September 1, 1998
Every pilot is a student, whether you are a low-time student — say, with six hours under your belt, trying to learn landings — or a seasoned veteran flying the line with several dozen completed logbooks, trying to relearn landings in a Cessna 150. All good pilots are always learning and, therefore, are students. As an aerobatic and tailwheel instructor, I have had the pleasure of flying taildraggers with all types of pilots from beginning students to ATPs with thousands of hours. All flew the same — mostly uncoordinated. Seriously, the logbook hours made no difference whatsoever in this type of flying. AOPA's Taildragger Transition information packet is available to interested members by calling 800/USA-AOPA.
The following tips are offered in the hopes that you might be able to use one or more in your flight training or your general flying.
Call the AOPA Pilot Information Center for expert help and advice for pilots, from pilots, at 800/USA-AOPA (800/872-2672). Information is available on aircraft buying and selling, titles and liens, regulatory interpretations, FAA enforcement actions, medical issues, preventive maintenance, international flight operations, and flight training, among many other subjects.
Every maneuver has at least one pitch and one bank instrument that is more appropriate than the others. Scan and interpret the appropriate instruments rather than just looking at all of the gauges.
Remember "dead foot, dead engine." AOPA offers an information packet, "Multi vs. Single," that might also help your training.
A multitude of informational booklets are available from AOPA on various aviation subjects, from Mountain Flying to Reducing the Cost of Flying. We also have more than 175 information packets that are available free to members just by calling the Pilot Information Center. The subjects address many areas of interest to students at any level. The new METAR/TAF weather format, ramp checks and what the pilot must provide to the FAA, carburetor ice and its effects, and VA benefits for the student pilot are a few examples.
Craig Brown joined AOPA in August 1997 after 10 years as a full-time flight instructor.
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AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.