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Hi again swingline:


There are some things in flying airplanes that are fairly straight forard one of which is the wheel landing is the safest method of controlling the airplane especially in a x/wind.


I did a quick read on the three point landing thing you suggested in your last post.


Having read the piece, I find his explanation to be sort of correct, although rather fuzzy as to how to change from the stabalized approach to the flare. Also I do not agree with his description regarding looking way ahead. He also suggests a rather high flare start at fifty feet.


Anyhow back to wheel landings and speed control v/s distance to stop.


A really proficient tailwheel pilot can flare at a low airspeed and wheel it on and as soon as wheel contact is made apply heavy braking by lowering the nose to exert more weight on the wheels which in turn allows for heavier braking resulting in a short distance from wheel contact to full stop.


However.... a skilled tailwheel pilot can also three point very cloes to his / her desired touchdown point, you canno't however brake very hard in the three point attitude at touch down due to the risk of locking up the wheels due to the wing still providing lift in that attitude.


Three point landings are O.K. on grass due to the fact that directional control is better on grass than a paved runway.


I generally wheel most everything on when using a runway and three point on grass, unless the x/wind is a problem.


By the way just to make it easier for you to understand why I prefeer to wheel em on I gusee it is because I have been flying tailwheel airplanes since 1953 and have learned there is a safe easy way and a less safe easy way to fly the things.9.gif


I would be happy to demonstrate the methods that I use and teach if you are ever out my way.9.gif

As to the Beech 18 I never tried to three point the things although I have several thousand hours on them.


The DC3 on the other hand three points real easy but I would not three point one with passengers because of the weird attitude.


Good discussion, to bad more instructors do not get involved.11.gif


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A frequent discussion among those who fly taildraggers. I''ve got about 1500 hours taildragger in a variety of light stuff. A bunch of it towing gliders which multiplies the landings per hour somewhat. There is certainly one airplane that lands 3 point a lot better than on the wheels; the L-19. The gear is very soft and springy and if you don''t wheel it on very smoothly you tend to get a big bounce.


After hearing many, many disucssions on this topic, combined with my own experience and reading I have come to some generalizations regarding light taildraggers.


1. It is easier and better to 3 point in most conditions.


2. Wheelies are more difficult to learn and consistently do well.


3. It is easier to wheel land than 3 point in strong, gusting x-winds, or when runway visibility or depth perception are reduced, notwithstanding my second point.


I think the arguement about which method is best stems largely from the fact that both can be better or worse, easier or more difficult, depending on the circumstance. A competent taildragger pilot should be able to do both, and to recognize which is better at the time.


For Crazy Canuck, assuming you are current and of average aptitude or better, I would view a 5 hour check out as adequate for flying a taildragger in light winds only. I think another 5 in some good x-winds would be a prudent decision, and I agree with the other''s recommendation that the person teaching you be well experienced themselves. Make sure you do some reading, and that your check pilot talks to you about the geometry and handling characteristics of taildraggers.

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Hi Wilbur:


Good comments.


I have not flown the L19 is the gear softer than the Cessna 140?


Yeh, some of the spring gear types do require more attention when wheeling them on. But as you said a good tailwheel pilot can do which ever landing they choose at any time.


Its all about competence.


As an aside I did the Texas Taildragger conversion on my 1976 Cessna Aerobat and was not suprised to find that it really is more demanding than a C 140 in yaw on the runway due to how far foward the gear is placed and that it is also slanted foward.


But...it makes for a good tail wheel trainer.


The bottom line is none of these airplanes are all that hard to fly as long as you understand what you are doing.


Hope to have my Advanced Flight Training business up and running as soon as I finish my overseas contracts. ( maybe by July )


And now that I have decided not to aquire a FTU-OC it makes it even more attractive.... just imagine the joy of not being told how to teach by T.C.



Chas W....Retired Mercenary

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The gear on the L-19 is softer then any other I''ve seen. It was designed for battle field liason, observation, and forward air controlling and saw service in both the Korean and Vietnam wars. It had to be able to operate from very rough unprepared surfaces, hence, the gear is VERY soft. In gusty x-winds it can really rock back and forth with the wing tips going up and down several feet. You can also botch a landing with the gear soaking up a jolt that would knock your fillings out in anything else. It''s other notable feature are the large flaps that extend 60 degrees. In a 20kt wind - down and stopped over a 50'' obstacle in 245 feet.



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