#18 “Whuffos”

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The Tailwheeler’s Journal 18

Those who have read “Brian’s Flying Book” are familiar with the term, “whuffo”. It’s a term borrowed from our skydiving brethren and refers to those who shake their heads and ask skydivers, “whuffo you jump outta them airplanes?”. To me it refers to anyone who just doesn’t get it when it comes to our quest to improve our proficiency.

There are many pilots who fly tailwheel airplanes and can’t perform a wheel landing. There are as many others who never use a forward slip. The list can go on. Whatever the reason given, these folks have reached a certain level of proficiency and choose to go no further.

We are on opposite sides of the fence. I can usually come up with a reasonable purpose for every maneuver or operation I practice or teach, but even lacking a practical purpose such as emergencies or any other reason, proficiency is good enough for me.

In my opinion, any maneuver that improves your overall proficiency is worth practicing. You’ll find my book, my articles and my teaching syllabi liberally peppered with such maneuvers. To quote one of my favorite aviation writers, Barry Schiff, “it’s called airmanship, and they don’t teach it anymore.” Well, I try to teach it, and if you want to continue to become a better pilot, stick with me and we’ll work on it together. Whuffos need not apply.

Happy Swooping,