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Thread: Tricylce vrs tailwheel for initital training

  1. #1
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    Default Tricylce vrs tailwheel for initital training

    Folks, what are your thoughts on the difference in the level of difficulty and or desirability between doing primary training in a tricycle gear (say Cessna) or a tail wheel ( say Citabrai) aircraft?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveintheburbs View Post
    Folks, what are your thoughts on the difference in the level of difficulty and or desirability between doing primary training in a tricycle gear (say Cessna) or a tail wheel ( say Citabrai) aircraft?

    Are you planning to buy an aircraft at some point......if so what are you planning to buy.......? Can you afford to buy it now, and be trained in your aircraft....?

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    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    Unsure what I will buy eventually. I am asking to get others opinions to help provide me some back ground. I actually first learned in the might 150 and have no tail wheel time to compare

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    Member ocnfish's Avatar
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    Default Training tricycle vs taildragger

    I started out by purchasing a cessna 172 and learning to fly it. Afrer 600 hrs in that airplane I sold the "new" 172 and bought my new "old" 180. Personally, There is a lot to learn and not having to add to the proficiency list that of landing a tail wheel aircraft is something worth considering. I think that most pilots end up driving tricycle gear aircraft. Just remember, when landing any aircraft, check the ball and if it is close to center all is good!

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    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    My thoughts are a C-150 to learn the basics and solo then you will have a better idea what you want to do with the plane and if it dirt and back country, transition to a tail wheel. The C-150 is one of the cheapest planes to rent, so save the money in the begining. The only thing is if you are going to buy a plane get something you can use after training and that may be your tailwheel a/c , by owning it you will save the diference of a little more training time vs. rental of a tri gear.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I learned to fly in a Super Cub and the first plane I owned 100% was a PA-12 made out of parts and pieces. I still had to learn to fly a rented 172 for my private check-ride many years ago. But I used to think that you needed to learn in a tail-dragger to be a real pilot.

    Most of the students I instruct these days need lots more instrument time to pass their check-ride. They all seem to do better with all the initial stuff in a tri-gear like a 150, 152 or 172. Then they can jump into my Cub for their tail-wheel transition and float ratings.

    Having experinece in full panel layouts really helps when they go for their instrument and commercial ratings.

    Sure there are tail draggers with full panels, but most are bigger expensive stuff like C-180 and c-185s. Kinda spendy for a first plane and a little bit of a handfull for a beginner pilot....

    For a plane to learn in and then fly for a few years, there is nothing wrong with an older more affordable C-172. I have been to many a beach and seen guys land their 172s as long as they have oversized tires.
    Plus a good set of tires on a C172 will let you land on any village gravel runway, dirt road or long gravel bar. Plus they are big enough to haul the wife and a load of whatever she thinks she needs to take with her.

    I have a local student with a first year production 172. He took out the back seat and keeps it light. It does just fine and it is lots faster for trips up to Anchorage than my Cub.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Default Trycycle vs. Tailwheel

    I am not an expert but from my past experiences, I would go with Trycycle first (easier to land) and then learn the tailwheel. If you ever heard of a ground loop, you'd know what I mean. That back wheel always wants to become the front wheel. Its all control, and getting used to....CK

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    Default Opposite View

    I wished that I would of had training in a tail wheel aircraft first, your not learning to fly or land a tailwheel, your learning to use the rudder and fly the plane until it stops. I had an instrument rating and almost 200 hours before I switched to a tailwheel, and had to actually learn to fly again. I dont think people teach how to use a rudder good enough these days. Dutch rolls and other rudder excercises would help explain and demonstate rudder importance early in training. On a light wind day they need to have a student do a traffic pattern and landing using just the rudder and trim.

    Terry

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    Member BeaverDriver's Avatar
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    If it were me doing it all over again, I would try to learn in a tailwheel with no flaps. J3 or the like. The law of Primacy applies here. What you learn first you learn best and stays with you when things get ugly. There are any number of planes still flying where rudder use is paramount. The Float Beaver is a good example. You NEED to know where, when, and how to use the rudder on that thing.

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    Member AK-HUNT's Avatar
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    Default Agree

    Any tailwheel with no flaps and a 85hp or even less for the exact same reasons beaverpilot stated. You WILL learn where the upsloping and downsloping wind is and become a good stick and rudder pilot. Learn not to ground loop one of these. All of that is a great base to build on in many ways. Flying say a 172 with 150hp flaps will be an easy learn as will most things.

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    Taking off in either is simple. Landing might be a little tougher in a tailwheel plane but probably not in any tailwheel plane or in crosswinds you'd have for instruction. Learning to fly is complicated. Airspace, patterns, navigation, weather, etc. Flying the actual airplane is the easy part. For student flying I'd take the most convenient airplane available without regard to gear configuration. Get the PPL and get a little experience. When you have the basics down and want to take it further then target a taildragger. As for all the rudder skills talk? It depends on the plane, not the gear configuration. A Cub is a rudder airplane. A Cessna is an aileron airplane. Where the third wheel is located doesn't change that. The best advice for a newbie pilot is to get as much good seat time as you can in as many different planes as you can and with as many good pilots as you can. Once you've got your certificate the other pilots don't need to be instructors to share their skills with you, either.

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    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Flying a tail wheels is not any way as difficult as many make it to be, but at the risk of being controversial, T/O is every bit as difficult and more risky than landing. the reason being accelerating wt., higher speeds, 4 forces trying to change direction of the plane and most people tend to leave the power on even as thing go to heck in a hand basket. During landing the power is off, brakes on and speed falling off, usually only minor damage vs. injuries and major damage on T/O's. I would strongly recomend a book " coventional Gear: flying a taildragger" The best explaination of all aspects I've read.

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    Default Tailwheel

    I have not had a lot of students in my CFI career as it is just a hobby for me. But of the 24 students I have had, the ones who did the best had started training in a TW or a glider. What you learn 1st you learn best.

    Scott

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Glider pilots also seem to do the best when doing their Float Training. Must be something about only getting one chance to land the correct way.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
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    I know it is hard to find a tail wheel aircraft for training, but if you can find one learn in it. The transition from nose wheel to tail wheel should be simple but it seems like there are a lot of airplanes getting ground looped by pilots that learned in nose wheel aircraft. Tw aircraft get you using your feet and I think if you learn in one it becomes more natural to you. As soon as you land you need to be on those rudders, but remember in the air be careful tightening a turn with rudder and not keeping the ball in the center is what gets you killed.

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