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Thread: C180 or C182?

  1. #1
    Member RocketRick's Avatar
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    Smile C180 or C182?

    Here's good question for you experienced bush pilots.

    I'm on the cusp of buying a pretty nice '59 C180. I love how they fly & it has the float fittings and STOL mods I wanted. My problem is I don't have but a few hrs in conventional gear and am worried about rolling it into a ball. Two very good instructors I know & respect who have trained hundreds of pilots rec I get a tri-gear and more hrs flying the bush before I venture to the tail wheel or start on floats. One instructor says 80% of his tail-dragger students wreck their planes.

    I could buy C182 and out in several 100-hrs then maybe switch but then wld have to buy a new plane to try floats. Or,...I might cld install some VGs & STOL kit on the C182 and just love it like that.

    Mission is to fly the state and fish & camp a lot. Might fly outside ever now and again.

    Let me know your thoughts about this decision..

    Rick

  2. #2
    Member RocketRick's Avatar
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    Smile

    So what gives? No one wants to pipe up and make suggestions?

    No sage advice from the flying circus?

    Been certified here since winter 1983. Just not lots time in a conventional gear.

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    But the 180. When you get to know it well you will find yourself in love with it.

    Get a GOOD instructor and lots of hours of instruction and get good insurance. Now practice till you can't stand it anymore, then practice some more. When you can do anything you need to at the airport and can put your left main wheel in a 3 by 5 foot rectangle CONSISTANTLY you are ready to start trying sand/ gravel bars (with instruction again) and begin moving on to off airport landings.

    A 180 is an great airplane, it's very capable but can be a hand full at times. Weather or not you wreck it is up to you, your attitude will dictate what happens.



    If your current instructor has 80% of his students wreck their taildraggers then he is a poor instructor, find a good one. Sorry for the opinion about the instructor but that's the way I see it. None of my students have wrecked their planes, tail wheel or otherwise.

    Pm or email me if you would like, I would be glad to talk to you.

  4. #4
    Member RocketRick's Avatar
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    Smile TG instructions

    saltwatertom,Thanks for the input.

    Well how many have you trained in TG operation lately. The ones I talked about have trained hundreds. One has over 12k landings at Merrill.

    Maybe your right. Maybe I just need to find the right instructor. I've flown with Heidi Ruess here back in '83 and she is very good and the other one I've used lately seems to really know his stuff.

    Since your in Homer I reckon I'll never know huh.

    I do hear there's that ACT Co,. out of Palmer that is suppose to be very good training bush & sand bar type landings.

    Regards,

    rick

  5. #5

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    80% wreck Dont sound like thats the instructor i would use! I was self taught and doing fine.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I agree with my neighbor Saltwater Tom.

    The C-180s are a great plane and fairly easy to fly. The 59 version is light-weight and a DREAM on floats. In fact once you fly it on floats it will be on floats when-ever the lakes are not frozen. I just did a float rating with another pilot and his 59 C-180 ... It is a GREAT plane on EDO 2870s.


    Just get a GOOD tail-wheel instructor. Heidi Ruess in Los Anchorage. Jay Baldwin near Palmer (Wolf lake), There is another great tail-wheel guy at MARC in Soldotna, I just had his name slip out of my head, he is almost 90 and all he has ever flown are tail-wheels...
    Tom Young in Homer or myself.

    That said, there is also nothing wrong with a good C-182. If the price is right. I know lots of pilots who thought they needed a tail-dragger and all they ever do is go from airport to airport. A c-182 does just fine on even crappy gravel strips and the insurance may be less.

    If you do get a C-182 or a C-180 always make sure it has a float kit. There is nothing worse than watching all those lakes cruise below you, when you can do nothing about it.

    How many hours do you have now?
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    Member RocketRick's Avatar
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    Float Pilot,

    Yes good advice per the floats. I fnd one that has the STOL mod I wanted as well as the float kit. It has been on floats in freshwater only as per the current owner. The C180 I'm gonna go look at Mon is opened up for the annual. I need to somehow look inside the wings and vertical fin and stablizer and fuselage as much as possible for corrosion. Engine is the Blue Ribbon one rebuilt by Continental with 500 hrs on it.

    I checked the records and it's been ground looped into a ditch and been on its back twice before. Once on a lake up here in the winter. So I'm skeptical I may get it now. But I'll look and learn.

    Was told it flies straight and true as they normally do tho.

    I had to work to make a living and didn't fly much tho got my license off Merrill in 1983 in the winter. I have only about 125-hrs and only about 4 in conventional gear. I am willing to put in the time and be very careful. One person I know that flies a Maule and 206 on floats said he just doesn't go if the winds are abv 15-Knts. He doesn't carry insurance either.

    Oh, as best I can figure out so far, they didn't make 182s with the float kits originally. Might be wrong but seems that way. If they did I haven't discovered one yet anyways.

