Got Rudder?

ca12_15

Well-Known Member
How much emphasis was put on properly using the rudder in your flight training? I have completed my PPL, and IR at my local FBO where my very 1st CFI didn't focus much on proper technique. I know that its a 172 and you can actually get away with sloppy footwork for a while. I knew that there had to be a better way. I felt like an airplane driver, not an aviator. I have read many stall/spin accidents where pilots turn from base to final overshoot the runway and push down on that rudder put the plane in a skidding turn and crash. I'm only 23 with 130hrs and i didn't want any bad habits b/c i hope someday to be an airline pilot. So what did I do?

I decided to go and get my tailwheel endorsement. You guys need to check out Greg Koontz at http://www.gkairshows.com I chose Greg b/c he is only 30mins from my house. The instruction is top notch and he will definitely make a seat of the pants pilot out of you. You will fly out of his backyard and 3000ft grass strip!!. I completed my tail wheel endorsement and spin training in 6 hrs. I felt like this training might one day actually save my life and wanted to pass it on to anybody that is interested in learning more stick and rudder skills.
 

DaveC

Well-Known Member
More credit to you for recognizing the problem on your own and correcting it. If more pilots did that we'd have much lower accident rates. Pilot's generally have a hard time evaluating their own flying abilities.

Rudder control is one of my pet peeves as an instructor. I usually find people don't work on it for the same reason many instructors don't say anything about it: lazyness. Old habits die hard, and it's a real PITA if you're the guy trying to break someone else's old habits.
 

JDMcFly

New Member
I'm still in primary training, but use of rudder and the issue of Slip vs. Skid was emphasized strongly with my instructor. You stall in a slip, nothing bad is really going to happen. You stall in a skid and you're in trouble. Left, climbing turn = Right rudder.
 

jrh

Well-Known Member
Kudos to everyone who actually pays attention to rudder usage.

That being said, one of the problems with teaching rudder usage in a modern, nosewheel aircraft is that the aircraft has been designed really well. It's difficult for most people (myself included) to pick up rudder usage in these planes because during normal maneuvers, rudder usage is pretty subtle. Adverse yaw has been greatly reduced by various design factors. Crosswind landings still require rudder usage, but it's not like you'll lose control without proper rudder usage, as is the case with tailwheel aircraft.

That's one of the reasons I appreciate the classic tailwheel designs from the '40s and '50s. Adverse yaw is usually *really* noticeable. Don't use the rudder as you enter a turn and you'll be swinging all over the place. Same for landings...don't use the rudder and you'll be headed for the weeds in a hurry. Although these flight characteristics might teach good lessons, they're ultimately problems which aircraft designers hadn't figured out ways to get rid of yet.

So I guess I don't see poor rudder usage as a function of laziness as much as it is a symptom of never being exposed to aircraft where it obviously matters.
 

ca12_15

Well-Known Member
Did I mention that all of the training is done in the super decathlon? That thing feels like a hot rod compared to the 172. Rudder usage during the landing is tricky. The 1st couple of times my legs were actually sore from all the work involved in touch and go's!
 

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
hell yeah. (see my avatar)

:-D

not sure id call a super D a 'hot rod' though, but yes, by comparison, its a hoot!

i feel pretty limited by it though, feel like i got pretty much everything there is out of it already. id love to buy a modded out pitts..... that would be a good first plane for me. id kill for a sukhoi 29 if they werent so obscenely expensive....
 

SFCC/UND

Well-Known Member
At RFC my students failed their stage check because they were not using enough rudder. So I guess it's a good habit to teach.
 

Scandinavian13

New Member
I have a feeling that a lot of the private pilots out there (at least the ones who get checked out of FDK) don't have very good footwork.

I told my flight instructor from the start about my end goal for flying, which is anything commercial. Because of that, he hold me to commercial restrictions the whole time. At the end of my ride, the DE told me that I was to compliment him on his training ability, because I had the best co-ordination that she has seen in a while. I personally don't think I did so well with it, but I was concentrating on just about everything else (like a supersized P-40).

Maybe I was flying really well that day, or maybe other people are just sloppy with their feet for the PPL check.
 

SpiceWeasel

Tre Kronor
If you don't mind me asking.... what was your total bill for this training? I see that he does it in an 8KCAB and J3... 275$/lesson and 150$/lesson respectively. Which aircraft would be better to do it in? Assuming I ever have enough money to do more flight training....
 

tlewis95

I drive planes
I have a feeling that a lot of the private pilots out there (at least the ones who get checked out of FDK) don't have very good footwork.

