AOPA Pilot Magazine - July 2013 - 84
IF THE AIRCRAFT veers to
the right or left and you
over- or under-control the
rudder, the airplane will
THREE-POINT AND WHEEL LANDINGS.
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84 | AOPA PILOT July 2013
runway and pushing the control stick forward to transfer the weight onto the wheels
can result in a bounce or pilot-induced oscillations. Pilots must wait for the mains to
touch before advancing the stick forward—
and then, be patient while the aircraft
decelerates before bringing the tail down.
After landing, the trick is to keep the
aircraft under control during the rollout.
The federal aviation regulations require
currency landings in tailwheel aircraft to
be to a full stop, day or night, for a reason:
The challenge of landing one is bringing the aircraft to a stop without ground
After a few hours—5G Aviation usually
schedules six hours for transition training—of successfully taxiing the airplane
and making dozens of takeoffs and landings
under various conditions, most instructors
will provide the coveted endorsement.
Then it’s time to keep those skills sharp
with some tailwheel flying adventures.
Just remember to keep the aircraft aligned
with the runway, stay active on the controls
all the way to the tiedown spot or hangar,
and keep that third wheel behind you
where it belongs.
We will teach you what you need to know to
qualify for nearly any flight instructing job in the
world… and maybe equally as important, you’ll
be ready to teach immediately upon graduation.
The technique for landing a taildragger
is similar to that of a tricycle-gear aircraft: “Remember, the key is just round
out low, just as you would with a nosewheel airplane,” counseled the 6,300-hour
instructor who flies a range of aircraft from
the Super Decathlon to the Gulfstream IV.
“You’re going to hold the airplane off the
ground until you reach the three-point
attitude, and when it settles, you get real
active with your feet.
“At the moment the airplane touches
down, the stick should still be coming back.”
For three-point landings, Rapp suggested trying to make the tail touch first,
setting the pilot up for the three-point
pitch attitude. If the mains touch first on
a three-point attempt, the aircraft will
bounce. “If the tailwheel is not on the
ground, easing back on the elevator control
may cause the airplane to become airborne
again because the change in attitude will
increase the angle of attack and produce
enough lift for the airplane to fly,” according to the Airplane Flying Handbook.
With wheel landings, however, the goal
is for the mains to touch first.
“Wheel landings are all about finesse,”
Rapp said. Forcing the mains onto the