VansAirForceForums  
Home > VansAirForceForums

-POSTING RULES
-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.


Go Back   VAF Forums > Main > Safety
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-19-2021, 12:20 PM
colojo's Avatar
colojo colojo is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Sausalito, CA
Posts: 343
Default Anyone flying an RV taildragger with a fused ankle?

I had my ankle fused about 3 months ago and am well on my way to recovery. Last week I taxied my RV-8 around the ramp and did a run-up to see if I could flex the ankle enough to reliably steer and brake. I could, but not by much. I definitely don't feel confident enough to fly yet; I'm going to give my ankle another couple weeks or so to loosen up a little more before I try that.

My question is: Has anyone else here had ankle fusion surgery? Are you able to safely operate your taildragger, especially during landings? Thanks.
__________________
Joe Zuffoletto
RV-8 (flying)
Fullerton, CA (KFUL)
2021 dues paid!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-20-2021, 12:32 PM
scootwoot scootwoot is offline
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Granite Bay, CA
Posts: 70
Default

I would think differential braking would be tough with the standard pedals. I don't have your situation, so I can't state for fact. There are always solutions.

Regards
Bill
__________________
RV-6 (AircraftWraps Sept 15, 14)
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-20-2021, 02:07 PM
JIM_NORCAL's Avatar
JIM_NORCAL JIM_NORCAL is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: San Rafael, CA
Posts: 3
Default Fused Prosthetic ankle

I wear a prosthetic left leg below the knee. My knee is fine which is why I am quite ambulatory. The ankle has some flex but no control. I fly an RV-12 which while not a taildragger does use differential braking. I cut a 1/2" thick piece of wood the shape of the top (toe end) of my shoe and epoxied a couple of velcro straps to it with which I can strap it to the toe end of my shoe. In the air this does basically nothing as I can push the rudder with leg action just fine. On the ground I can apply the brake by holding the right rudder firm (no toe action) and pushing with my left leg which applies the brake because the wood block is contacting the top bar (brake). This works well enough that I can lock the left tire and pirouette around it. Actually, the last couple of flights with new shoes revealed that I should not use them for flying as the toe end is so flexible that it is hard to get real pressure with the right brake as the toe curls up and doesn't push firmly.

I have been checked out for tail draggers (Citabria) prior to having a motorcycle. Yes, I got hit hence the amputation. Anyway, a while back I did an upset recovery exercise in an instructor's Citabria. I didn't wear the wood device but I could take off and land keeping the plane straight without braking, as it should be. The instructor did the taxiing but I have no doubt that the same block or something similar would work in the Citabria.

PM if you want to discuss further.

Jim
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-20-2021, 03:49 PM
Roadjunkie1's Avatar
Roadjunkie1 Roadjunkie1 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Erie, Colorado
Posts: 79
Default

I have a friend that lost both feet in an accident and has two prosthetic feet from the ankles down. He flies a Hatz Biplane and doesn't seem to have much problem. If you didn't know he had prosthetics, you wouldn't be able to tell.

Your ankle will get more flexible the further you are out from surgery and you will also adapt to the "new you" down there. DO your physical therapy!!
__________________
Michael
RV-4 2860
1946 C-90 J-3 Cub
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-20-2021, 09:56 PM
Carlos151's Avatar
Carlos151 Carlos151 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lebanon, TN
Posts: 316
Default +1 for PT

Had my left ankle rebuilt a few years back after taking the express route off a ladder. Took some time to get the flexibility back to operate the brakes but as previously mentioned, PT is the key. Do what they tell you and youíll get back to flying in short order. Took me 4 months after surgery and Iíd say motion was back to 95%. Took another year to get the last 5%.
__________________
Karl Richcreek
RV-8
N151TK "La Otra Chica"
Flying as of August 14, 2015
TN26
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-20-2021, 10:01 PM
colojo's Avatar
colojo colojo is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Sausalito, CA
Posts: 343
Default

Thanks everyone for your replies. I'm definitely doing my PT and the ankle is getting a little more flexible every day. Of course, it will never be as flexible as a normal ankle because it is fused, but I think I'll be back in the air soon.
__________________
Joe Zuffoletto
RV-8 (flying)
Fullerton, CA (KFUL)
2021 dues paid!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-21-2021, 07:15 AM
wilddog wilddog is online now
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: va.
Posts: 586
Default

[quote=Roadjunkie1;1495993]I have a friend that lost both feet in an accident and has two prosthetic feet from the ankles down. He flies a Hatz Biplane and doesn't seem to have much problem.

Hatz built per plans uses heel brakes.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-21-2021, 07:20 AM
A6PILOT A6PILOT is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 53
Default

I had my ankle fused a year and 3 months ago. The ankle wonít gain any flexibility because itís fused. The front part including the toes can move a little maybe 1/2 inch. Iíve been flying since 4 months after the operation. You will be able to fly and land without problems but I find I canít make any sharp turns in the direction of the bad ankle. I might try the wooden block recommended by one poster. Good luck and keep flying
__________________
Steve Richmond/Corsicana, TX/RV8 Flying /FFI, Falcon Flight
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-21-2021, 03:41 PM
jrs14855 jrs14855 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lake Havasu City AZ
Posts: 2,430
Default douglas bader

Search Douglas Bader
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-22-2021, 07:59 AM
tracy tracy is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: chattanooga,tn
Posts: 249
Default Ankle

Just curious, why did you elect to a fusion instead of ankle replacement? They have come a long way in just the last 5 years on replacements.
__________________
Tracy Willingham
RV-8
Powered Paraglider
Pitts S2B- sold
Chattanooga, Tn
Dues Paid
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:07 PM.


The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.