    Rick

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    Member avidflyer's Avatar
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    I would say the 180 for your mission. If you are willing to put in the time with a good instructor (not the guy that has an 80% failure rate!)

    When I was doing my initial training, I was blessed with a crusty old guy that has flown in AK since the mountains were formed. He knew me and what I would be doing with the plane so he hammered the crap out of me on all the stupid pilot tricks we like to pull that gets us killed. While he knew the FAA says you need X, Y and Z knowledge, he also knew that I needed real practical training in off airport work. From day one I was on beaches and gravel strips in a PA 12 learning how to keep the wheels pointed the right direction. Find the right instructor, start slow and learn the abilities of yourself and the aircraft.

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    Member RocketRick's Avatar
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    Thanks avidflyer and all you other guys for your input. Appreciated.

    I don't think I'll be able to find someone like you did to explain the off runway tricks. Be nice if I could tho. Prob just 5-hrs of that wld make the experience a heck of a lot safer and lots more fun.

    avidlyer,.. that 'ole crusty guy wasn't named Ed by any chance was he? I just flew with a guy like that last week.

    Rick

  10. #10
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Jay Baldwin up by Palmer will teach you off-airport stuff until you can't see straight.

    Sounds like you need more hours in general. The 180s and 182s are constant speed prop, semi high horsepower gas guzzlers. While still rather expensive to buy and operate, the sale prices sure have dropped over the last year or so.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    Member RocketRick's Avatar
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    FP,

    Yes the market is super soft right now. Good time to buy. Only thing is I could not find yet was a '60 - 62 model which had what I wanted on it. Compromise compromise ha!.

    After I get a few hrs here I'll talk to Jay. We've emailed some & I talked to him once.

    rick

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    A straight tail 182 is a great airplane. The straight tails still had manual flaps. The average pilot can wring more performance out of a 182 than a 180. Shorter in and shorter out. The only exception is ski flying. Trikes are not my preference for skis.

  13. #13
    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Default I bought a 180 last fall

    I bought a 180 last fall and love it, but don't know what to advise you to do. I find that now that I have it I don't want to take the chance of dinging it up on ruff gravel bars, too much money on the wing, so to speak. I don't mind flying it into short strips but thats about it. The performance is super on short fields and it will carry a good load, and its just fun to fly. The 182 would do everything I do and is much cheeper but again the 180 is fun.

  14. #14
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    30 years ago I thought I was hot stuff with my old beater PA-12 with big tires. It was a $18,000 plane with droop tips and all sorts of mods. But it was pretty ugly, smelled like moose blood and old salmon, plus it had a questionable electrical system.

    One day I landed on the soft sand down by Tuxsedni Bay and was all proud of myself after I got the plane un-stuck and up to the high tide line.

    Suddenly a shadow passed overhead and a Cherokee Six came sliding onto the beach in a perfect tricycle gear beach landing.

    As my son and I sat watching in our torn up Carharts and oil stained tee-shirts, the pilot and his family jumped out onto the sand wearing Sunday Church clothes. At least they would have been church clothes to us...
    His Cherokee-Six had the little curtains in the windows and the whole bite.

    I walked over to the Cherokee pilot , and noted that I had never seen a tricycle gear plane on that beach (hardly anyone flew there 30 years ago)
    He just looked at me and said,,,

    "It's the pilot, not the plane."
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    You need to gain experience in tail drager's in order to gain experience you need to fly them. Find yourself a very good instructor that dose Tail Wheel instruction and get checked out. Then go slow with it, and keep at it. In time as your skill level increases you can go about doing the sort of thing you want to do. I would not take lessons from an instructor who's 80% of his students wreck airplanes, something is not right there. It will take you some years to do, but it will be fun years.

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    The trying part of flying in Alaska has little to do with landing and taking off. Taildragger or trike only matters on the ground. Days like yesterday are when you need decision skills and experience. Windy, low ceilings, raining. Total up at your load, check the wind, decide whether you can safely clear the obstacles at the end and guess at how much room is between the obstacles and the low ceiling. And once you take off the real fun starts. Some days I envy the guys with boats.

  17. #17
    Supporting Member AlaskanSD's Avatar
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    Float Pilot - that wasn't Jim Lawler from Kasilof in the Cherokee 6, was it? haha...

  18. #18
    Member mit's Avatar
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    I think we have made the tail wheel sign off into such a big deal that it scares people. I learned to fly in 150's and 152's. Private in 79. bought a 48 170 in 81 taught myself how to fly it. I have flown with instructors that where scared to death of them....
    Tim

  19. #19
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    That is true. It has become a big deal. There are lots of CFIs being produced by college programs (UND) and they have never seen a tail-wheel aircraft.
    Plus people are now being fast-tracked into IFR type planes and they never learn stick and rudder skills. But they are sure good at programing GPS's and laptops.
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  20. #20
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    Good point about the GPS and the phones they use!
    Tim

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