Tailwheel Aircraft BasicsEdit
As a small reminder, I thought it would be nice to add some of the information about what the Tailwheel Aircraft Basics are. I hope you guys find this information useful and please suggestions are welcome.
- Park In to the wind.
Not only because the aircraft is at its most aerodynamic profile, but because in case of a strong wind, the aircraft would catch the wind on a "Balanced" fashion, instead of a crosswind preventing possible flipping of the craft.
- Chock both Main gears.
As we position the Aircraft into the wind, the aircraft will have a tendency to be pushed back if a strong wind is to hit it. Although one gear might seem enough, being safe has never caused any harm.
- Make sure that the Tail wheel is straight, this will add rigidity to the airframe and will prevent the plane from weather veining with the wind, by using the traction it creates with the ground.
- If possible, lock the controls aft (all the way back) with your seatbelt or by other means, this will plant the tailwheel on the ground, by using the wind hitting the elevator surface.
As you go through your check list, before you start your engine, make sure you have the stick all the way back, this again, will put you in control even before the engine is running.
By the nature of the Tail wheel design, visibility while taxiing is poor. Taxiing using the "S Turn Taxi" technique, will give you, not only a "Cooler" look, but a way safer and clearer image of what is in front of your aircraft.
Remember to keep the Stick into the wind when on cross wind conditions and with the wind when on downwind.
Just think of a race car spoiler, keeping the back wheels pinned to the floor. That is what we want to mimic with our elevator while taxing to keep that tail wheel pinned on the ground. Remember, there is almost No weight on that tail, so it will be very easy to get lifted
As in the Pre-flight
- Stop into the wind,
- Make sure your tail wheel is straight
- keep the controls all the way back.
There are two types of take offs... Soft field take off and Hard surface Take off... Let's talk about both of these.
Soft Field Take offEdit
Aircraft into the wind, stick all the way back make sure that the tail wheel is straight, if the field is soggy or snowy or muddy, DO NOT STOP, continue taxiing and when you align into the runway, make sure your tailwheel is straight before full throttle. (If there is cross wind, make sure stick is all the way into the wind, reducing it as you gain speed)
The nature of the tailwheel is to use the rudders way more than a nose wheel aircraft, so be ready to use them. small little constant inputs will get rid of the need of sudden big rudder inputs,
Keep the the stick back all the way until lift off,immediately after it, bring it to a neutral position and accelerate taking advantage of ground effect. if you get out of ground effect you will come back down. Eventually pull up slowly to climb.
Hard Surface Take offEdit
- Align to the center line, stick all the way back (If cross wind, stick all the way into the wind).
- Full throttle and massage those rudders, maintain the nose pointing at the end of the runway.
- After three seconds, bring the stick to neutral position looking for the tail to raise, (Maybe input some forward pressure). Once the tail is up, continue to rotate until the Airplane starts flying all by itself.
All until now, this information has been very general, and will apply to most Taildraggers. But what about the Avid Flyer?
The Avid is a short Airframe, which makes the nature of this baby to be particularly hard to control during takeoff and landing. Therefore it is important to always set your mind into PILOT IN COMMAND. From the second you sit into your aircraft until the second the Aircraft is back in its hanger. That means that you have to be ready to compensate, correct and guide the aircraft to do what you want it to do.
In my short experience as a pilot, I have had a few eye opening surprises, which have lead me to respect the Avid Flyer even more. Always make sure that