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  #1  
Old 10-29-2021, 11:04 AM
gmcjetpilot's Avatar
gmcjetpilot gmcjetpilot is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,725
Default Tail Wheels are Dangerous

KIDDING

Seriously tail wheel planes, called "conventional gear", training and knowledge makes you a better pilot even if you have a tricycled gear plane.

I found a good video on youtube. There are 100's but these I though were informative or fun. Books I recommend
The Complete Taildragger Pilot - LeRoy Cook
Tail Tactidragger - Sparky Imeson (he had a VHS to go with it I recall)

As a CFI I break down teaching conventional gear training into two parts, ground school and practical stick and rudder.

1) Is a full understanding of the dynamics, forces, physics and fundamental techniques of landing. Strangely enough conventional or tricycle share a lot in common, like good approach, speed control and side slip for cross winds. If you are boss in a C172 with cross winds, landing in strong gusty cross winds with competent and confidence it will go a long way in a TW plane. TW planes will increase your skill as they want to WEATHER-VANE more than tricycle plane as the gear is further forward.

2) The other can only be learned in the plane. From your ground school on TW you know the CG is behind the mains and this means it wants to swap ends and vertical velocity at touch down causes the tail to go down, increasing angle of attack causing the plane to fly again. Tricycle then plane wants to self center more or less and the CG being forward of the mains makes it want to de-rotate (although you can bounce and with pilot induced oscillation (PIO) you can still get in trouble. Bottom line poor technique in a TW plane is amplified and less forgiving. The only way to learn is practice. Always be looking down the runway. Maintain directional control even the smallest deviation is correct quickly and without over control. Don't do anything until slowed to a walking speed and even then don't stop flying until it is tied down.


There are dozens of videos on youtube about taildraggers

This was shot on VHS in the 80's I guess but it is a great over view. There are many clips of planes landing. Watch them over and over. Look at the rudder. It is moving constantly, small quick inputs going back to natural, like you are dancing on rudder pedals.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B78vtDKATTg&t=1065s

I love old military training videos but it has some good tips, don't let the silly presentation throw you.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3hRFCP40F4

Sometimes watching good and bad landings from the ramp is informative. Starting at 3:31 it shows a Citabria and DC3 landing which are actually very good but the audio and pop up text indicates this is not proper. I would say the DC3 was a little exaggerated but that is the correct technique, holding the upwind wheel down and downwind wheel up until you run out of aileron. The ground loops look un-controllable but they are totally controllable until they are not. Once the aircraft mass (at CG) starts moving laterally from direction of travel it may reach a point that main gear drag plus centrifugal force exceed rudder control. Some "intuitive" control inputs to the untrained/unskilled/unprepared make it worse. Differential Brakes can sometimes be used to "save it" but the whole idea is not let it get to that point you need to jab the brake*. If you keep CG tracking inline with main gear in direction of travel it is fairly easy to control. Again quick accurate corrections with rudder and back to neutral. Don't get distracted until almost stopped and keep eyes down the runway for alignment.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5trygRQaV0

Seth is Da man. His 10 tips are great.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XQ5OVDaZ10

(* In really strong cross wind as you slow the plane may still weather vane, turn into the wind, as rudder becomes less effective and you reach max travel. The whole side of the plane and vertical stab acts as a sail. No air over rudder means no control. So dragging the downwind brake may save the day and be needed. Normally you stay off the brakes until almost stopped. When it's windy, strong cross wind, you may exceed the planes X-wind capability or your undershorts capacity. ha ha. I landed once on a wet runway in a RV-4 and was almost stopped on the runway ready to turn off, and the wind slid us sideways, not weather vane but sideways. It was raining and gusty. That was why we landed. Coming from Oshkosh going back to Seattle, a line of oh my gosh weather made us land for the night, so a storm front was approaching this airport. However down wind brakes helped, but we did get pushed sideways. If I did not use the brakes it would have been a minor ground loop at very slow speeds. However you should never be a passenger, use all the controls properly and timely fashion and make the plane do what you want. I had a passenger and bags so the extra weight helped keep it planted.)
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Last edited by gmcjetpilot : 11-09-2021 at 10:39 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2021, 11:52 AM
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riseric riseric is offline
 
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Default

Thanks Geaorges for these well made points. All makes sense.
Not flying yet and about to do TW training.


