the biggest challenge of these two aircraft was just getting the right sight picture, I had such good visability that I tended to look forward and use the nose as an indication of pitch, I tended not to lift the tail enough on departure, and for 3 pt landings if you pull the nose up to the horizon it will be a 1 pt landing! (tailwheel first) Overall these is an extremely easy and forgiving tailwheel aircraft, the citabria has better prop clearance though, so it might be best to go with that the first couple flights if it is blustery, they really are quite similar in their ground handling otherwise, though the Super of course has more torque so you should get at least some of the time in that if you go this route (it still is not much at all compared to many tailwheel planes). You also will be able to look straight ahead when landing, and in most tailwheel aircraft won't allow this, like the skybolt, great lakes, stearman, pitts, mid winged Extra and Edge. You don't see much of anything of the touchdown zone when you start to level out in prep for the 3pt attitude, and once you raise the nose, there is nothing forward at all on a 90 degree arc (45 degrees to either side). These are solo from from front seat only but after you are endorsed, or near the end of your endorsement you should do a fair amount of pattern work from the back seat with the instructor up front. This will whip you into shape for the more typical tailwheel sight picture.

The cub is also very forgiving (and rugged!) and would be fine too! though no aerobatics! This is solo from the rear seat, so perhaps better practice once you are checked out, but without a person up front your vis, even from the back isn't as bad as you might find in the.
If you can get your hands on a Pitts, Great lakes, or skybolt then do that! Or a best yet, after you are comfortable witht he Cub,Citabria,Decathlon, try out a stearman then you are really set. The stearman MAKES you S-turn, it has a high CG, it lumbers and sways as the fuel sloshes around up in the wing, it has tall narrow gear, it really wants to swap ends on you bad, and a big radial out front making plenty of torque, it really lets you know what it means to be a tailwheel pilot, in that all the things you have to relearn to get tailwheel competent, all the "bad qualities" that made us phase out much use of the tailwheel configuration, it has in spades! This way, when you are off alone in the Skybolt, you know the tailwheel at it's worst, and you have the proper techniques to keep it tamed. Also, if your sight technique works in the stearman, it will be something that you can use in most any other tailwheel aircraft to ease the transition, simply because you use a more repeatable method to set the landing attitude than just the distance from the nose to the horizon, by sort of leaning your head back a little bit and keeping the picture on each side the same, or moving your eyes a little in sort of an "all-seeing gaze."

It is easy to do a quick tailwheel transition, in very domesticated aircraft, my first tailwheel training was years before I got tailwheel endorsed, I had heard the horror stories, and thought I must be some sort of ace pilot, because it was all just perfect, in fact I landed that better than the Archer or the 172 I was training in, I had a little confidence boost, but later, after more experience I have a different take on things. Even those nice little Champs cubs and Citabria will get nasty if the conditions get a little out of hand. . . and who wants to hurt a perfectly good plane! I know I don't and I sure don't want to pay for a damaged one either!

Oh and by the way, if you are going to be buying a share, ie you are going to be a part owner, then keep in mind that the insurance compnay may set VERY high demands on you. . . far higher than it would take you to rent. I as a renter can practically own a Super Decathlon, Extra 200, and Pitts S-2C, over here at LVK, in that I can always get them when I want them, I can solo them, I can compete in them, but I don't have any of the headaches of maintainance or insurance, or even any attatchment to them when I want to move up. This particular FBO has it's insurance cover renters and all they have to carry is 15,000 of insurance for the deductable (though most coverage gives liability coverage at the same time) and here in the US that is only about 280.00 a year. If this same person who can solo the pitts was to want to Buy a Pitts S-2C they would have to have huge total time and time in type, plus they would need a good 20-40 hours dual unless they had tons of time already from renting that same type of aircraft. Of course "owning" is still the best, it can be more costly than we expect especially if we go into a high performance, tailwheel, vintage aircraft.