I told my flight instructor from the start about my end goal for flying, which is anything commercial. Because of that, he hold me to commercial restrictions the whole time. At the end of my ride, the DE told me that I was to compliment him on his training ability, because I had the best co-ordination that she has seen in a while. I personally don't think I did so well with it, but I was concentrating on just about everything else (like a supersized P-40).

Maybe I was flying really well that day, or maybe other people are just sloppy with their feet for the PPL check.

I got that on my checkride too.

More from being a glider pilot (a LOT of adverse yaw, and coordination is a big deal when you dont have an engine)

He complimented my 45 degree steep turns... they were nice... but not what I call "steep." So, he asked for 60, and got 60. :laff:

Can you get extra credit on a checkride?

Anyway, I agree. Knowing how to use the rudder would make a lot of pilots better, and probably lower the accident rates a bit.
 

mhcasey

Well-Known Member
hell yeah. (see my avatar)

:-D

not sure id call a super D a 'hot rod' though, but yes, by comparison, its a hoot!

i feel pretty limited by it though, feel like i got pretty much everything there is out of it already. id love to buy a modded out pitts..... that would be a good first plane for me. id kill for a sukhoi 29 if they werent so obscenely expensive....
You used to be in Austin, right? There's a guy in Georgetown with a 29 that occasionally* instructs the right* guys in his. Actually...I've only seen one guy that was already a pretty established aerobatics pilot...possibly his best friend. He does take people for rides pretty often, though. Anyway...I can track him down if you end up back in Texas anytime soon.
 

PGT

Well-Known Member
i did my training in a piper so not much rudder required, quite a difference when I switched over to the 172
 

USMC-SSGT

Well-Known Member
TxThere is A LOT you can get out of the trusty 8K. Just look at Koontz fly or fly with someone with LARGE amounts of acro experience. I did quite a bit of flying with Mike Goulian and just when you think you are figuring out the 8K they show you just how little you actually know about the plane. I am with you in the sense that you do get more comfortable with it and it feels like the roll rate that was once "amazing" feels like you will never complete that slow roll after a while. Id stick with it until you have at least a few hundred hours of acro in it before moving to something else. The higher performance stuff (Pitts, eagle, extra) make you lazy and are far easier to get away with sloppy technique. Heck if you could find one...id downgrade to a stearman.
 

jrh

Well-Known Member
If you don't mind me asking.... what was your total bill for this training? I see that he does it in an 8KCAB and J3... 275$/lesson and 150$/lesson respectively. Which aircraft would be better to do it in? Assuming I ever have enough money to do more flight training....
Just to throw my $0.02 in, I think the "better" aircraft depends on what you want to do.

For a straight up tailwheel endorsement with no aerobatic training, I'd fly whatever is closer to what you are most likely to fly in the future. Having a low powered aircraft like the J-3 will force you to recover from your own mistakes better, because when you only have 65, 75, or maybe 85 horsepower, jamming the throttle in and going around from a botched landing is not always an option. You'll have to *fly* the plane out of a mistake, rather than just yanking it back in the air and trying again. I did my initial tailwheel training in a 150 horsepower Citabria, then transitioned to my 85 horsepower Cessna 140, and this was probably the biggest difference I noticed. Low powered aircraft require more patience and finesse.

On the flip side, having more power and faster speeds can show you other dynamics of tailwheel flying that are impossible to see with low powered aircraft. The main ones that come to mind are the left turning tendencies, such as the gyroscopic forces in play as the tail lifts off on takeoff. If you think you're more likely to fly more powerful tailwheels in the future, it's good to learn what it's like from the start. Also, if you decide to try some aerobatics, you're already in a suitable platform for it.
 

ca12_15

Well-Known Member
In response to cencal83404.....Total cost of training was $1400. That got me a tail wheel endorsement and my spin endorsement for my CFI. It was a total of 5 lessons. The last lesson we did some landings and then went out for the spin/ stall training. Greg is not one of those guys that goes right by the Hobbs meter. The flight lesson is supposed to be 1hr but you might fly 1.4 he won't charge u for it. You will be comfortable in the decathlon when he signs u off. Although i woudn't want to tackle to much of a X-wind with only a few lessons.
 
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