Tailwheel

Earn your Tailwheel Endorsement

  • Complete your Flight Review by learning to fly tailwheel
  • Be at least a Student Pilot to get a tailwheel endorsement
  • Be under 250 lbs (for weight & balance)
 
Flying the Tailwheel Airplane (kindle/print link)
Tailwheel, WINGS (Activity credit)
 

N7550B 1957 Champion 7EC

 

The tailwheel endorsement is proficiency-based, meaning there is no minimum hour requirement to earn your endorsement. Flying a tailwheel aircraft isn't difficult, just different.

That said, most current pilots require a minimum of 10-15 hours to become proficient and comfortable in the airplane. At Benton Air Center, our insurance requirement is a minimum of 15 hours of instruction in the aircraft for checkout.

Pilots that already maintain a tailwheel endorsement, and have logged more than 25 hours of tailwheel time, will need a minimum of a 5 hour checkout time in type.

All pilots wishing to rent must maintain currency within the previous 30 days.

 
 

15 hour tailwheel transition and endorsement syllabus

1

Ground time 1:00

  • Taxi discussion and risks
  • Aircraft description
  • Weight and balance
  • Stopping
  • Takeoff and landing overview (3pt, wheel)
  • Flight briefing
  • Preflight

Flight time 1:00 

  • Preflight inspection
  • Starting procedures
  • Taxi control, turns, fast/slow taxi, stopping
  • Taxi 90 deg turns, or 270 deg turns
  • Taxi faster to slow to stop, tail down
  • Proper control usage on ground
  • Checklist usage
  • Normal takeoff
  • Normal climb
  • Center seat differences
  • Coordination exercises
  • Normal landing (3-point, full stop)
  • Taxi procedures
  • Post flight

 

2

Ground time 2:00

  • Intro and Background discussion
  • Aircraft description
  • Flight manual
  • Limitations
  • Weight and balance
  • Takeoff and landing overview (3pt, wheel)
  • Flight briefing
  • Preflight

Flight time 2:00 (two one hour flights)

  • Preflight inspection
  • Starting procedures
  • Taxi
  • Proper control usage on ground
  • Checklist usage
  • Normal takeoff
  • Normal climb
  • Coordination exercises
  • Steep turns
  • Full stall series
  • Simulated emergencies and power off glides
  • Pattern entries (Benton and Red Bluff)
  • Normal landings and takeoffs (3-point, full stop)
  • Taxi procedures
  • Pattern exit
  • Coordination exercises
  • Post flight

3

Ground time 0:30

  • Tailwheel stability
  • Directional control
  • Gyroscopic precession
  • P-factor
  • Takeoff and landing techniques
  • Flight briefing

Flight time 1:30

  • Normal (3-point) takeoff and full-stop landing
  • Bounce recoveries
  • Directional control exercises
  • Slips
  • Pattern exit
  • Coordination exercises
  • Slow flight
  • Normal (3-point) landing full stop

 

4

Ground time 0:30

  • Flight discussion
  • Review of progress
  • Q&A
  • Flight briefing

Flight time 1:30

  • Normal takeoff and landing
  • Slips
  • Pattern exit
  • Coordination exercises
  • Steep turns
  • Stall review
  • Normal (3-point) landing full stop

 

5

Ground time 2:00

  • Short field takeoffs and landings
  • Soft field takeoffs and landings
  • Grass field landings
  • Crosswind takeoffs and landings
  • Touch-and-goes
  • Flight briefing

Flight time 2:00 (two one hour flights)

  • Taxi
  • Normal takeoff
  • Pattern exit
  • Coordination exercises
  • Steep turns
  • Grass landing and takeoff practice
  • Pattern exit
  • Crosswind landing (3-point) full stop

6

Ground time 1:00

  • Aircraft systems
  • Weight and balance
  • Performance problems
  • Fuel consumption
  • Flight briefing

Flight time 2:00 (two one hour flights)

  • Normal takeoff and landing
  • Touch and goes
  • Crosswind takeoff and landing full stops
  • Slips

 

7

Ground time 0:30

  • Flight discussion
  • Pre-flight briefing

Flight time 1:30

  • Normal takeoff and landing
  • Short field takeoff and landing
  • Soft field takeoff and landing
  • Pattern exit
  • Coordination exercises
  • Steep turns
  • Slow flight
  • Normal (3-point) landing

 

8

Ground time 2:00

  • Answer student questions
  • Review flight manual
  • Wheel landings
  • Flight briefing
  • FAR review ( FARs pertinent to tailwheel airplanes)

Flight time 2:00 (two one hour flights)

  • Instructor’s choice takeoff
  • Pattern exit
  • Coordination exercises
  • Stall review
  • Pattern entry (Red Bluff)
  • Touch and goes (3-point)
  • Go-arounds
  • Pattern exit
  • Pattern entry
  • Wheel landings full stop

9

Ground time 0:30

  • Flight discussion

Flight time 1:30

  • Landings (3-point) full stop
  • Pattern exit
  • Pattern entry (Red Bluff, Benton)
  • Debrief
  • Tailwheel endorsement

 

 

The above tailwheel training will include the following tasks and concepts

Tailwheel basics: CG, Stability, limitations, basic differences in landing technique. Review manual and checklists. Left turning tendency. Factors that determine tailwheel aircraft behavior, types of tailwheels.

Aircraft Familiarization: Preflight inspection and cockpit/control familiarity, fabric plane precautions! Power plant and performance information/limitations. Introduction to heel brakes and seated landing attitude.

Taxiing: Engine starting and slow straight taxi. Introduction to wind correction in taxi. Cautious use of brakes. Left and right turns. Left and right pivots; explanation of “free castering” tailwheel. Pivot into parking position. Moderately quicker taxis with/without weaving, swerve recovery. Flight control positioning. Turns into the wind. Turns away from the wind. Crosswind taxi.

Flight Maneuvers: Pre-flight checks. Climb out with transition to straight and level. Adverse yaw and aileron/rudder coordination. Aileron/rudder coordination exercises. Medium bank turns. Steep bank turns. Slow flight and stalls. Climbs and descents both straight and turning. Ground reference maneuvers. Normal take-off in calm winds. Traffic pattern and approaches – airspeed and alignment control. Normal 3-point landings in calm wind conditions. Bounce – cause and recovery, go around Slips to landing. Soft/short field take-offs. Soft/Short field landings. Emergency procedures. Crosswind taxi and take-offs (6 to 8 knot crosswind component). Traffic pattern and approaches – airspeed and alignment control. Crosswind 3-Point landings (6 to 8 knot crosswind component). Bounce – cause and recovery. Slips to landing. Normal wheel landings in calm wind conditions.

Requirements for tailwheel training are outlined in § 61.31(i) of the regulations

(i) Additional training required for operating tailwheel airplanes.

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (i)(2) of this section, no person may act as pilot in command of a tailwheel airplane unless that person has received and logged flight training from an authorized instructor in a tailwheel airplane and received an endorsement in the person's logbook from an authorized instructor who found the person proficient in the operation of a tailwheel airplane. The flight training must include at least the following maneuvers and procedures:

(i) Normal and crosswind takeoffs and landings;

(ii) Wheel landings (unless the manufacturer has recommended against such landings); and

(iii) Go-around procedures.

 

 

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