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Taildragger Training

There are many reasons people choose to fly tailwheel aircraft. For some, it affords the ability to fly low and slow. For others, it is the only type of aircraft that can access remote of rough surfaced runways. For some, it brings their mentality back to an earlier age of aviation - when flying was not about ATC, GPS, autopilots, TRFs, and FARs - but about stick and rudder skills and being totally connected to the aircraft being flown. No matter your reason, learning to fly a tailwheel aircraft will make you a better pilot! In fact, the AVEMCO Insurance Company offers a 5% discount to pilots that insure with them and obtain tailwheel training.

It is said that when "flying" a tailwheel airplane, you are not done until the engine is shut down and the tie ropes are attached, and we will attest to that. Some of the most important lessons to be learned in a taildragger are those lessons on the ground, especially when the wind is blowing. In a tailwheel aircraft, the center of gravity is located behithe main gear, not in front of it as in tricycle geared aircraft. This rearward CG aids and abets any crosswind to try and make the aircraft swap ends when it is on the ground. The way we keep this from happening is by deft use of our feet on the rudder pedals.

Learning to fly tailwheel aircraft will not only awaken your feet on the ground but in the air as well. Most tailwheel aircraft have large ailerons and when they are deflected (to roll into or out of a turn) they create more adverse yaw than your average tri-gear. If your feet have atrophied from flying with them flat on the floor (perhaps you fly an airplane with interconnected ailerons and rudders like the Malibu or Bonanza), flying a taildragger will wake them back up.

We offer tailwheel transition training in Piper J3 Cub. For most pilots of average skills the training will take approximately 5 - 10 hours, before sufficient proficiency is gained for the tailwheel endorsement.

The training will include:

  • three-point landings
  • wheel landings
  • forward slips to a landing
  • bounce recoveries
  • go-arounds

The rate for this training is $96.00 wet per hour an $40 per hour for an instruction. Even if you never fly a tailwheel aircraft again, the skills that you will learn from us flying conventional geared aircraft will go a long way towards making you a much better pilot!

You must have a pilot certificate to solo in this airplane. No students may solo. This means you must be at least a Sport or private pilot to solo.

Prior to flight training:

The student must present either a birth certificate or passport to prove U.S. citizenship prior to training in accordance with the TSA or a FAA license and a picture ID. If you do not have a FAA license and are a foreign national, contact us and we will help you through the process to get your TSA clearance. Allow a minimum of 2 weeks. 250 lbs. weight limit. Purchase a FAR/AIMS and the Gyrocopter Pilots Handbook by Phil Hardwood (Gyropedia available from us) for a home study group school course.

  • Bring a photo ID (driver's license) and a passport or a birth certificate to prove U.S. citizenship as required by Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen and do not already have a FAA license, contact us and we will guide you through the process of obtaining TSA clearance for initial flight training in the U.S.
  • Be prepared to take guidance from your instructor(s). Be prepared to learn!
  • 250 pound weight limit
  • If you have any medical or physical issues, please discuss those with us beforehand
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