I’ve already told that I need 250h total time to meet the commercial requiremens, and I considered that I can fly different aircrafts during this time-building for getting additional endorsements.
One of the endorsements is a tailwheel one. It is useful both for better airplane control and for future job opportunities: I am considering a bush flying route.
In my case the training airplane is citabria. It is an aerobatic plane. Pilots seat one-behind-another, not side-by-side. There is no attitude indicator and course directional indicator, but the airplane has g-meter which shows g-load. The throttle lever is on the left side, no flaps, a stick instead of a yoke.
Taxiing is really way more difficult: I feel like a drunk sailor. I should apply rudder much more precisely.
At the take-off the airplane’s nose initially points up, but with gaining some speed we can slightly push the stick and align the airplane almost horizontally. After that it feels like a usual Cessna take-off.
The ball in a turn coordinator behaves insanely. I used to see 1/4 deflection, at most 1/2 in a turbulent weather, but here… It runs from one edge to another. The airplane is much more sensitive.
Steep turns. The airplane enters in a steep turn very easily, and easily returns to a wings-level state as well. We can only determine an angle with g-meter and outside references.
We should turn by magnetic compass reference, so we refresh the knowledge about compass turning errors.
Stalls. As usual, we should pull the stick, and the airplane is slowing down. Then it stalls, and we can start the recovery procedure. I am pushing the stick as I used to do it on a cessna, and… It seemed that the airplane went down almost vertically. I already mentioned that the controls are much more sensitive.
Sideslip – it seems that my heading and course differs at least by 30 degrees. And in this airplane proper sideslip can be really necessary since we don’t have flaps.
I flew my first traffic patterns in about 3-4 minutes, no more. I used to do it in about 6 min.
I liked the citabria a lot. It requires even more control precision and provides less time for reaction, but it’s an amazing airplane. I think that this experience can greatly improve basic ‘stick-and-rudder’ piloting skills.