Would a passenger and bagage in the back of a 4 or 8 increase the tendency to ground loop as more weight even further back the mains (CG further rearward) want to go forward???
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  #3  
Old 10-29-2021, 03:02 PM
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jcarne jcarne is offline
 
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I absolutely loved the first video when I saw it a few months back. Thanks for the second one. Hadn't found that one yet. There are some great old training videos out there. Love the movie/tell a story style of teaching.
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  #4  
Old 10-29-2021, 03:07 PM
BenNabors BenNabors is offline
 
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Default Another good video on tailwheel training.

This a good video too, there are two parts, 1 and 2.

https://youtu.be/E3q2Swzi2q8
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  #5  
Old 10-29-2021, 05:30 PM
BillL BillL is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenNabors View Post
This a good video too, there are two parts, 1 and 2.

https://youtu.be/E3q2Swzi2q8
This CFI is a tailwheel instructor! Nice videos.

Edit: Let me just go on record as saying this thread title is the absolute worst.
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Last edited by BillL : 10-30-2021 at 04:25 AM.
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  #6  
Old 10-29-2021, 06:03 PM
calpilot calpilot is offline
 
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Location: Independence
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The accident rate for tailwheel vs nose wheel RV's is about the same. Most nose wheel accidents relate to hard landing on nose wheel, bending it under, and blowing a brake, usually caused by too much brake for taxi, and too little inspection. When the A model blows a brake, the pilot is going for a ride, only thing he or she can do is cob the power if there is enough runway left and use rudder to steer, if the tail wheel blows a brake, there is still good tailwheel steering, and some drag from the operating brake, in concert with opposite rudder from the operating brake.

DAR Gary
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  #7  
Old 10-29-2021, 11:07 PM
crabandy crabandy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillL View Post
This CFI is a tailwheel instructor! Nice videos.
Bill,
Double Thumbs up as he knows his stuff, utilizes it around the country weekly and plays a decent guitar with not a half bad singing voice!
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  #8  
Old 10-30-2021, 07:04 AM
BillL BillL is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crabandy View Post
Bill,
Double Thumbs up as he knows his stuff, utilizes it around the country weekly and plays a decent guitar with not a half bad singing voice!
I looked him up and is apparently only 1.2 RV flying units away. 218nm. I don't recall being taught these specific set of exercises in any training and surely picked up a lot of bad habits in the last 250 hrs as a result. His take on cross wind selection for right/left (landing/take-off) make perfect sense and I have been doing these for different reasons - -they just "felt" better. That makes perfect sense now. Lots more missing for sure that can make a better TW pilot.

Funny, I was reading a magazine article that stumbled into talking about landing a C180. They said it was a challenge to land w/o bouncing, etc. It perfectly describes the landing in a -7, leading to the conclusion that it is a characteristic of the TW flight experience in general. That goes unrecognized by the low time (TW) pilot. But I ramble . . . .
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  #9  
Old 10-30-2021, 09:41 AM
crabandy crabandy is offline
 
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Bill,
I think the last of the season has last but when it warms up again go to the Burger Burn!
https://m.facebook.com/burgerburn/
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  #10  
Old 10-30-2021, 10:33 AM
Robert Sailor Robert Sailor is offline
 
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I can't count the number of tailwheel checkouts I've done over the years but certainly a ton of them.
If students learning on tricycle gear aircraft were held to the same standards as tailwheel students by their instructors then tailwheel checkouts would be a lot shorter in time.

They are not held to the same standard because most instructors learned in tricycle gear and their own standards are not that high.

Unfortunately the tricycle gear aircraft self corrects for all the little mistakes both students and instructors make in landing.

I can always tell the quality of instruction pilots have had when I'm doing tailwheel checkouts...some requiring only a few hours and others up to 15+ hours. It really shows. When I realize I'm dealing with a student that has had a very high level of training I always ask who his instructor was. It took a few years before I was teaching another of this fellows students and sure enough another fast checkout....good training is easy to detect.

Tailwheel aircraft come equipped with high standards required built right in for both students and instructors ...

Tailwheel aircraft are not all equal either with some requiring a very high level of skill.
RV's, Cubs Cessna140, 170's and Citabrias are on the super easy level with Pitts, Texans near the top and Pacers and Luscombe near the middle.
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