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Old 12-15-2021, 07:45 AM
moespeeds moespeeds is offline
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ
Posts: 149
Default What's the best course of action in the event of a ground loop?

I see tons of info out there on how to avoid a ground loop, and of course avoiding it altogether is always best. But in the event you do go for a ride, what's the best thing to do?

Let the controls go? Both brakes? Inside or Outside brake?
Moe Colontonio
Cherry Hill, NJ
RV-8 N495T
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Old 12-15-2021, 07:54 AM
odens_14 odens_14 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: West Central, MN
Posts: 365

I got my tailwheel endorsement in a Stinson with no right side brakes; while my instructor was showing me s-turns on the ground he lost it and yelled "DON'T TOUCH THE BRAKES". we spun around maybe 270 degrees but were slow enough we were never in danger of tipping.

All that to say, at least per my instructor "DON'T TOUCH THE BRAKES!!!"

ETA: this is after the ground loop is imminent, I agree with others that you should use opposite brake to prevent a ground loop while still making forward progress. once the tail is coming around, I feel adding brakes will increases the chance of tipping and scraping a wing or worse.
Chris Odens
West Central, Minnesota

Last edited by odens_14 : 12-15-2021 at 09:37 AM. Reason: additional info
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Old 12-15-2021, 07:56 AM
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DanH DanH is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: 08A
Posts: 10,713

Originally Posted by moespeeds View Post
But in the event you do go for a ride, what's the best thing to do?
Lie about it....
Dan Horton
Barrett IO-390
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:00 AM
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Dan 57 Dan 57 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: LSZF
Posts: 963

Reach for your cell and order the necessary parts...
- ain't the Destination, but the Journey -

RV-6.9 #25685, slider, O-360-A3A (carb/dual Lightspeed II), MTV-12-B, HB-YLL owner & lover
RV-4 #2062 HB-YVZ airframe builder
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:27 AM
94kb 94kb is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Waco, Texas
Posts: 158

Get clean underwear.
Kenneth Beene / Waco, Texas
RV-4 N63KB low wing
J-3 N2263M high wing
AS1 N777PJ bi wing
Cherokee N4217J
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:27 AM
Taltruda Taltruda is offline
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 1,138

Try to stop the ground loop and fight it all the way! If itís going left, I would use full right rudder, right brake, left aileron, and full power. The power may provide the necessary airflow over the tail to prevent it. Plus if you can get it airborne, you are no longer a tailwheel aircraft and can just fly it away. Itís my understanding that when a -8 gets groundlooped, often times the fuselage gets tweaked because the gear towers are kinda weak..
Las Vegas
RV-4 flyingÖ
RV-8 empenage finished 10-2020

Wings Started.. 11-2020
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:44 AM
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Veetail88 Veetail88 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Hales Corners, WI
Posts: 1,028

I ground looped the 8 pretty early on. Unfortunately it was at a towered class D airport and I took out a marker light on my way off the pavement. As such, it was reported and I had a little conversation with the FAA. Dude was good about it and asked if I learned anything from it. I wanted to say "yeah, don't do it at a towered airport", but rather talked about what happened. He was convinced, and as the only damage was the light, (which apparently get run down frequently) my right wheel pant and my ego, he said he marked our conversation as "additional training has been given" and that was that.

The problem was that a gust caught me just as I slowed enough where I ran out of rudder authority and I went into the grass and stopped 180 degrees into it. Fortunately missing the big runway number sign by a couple of feet.

On debrief in my own head, I thought I might have saved it by applying the right brake when I ran out of rudder (looped to the left). I'd not needed to try out the theory in the next 800 hours until this past weekend. Exact same scenario (different airport) only this time, with quite a bit more experience, when I was running out of rudder and beginning to lose it, muscle memory automatically pushed on the brake. Straightened it right out. Gotta be careful when the wind is 16 gusting to 28 at 50 degrees out of alignment with the runway..... Maybe just should have left it in the hangar.
Jesse Bentley
N229Z - RV-8 - Flying - Livin' the dream!

Last edited by Veetail88 : 12-15-2021 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 12-15-2021, 09:45 AM
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Daida Daida is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Hannover, Germany
Posts: 193

Originally Posted by DanH View Post
Lie about it....
liked that one.........but....

I like to say that there are only two kind of pilots around.
The ones who already did a ground loop, and the ones who will do one sooner or later. There is no third kind....

besides that, if you are beyond the recovery point and going for a ride, i would pull mixture cut off, get on the brakes (not full but firm) and pull the stick.
i would try to safe the engine from a prop strike, decrease energy and hope for a god outcome.
RV-8 QB Germany
ECi XIO-360
Dynon SV

Flying since 11th July 2020
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Old 12-15-2021, 09:50 AM
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Prepperpilot Prepperpilot is offline
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: Buckeye Executive 90A5, Columbus Ohio
Posts: 91

I talk myself down all the time.
Left crosswind.
"Left Aileron, Right Rudder, Left Aileron, Right Rudder." Repeat.
Reverse opposite direction.
Oh, and do the Rudder Dance until you come to a stop.
Oh, and Go Around, try again if its sketchy.
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Old 12-15-2021, 10:27 AM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,264

Stick back,
Power idle or off,
Get off the brakes.

A full groundloop is one thing. Those three things might help to keep you from going up on the nose or over - although probably it's already too late for aft stick to do any good.

If you're going fast enough that the elevator is effective, then certainly full aft stick. And you might try a bit of rudder and brake to correct, possibly power. But once the event is out of your control or the tail starts to come up, go to aft stick, no power, no brakes.


Last edited by David Paule : 12-15-2021 at 01:52 PM.
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