Darren Smith, Flight Instructor
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Tailwheel Endorsement Information

The average student completes a tailwheel endorsement in 8-10 hours with approximately 25 to 50 circuits.  Skills that are taught include:
  • Airwork:  slow flight, stalls, steep turns.
  • Wheel Landings:  Wheel landings are those which touchdown on the mains first.  These kind of landings give great visibility and good crosswind control.  The drawback is the higher speed upon landing and use up more available runway.  They also require a very shallow sink rate to the runway.  Some aircraft require a forward stick stab to keep it glued on touchdown.  Aft elevator on touchdown will cause an immediate go-around.  Also practiced is a go-around wheel landing.
  • Tailwheel Landings (3 point):  Tailwheel landings or 3 point landings are full stall landings which are very useful for grass or short runways. 
  • Normal, Crosswind, and Shortfield experience.  Crosswind technique is extremely important for tailwheel aircraft because the aircraft needs every bit of your attention and can get out of your skill range easily.
  • Grass strips:  this is the best part of tailwheel training, the getting into and out of short grass strips.
  • Taxi skills.  Regular taxi:  stick always back.  Taxiing into a headwind: "climb into" the headwind.  It means stick back, left aileron for a left quartering headwind, right aileron for a right quartering headwind.  Taxiing downwind: "dive away from the wind.  Stick forward in a strong downwind condition and right aileron for a left quartering tailwind or left aileron for a right quartering tailwind
  • Groundloop (the intended kind, not the uncontrolled type)
  • Takeoff skills: stick forward to bring the tail up as soon as possible, good rudder control to prevent weathervaning.  Effects of aft CG (reduced moment arm).
  • Slips to landing.
  • Spin entry and recovery.
Why should you invest the time and effort to get a tailwheel endorsement?
  • It really improves your stick and rudder skills.
  • It really improves your landing and pattern work.
  • Your crosswind technique improves dramatically.
  • Grass strips!
  • Cheap to buy, cheap to own, cheap to operate.
  • No checkride, just 8-10 hours of a whole lot of fun.

Example Syllabus

Session 1

Ground Training

  • POH & Limitations
  • Weight and balance
  • Takeoff and landing techniques
  • Emergencies and malfunctions
  • Preflight
  • Stalls
  • FAR review
Flight Training
  • Starting procedures
  • Taxi & flight control position
  • Normal takeoff
  • Normal climb
  • Coordination exercises
  • Slow flight, stalls, & steep turns
  • Emergency procedures
  • Pattern work
  • Normal landings (power off approach to a full stop)

Session 2

Ground Training
  • Directional control
  • Gyroscopic precession
  • Left turning tendencies
  • Takeoff and landing techniques
Flight Training
  • Normal (3-point) takeoff and full-stop landing
  • Bounce recoveries
  • Slips
  • Pattern Work
  • Normal (3-point) landing to a full stop

Session 3

Ground Training

  • Stalls 
  • Spins, spin entries and recoveries
  • Short field takeoffs and landings
  • Soft field takeoffs and landings
  • Grass field landings
  • Crosswind takeoffs and landings
  • Touch-and-goes

Flight Training
  • Grass landing and takeoff practice
  • Crosswind landing (3-point) full stop
Session 4

Ground Training
  • Aircraft systems
  • Weight and balance
  • Performance problems
  • Fuel consumption
  • Wheel Landings
Flight Training
  • Normal takeoff and landing
  • Touch & go
  • Crosswind takeoff and landing to a full stop
  • Short field takeoff and landing
  • Soft field takeoff and landing
  • Wheel landings to a full stop


Special Emphasis Areas

  • Proper radio phraseology
  • Collision Avoidance
  • Proper patterns, entries, departures.
  • Situational Awareness

Pilot Requirements

  • Sport or Private Pilot Certificate.
  • No FAA written test.
  • Medical: None

Endorsement

PIC in a tailwheel airplane: § 61.31(i)
I certify that (First name, MI, Last name), (pilot certificate), (certificate number), has received the required
training of § 61.31(i) in a (make and model of tailwheel airplane). I have determined that he/she is proficient
in the operation of a tailwheel airplane.   CFI Signature [date] 987654321CFI Exp. 12-31-00

Links

Taildragger Checkout
Wheel Landings
Flight Reviews - BFR

Luscombe

8E (1946)
8F (1949)
8A (1939)
Horsepower 85
90
65
Top Speed, kts 91
96
91
Cruise Speed, kts 83
83
78
Stall Speed (dirty), kts
37
37
37
Gross Weight, lbs
1400
1400
1260
Empty Weight, lbs
791
870
750
Fuel Capacity, US Gals
30
25
14
Range, NM
346
270
182
Takeoff  Ground Roll 850
850
1050
Takeoff  Over 50 ft obstacle 1850
1850
1950
Landing  Ground Roll 450
450
450
Landing  Over 50 ft obstacle 1540
1540
1540
Rate Of Climb, FPM
640
660
550
Service Ceiling 15500 16000
14000


Piper Cub

J3C-65
Horsepower, Continental A-65 65
Top Speed, kts 92
Cruise Speed, kts 82
Stall Speed (landing), kts
35
Gross Weight, lbs
1100
Empty Weight, lbs
640
Useful Load, lbs
460
Fuel Capacity, US Gals
12
Payload, full fuel
210 lbs
Baggage
20 lbs
Range, NM at 4gal/hr
250
Takeoff  Ground Roll 600
Rate Of Climb, FPM
575
Service Ceiling 12000
Other Information:
Overall length 23' 3"   Overall height 6' 8"
Wingspan 35' 3"   Wing cord 63"
Total wing area 178 sq. ft.
75 horsepower engine conversion common, edo floats, and skies.

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All content is Copyright 2002-2010 by Darren Smith. All rights reserved. Subject to change without notice. This website is not a substitute for competent flight instruction. There are no representations or warranties of any kind made pertaining to this service/information and any warranty, express or implied, is excluded and disclaimed including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. Under no circumstances or theories of liability, including without limitation the negligence of any party, contract, warranty or strict liability in tort, shall the website creator/author or any of its affiliated or related organizations be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or punitive damages as a result of the use of, or the inability to use, any information provided through this service even if advised of the possibility of such damages. For more information about this website, including the privacy policy, see about this website.