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Tailwheel Training

This page provides information on topics covered in Tailwheel Endorsement Training:


Why am I going “LEFT”?

1. Torque- Newtons Law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore, with a clockwise rotating propeller (from the pilot’s seat) the left wing is pushed down.  The counter force would be right aileron.
2. Spiraling Slipstream-The stream of air spiraling around the fuselage from the propeller ending up striking the Left side of the vertical fin/rudder and therefore pushing the tail right and the nose Left.
3. P-Factor-Another Left turning tendency due to the descending blade of the propeller in a climb attitude having a bigger bite of air (more thrust) than the ascending blade.
4. Gyroscopic Effect-When lifting the tail of a tailwheel airplane force is exerted on the top portion of the propeller disc resulting in a force 90 degrees to the right causing yet another Left turning tendency.


Wind Effects


 - Picture a tetrahedron… With the CG being behind the pivot point the wind very easily can turn or rotate the tetrahedron very easily. Much like a tailwheel airplane. 

 - Don’t forget to use the wind to your advantage while taxiing or turning the airplane.


Four Steps to Taking Off

1. Advance the throttle slowly but completely
2. Lift the tail

 - slowly to mitigate the amount of gyroscopic effect exerted on the propeller disc.

 - Once the tail is lifted P-factor and Gyroscopic effect goes to zero.

 - Gyroscopic Effect is proportional to how fast the tail is raised.
3. Takeoff Roll - The tail is raised or flying and if the wings are level there’s no gyroscopic effect or p-factor experienced.

4. Fly Off
 - Slight back pressure and the AOA will increase causing a slight amount of gyroscopic effect and P-factor to return.

 - Well, that was optional…
 - Now comes the mandatory part…


Landing  - Remember a steady approach leads to s smooth landing


Three Point
 - Hold the airplane just above the runway while bleeding off speed and ultimately settling on the runway with the tailwheel just slightly before or the same time as the main gear.
 - End up with full aft stick

Wheel Landing
 - Approach at a slightly higher speed in the level attitude settling gently on the runway with the mains first then slowing to allow the tail down.


Short Field
 - Typicallydoneinthethreepoint with full aft elevator applied and brakes after airplane is rolling out. (simulate braking)

Soft Field
 - Like a short field landing but no braking, if the airplane has 
flaps wait to retract until airplane has come to a stop.

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