S!
TX-EcoDragon
Black 1
TX Squadron XO
http://www.txsquadron.com

Member-Team Raven
http://www.waynehandley.com

Northern California Aerobatic Club
http://www.iac38.org/

First Slot Pilot Aircraft #4 of the Virtual Haute-Voltige Team
http://www.vhvt.com/

Learn to fly, learn aerobatics, learn to fly a tailwheel at LVK.
http://www.attitudeaviation.com/

http://www.txsquadron.com/uploaded/TX-EcoDragon/ravenvert.jpg

[This message was edited by TX-EcoDragon on Wed July 28 2004 at 04:14 PM.]

lindyman
07-29-2004, 02:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TX-EcoDragon:
lots...
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks. Awesome. Always the source of plentiful information and wisdom.

Unfortunately I can't get hold of a Stearman to do it in. I have no idea where the nearest one may be located, but it's not anywhere near, beucase then I would know.

The learning situation is a bit awkward, but perhaps not as bad as I first thought.

One of the share holders is an aerobatic instructor, but not a full blown flight instructor. Meaning that he's allowed to give me all the familiarisation training I need, and all further aerobatic training I want, but he's not allowed to give me the conversion training.

The good thing with that, though, is that even if I might get a less than perfect conversion training, having the endorsement allows me to do all the training I need and want with him.

I've been up with the guy once, and as far as he's concerned, I'm welcome as a share holder. I have to bank on him not being very keen on having someone wrecking his airshow display plane.

Even though I've always flown tricycle gear planes, so far, and recognice in your description some of the vices of my own, I really prefer to get a good lineup on touchdown. If there landing is a bit rough, I prefer vertical roughness to lateral roughness (although no roughness at all is best.) Never did it occurr to me, though, that my low hours might be an advantage http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
_
/Bjorn.

TX-EcoDragon
07-29-2004, 03:01 AM
What country are you in?

I did most of my advanced aerobatics training with a friend of mine who is an airshow pilot extraordinaire, and coach and instructor to many of the todays (and the past 10 years) best US aerobatic pilots. . . he often has trainees paying him to train them, and he is not a CFI but certainly one of the best aerobatic pilots in the world. Clearly he is competent to train us, BUT the insurance companies are very restrictive about what they will allow. Here in the US there is no "aerobatics rating" and as such there is no certification required to teach it other than commercial if your going to be paid.

Also, most flight schools are going to put you in a citabria or decathlon, and while these are great aircraft, and affordable, they aren't what you are going to be flying, so you would have to retrain in the skybolt, so if he is willing to put the time in with you in that plane once you are endorsed, then that is awesome! The only potential trouble is that the insurance company may not share the opinion that training can be given by someone who isn't a flight instructor. . . so check into that ASAP as you may have to get a CFI checked out in the plane to fly with you in order for the insurance co. to cover you.

S!
TX-EcoDragon
Black 1
TX Squadron XO
http://www.txsquadron.com

Member-Team Raven
http://www.waynehandley.com

Northern California Aerobatic Club
http://www.iac38.org/

First Slot Pilot Aircraft #4 of the Virtual Haute-Voltige Team
http://www.vhvt.com/

Learn to fly, learn aerobatics, learn to fly a tailwheel at LVK.
http://www.attitudeaviation.com/

http://www.txsquadron.com/uploaded/TX-EcoDragon/ravenvert.jpg

lindyman
07-29-2004, 03:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TX-EcoDragon:
What country are you in?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sweden.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TX-EcoDragon:
...so if he is willing to put the time in with you in that plane once you are endorsed, then that is awesome! The only potential trouble is that the insurance company may not share the opinion that training can be given by someone who isn't a flight instructor. . . so check into that ASAP as you may have to get a CFI checked out in the plane to fly with you in order for the insurance co. to cover you.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The insurance situation is quite backward, and one thing that's causing the problem. Insurance requires that only the share holders are pilot in command. Since none of the shareholders are CFIs, it's not possible to get legally proper training on the aircraft, unless I can persuade some CFI to buy a share it, or have "my" share, and re-sell it to me after the training. I find that scenario to be very unlikely. Had that limitation not been in place, the whole situation would've been so much easier, and ironically put the aircraft and me at less risk.
_
/Bjorn.