Frequently Asked Questions about the Tailwheel Endorsement Course
How can you give a tailwheel endorsement in 2 days?
We operate from an excellent long and wide grass strip with other airports nearby. With little traffic, we can do up to 12 takeoff and landings per hour. We don’t waste your time with unnecessary flying (but still have fun), and ask that you be prepared by being current as a pilot and by doing some reading ahead of time.
Will I be ready to buy and solo a …… [fill in the blank] when I have my endorsement from Left Base?
Absolutely not! You will feel confident and be safe flying the Decathlon by the end of the course. You will also be “proficient in the operation of a tailwheel airplane.” Do not expect to be proficient in another model of tailwheel aircraft, or even the same one if you don’t get out and fly tailwheels for a period of time. If you have your eyes on a specific model – say, a Stearman, a Carbon Cub, or a Piper J3 – plan on getting transition training from an instructor who has significant instructional experience in that make/model before you go solo.
Can I sneak in a Flight Review during my tailwheel endorsement training?
We can accomplish many of the FR requirements during your tailwheel checkout. Just let us know before beginning and we will work them into the curriculum. Our Tailwheel Endorsement Package does not have the time available to allow for other endorsements, so plan on some extra ground and flight instruction for your Flight Review. Our Decathlon is a VFR airplane with basic instruments (think compass, ball and airspeed). So it might not be the ideal aircraft for a Flight Review if you fly a complex airplane with an IFR panel. That said, we’ll be happy to complete a FR in your own airplane. So, fly it up to 88C when you come for your Tailwheel Endorsement and we’ll help you meet all of your goals. More airplanes=more fun!
How should I prepare before I arrive?
The best way to prepare for the course is to go out and fly something so you don’t have to spend a lot of time getting the extra thumbs off your hands. Come proficient in takeoffs, landings (crosswinds too) along with basic airwork in whatever you fly and you’ll soon feel right at home flying the Decathlon. Next, read up on operating tailwheel aircraft on the ground and in the air so you arrive well versed on the essential concepts of how tailwheel airplanes behave and why. The best source is the chapter called “Transition to Tailwheel Airplanes” in the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook. If you want to learn more, get a copy of “The Complete Taildragger Pilot” by Harvey Plourde. It is a great and entertaining read that will really help you to understand the dynamics of tailwheel flying. If you would rather watch a video than read a book, it is hard to beat Damian DelGaizo’s Tailwheel: 101 and Tailwheel: 201.