You imagine, very soon, how you will look in your outback magic carpet machine: Camping, float flying, ski fly-ins, and fishing at a lake that few can get to. You see it parked in your driveway. And then there’s the mobility: Alaska, finally… wait… maybe Maine? Geez, or Quebec… but then why not Labrador? Why limit your potential. With this beauty – you can go anywhere.
But never mind day dreaming … those big tires will make you so cool on the FBO ramp. The Gulfstream 550 captain stares at your bad ass rig with envy. That Gulfstream, incidentally, is going to the Cannes Film Festival.
A challenge for airplane people that write and fly for a living is that we never know when inspiration will come. You hope it comes when you aren’t too busy. This piece started while I was facing backwards (in the backward facing seat) of an air ambulance on a steep climb.
Safe? Statistically no. Not compared to the airlines. Am I typing, thinking and breathing comfortably? You bet. Aside from the turbulence from the wind rushing over the Sierras to our West and the sliding out of my seat from the rather steep deck angle, I’m fine.
When I first got into aviation I called my company Skywagon Air Service. That’s how nuts I was. Nuts about the 180 / 185 that is. In the basement, of this house, next to this 185, is where the company was born. I got these photos the other day from Mike Ball of KRKD who reminded me of the day he “took the 185 home for lunch.” The drive in his car would have been all of 4 min. But why do that when you can land your 185 in your driveway and taxi it up to the front door… for lunch?: Continue reading Homage to the Skywagon (Cessna 180 / 185)
Big thank you to Elliot Seguin for showing what a long term spin can look like in slow mo – in a vertical wind tunnel (iFLY in Ontario, CA). The PT-17 is a hallmark of WWII training and current day warbird aficianados (aka “The Stearman”).
Much like our politics, amateur tailwheel pilots tend to suffer from polarization.
You are either in the three point or wheel landing camp. This is not a grown up way to learn about your favorite hobby.
Why? Because each aircraft type, set of conditions or the landing environment will help you choose the right solution. It will drive home that there is rarely a panacea via “one solution.”
In the spirit of Dale Carnegie, I’ll start with my own biased world view. I have a fair amount of tailwheel time, but mostly in one aircraft type – the Cessna 180 / 185 family. Whether there was 230 or 300 hp on the nose, one thing to me became clear – this make and model, under most conditions, preferred wheel landings.