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Old 07-04-2017, 11:44 PM
Darin Watson Darin Watson is offline
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 118
Default Tail Wheel Recomended

Firstly, I don't intend this to be "Nose wheel v. tail wheel" debate, nor an "I am better than you" commentary; just my own personal observations and experience.

For reference I have had my PPL since '87 (yes I was young and fortunate) though my flying was fairly sporadic until I purchased my first plane in '99, a Gruman Cheeta. I had rented 172's and Warrior's for the most part, though it was an under used Tiger at the local FBO that I rented that out did all the other rentals...and I could take for a weekend with no minimum, that made me a Grumman fan.

Owning the Cheeta was great...until the 3rd child and then I was destine for a six seater! I wanted a Cherokee Six and sort of stumbled onto a Cessna 336 (fixed gear version of the Skymaster 337); which for 5 of us was like a sky born Suburban, especially because we were in the PAC NW and flew to the San Juan's every chance we got. Later returning to Calgary and mountain flying an inline twin was not a bad option...especially with all the eggs in one basket, so to speak.

So what the **** does any of this have to do with a tail dragger???....

In 2011 the kids were pretty much doing their own thing and I was finding that I was flying mostly by myself or one other (pick one...wife or 1 of 3 kids) even though we we not quite empty nesters, in a twin, burning 16-17 gph. So I sold the 336 and pick up a really nice low hour RV7.

I searched out the very best transition training pilot locally available with lots of RV time, and lots of training time period, which corrected a few bad habits that had crept in (nothing too serious, but important just the same) and was ruthless in his quest to make me safe. I did not actually find the transition that tough and can say after six years (OK I am conservative) that learning to perfect landing a tail wheel has made me a much better pilot, to the point that I would recommend tail wheel training to anyone wanting to improve "stick and rudder" technique.

I also gave a lot of detail about my history so that those who may think they "could not master a tail wheel", or are too old, or out right fear them, can have confidence that it is actually not that difficult. In fact I find that cross winds or short/unimproved fields are easier and could have used the wisdom gained much earlier in my flying...but live and learn...I'm not done yet!!!

I hope this inspires someone to take up tail wheel training.
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Regards,
Darin
C-GULF RV-7 located in Calgary, AB
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