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Old 01-22-2021, 09:53 AM
Roadjunkie1's Avatar
Roadjunkie1 Roadjunkie1 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Erie, Colorado
Posts: 161
Default Toe vs heel brakes

Originally Posted by wilddog View Post

Hatz built per plans uses heel brakes.
True, that. But I fly both heel and toe brakes and both take a reasonable amount of flexibility in my aging ankles. I think the heel brakes in the Cub (similar to the Hatz) take more flexibility of the ankle joints than the toe brakes in SuzieQ, just in another direction, dorsiflexion (toes up, heel down) in the Cub vs plantarflexion (just toes down) in SuzieQ. The radius of movement is larger in the Cub. I usually wear Goat-roper cowboy boots with a 2 inch heel in the Cub. Reach those brakes without as much movement.

The point here being that a person can fly having had and ankle fused or messed with in other ways, my friend's example being of the extreme. Any amount of flexibility gained after surgery (with the help of PT, of course, and exercises done on their own), and adapting to the new limits of flexibility will contribute to being confident on brakes in various aircraft.

Besides, brakes are for sissies
RV-4 2860
1946 C-90-8 J-3 Cub
The adventure begins when things stop going as planned - Glen Heggstad
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Old 01-23-2021, 07:39 PM
colojo's Avatar
colojo colojo is offline
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Newport Beach, CA
Posts: 350

Re: "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."

I consulted with 4 surgeons and they unanimously agreed that fusion was my only path forward. This was due to the nature of my original injury, which left my ankle chronically (and painfully!) dislocated due to severe and irreparable damage to the syndesmosis. A replacement wouldn't have worked because it presupposes a healthy syndesmosis and the other ligaments supporting the ankle. My ankle joint was completely unstable and therefore fusion was the only solution.
Joe Zuffoletto
RV-8 (flying)
Fullerton, CA (KFUL)
2021 dues paid!

Last edited by colojo : 01-23-2021 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 01-25-2021, 09:45 AM
dwalters dwalters is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Paso Robles, California
Posts: 2
Default Fused Ankle

My left ankle is partially fused. I have very limited movement of that ankle. I fly a RV-6. I find that when landing I have my heals on the floor and my legs control the rudder. When I need to brake I move my leg/foot higher where contact with the top of the rudder petal (Top of Brake) is located. Applied pressure then activates the brakes. It is very natural for me and I don't have to think about it.

When I shattered my ankle I was in the middle of building my tail dragger. I freaked out that I might have a problem with flying it.

I would suggest flying with an instructor who can save a landing if your feet go astray. You will naturally figure it out in quick order.
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