Last Sunday I began the first step towards the training required to gain a tail wheel conversion on my license, flying in the Piper Super Cub (150hp) G-DRGL belonging to Goodwood Flying School, where I work.
But how did I get to be in this position? The answer is, a very grateful one, as I was granted a flying bursary from a generous sponsor through the Air League in April 2016 which I will use to cover my tailwheel tuition. After completing Module 1 of the ATPLs with Bristol Groundschool, I couldn’t wait to get started on the Cub.
In order to gain the conversion, the training covers aircraft taxying ( appreciation on the position of the centre of gravity and wind direction) general handling and plenty of circuits to master the take-off and landing.
I found taxying the aircraft a challenge, because I’m not the first pilot to admit that I haven’t used my feet much during taxi and sometimes flying! Taxying a tailwheel aircraft opens up many new challenges that must be overcome, like having a constant appreciation of the wind direction and how best to move the control surfaces to stop the wind playing havoc and turning the aircraft on its nose! Something I never wish to see!! Secondly due to the high nose attitude, myself and the instructor behind me have a limited view ahead, so it’s important to gently weave the aircraft to clear the path ahead.
My next lesson is on Saturday so it’ll likely be in the circuit learning how to take off and land in a tail dragger! Can’t wait!
ATPL study is still going well alongside work and flying. I’ve decided to focus more on one subject at a time and currently working through the more challenging topics of aircraft electrics in AGK!