One of the best ways to improve your rudder, takeoff, landing, and overall piloting skills!
Tailwheel training is an excellent way to improve and challenge your abilities. Not only is earning the tailwheel endorsement generally one of the quickest "add-ons" to your license, many pilots find it a rewarding and fun experience. Afterward, whether you fly tricycle gear or tailwheel aircraft you will feel more confident in your skills, and ready for the next crosswind.
Why earn a tailwheel endorsement?
1. Improve your takeoff, landing, and crosswind skills.
2. Build confidence and improve safety.
3. Open the door to new aircraft options. There are many exciting aircraft out there that are only configured with tailwheels.
4. Open the door to new airports. Tailwheel airplanes are excellent for soft and rough fields.
5. Have fun in new ways!
Here are 13 reasons from boldmethod...
The Compleat Taildragger Pilot
Chapter 13 - Transition to Tailwheel Aircraft
What is required for the tailwheel endorsement?
Flight training from an authorized instructor and demonstrated proficiency in the operation of a tailwheel airplane. Training must include normal and crosswind takeoffs and landings, wheel landings*, and go-around procedures.
*Huh? What's a wheel landing? If unfamiliar, the term "wheel landings" seems strange. After all, we always land on the wheels right? For tailwheel aircraft there are two methods we can use to land: 1) We either aim to land with all three wheels touching down about the same time, OR 2) touchdown on the two main wheels with the tail up in the air. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method and your instructor will explain and demonstrate each method.
Is flying a tailwheel aircraft difficult?
Different? Yes. Difficult? At first you may feel like you're back learning to takeoff and land again, but over time you'll realize that taming the tailwheel is not necessarily difficult, it just requires more focus. And with even more time you will begin to gain the same confidence that you have with tricycle gear aircraft.
The main concern is that tailwheel aircraft are much less forgiving of sloppiness and delayed reactions. Once you have your brain trained to act more ahead of the plane, and be proactive with the rudder, you'll begin to discover the rewards of flying tailwheel aircraft.
How long will it take to earn the endorsement?
Most pilots will begin to demonstrate proficiency in 6-10 hours. Most of the endorsement training will involve takeoffs and landings.
About our Cessna 140
Cessna produced the 140 between 1946 and 1951, making more than 7,000 before ceasing production. The Cessna 140 is an excellent tailwheel trainer, especially if you are used to side-by-side seating and a yoke.
In 1948 the US Flight Instructors Association named the 140 as the "Outstanding Plane of the Year."
Our Cessna 140, N77041, was born in 1946. For many years it was owned by one of the suspects in the D.B. Cooper case.