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Wed, Feb 01, 2012

New Book Goes Beyond Stick And Rudder Skills For Tailwheel Pilots

'Flying The Tail Wheel Airplane' A Detailed Course In Conventional Gear Flying

Whether its the low, slow flight of a Cub or Champ, or the high-performance of a P-51, flying an airplane with conventional gear requires a different skill set. A new book “Flying the Tail Wheel Airplane”, by Master CFI Jim Alsip, offers a detailed course on piloting aircraft with a conventional gear. Tail wheel airplanes present specific challenges that Alsip aims to address in this guide to better stick and rudder skills.

According to Alsip, there has been a resurgence in pilots flying tail wheel airplanes in recent years. In part that is due to the growing popularity and production of new light sport airplanes. Another factor in the popularity of tail wheel aircraft is safety and self-esteem. It is generally acknowledged that tail wheel pilots have better stick and rudder skills than pilots who have only flown tricycle gear aircraft. Better skills help tail wheel pilots fly more safely and ostensibly have more fun than their counterparts in tricycle gear airplanes.

The FAA requires that pilots must have a “tail wheel endorsement” from a certified flight instructor to fly an airplane with a tail wheel. To earn a tail wheel endorsement, a pilot must demonstrate proficiency in specific flying skills and be knowledgeable of tail wheel subjects. With this in mind, Alsip guides readers through the basics of tail wheel proficiency and aims to identify the causes of poor pilot performance. Alsip contends that the principles laid out in the book are applicable to all pilots flying all types of small airplanes and are prerequisite to learning to fly advanced maneuvers safely.

“Many pilots know what is required to perform a specific maneuver, but their low skill level is an impediment to being successful,” Alsip says. “In a unique way, the book addresses those weaknesses with techniques and a practice regimen that will help any pilot become more skilled with the use of an airplane’s controls.”

Intended to educate and empower pilots of all backgrounds and training levels, the book offers step-by-step instructions that gradually build in complexity as the book progresses. The book also offers an abundance of photographs from the cockpit demonstrating key points and principles. The photographs emphasize stick and rudder skills from the pilot’s perspective. “Emphasis on where to look, what to see and what to do about it makes this teaching style and book unique and effective,” says Alsip.

FMI: www.dylanaviation.com

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