When I gradually began to offer Tailwheel Flight Instruction, an issue raised its head: You see, not everyone who wanted to receive tailwheel dual and to improve their skills, needed to gain a Tailwheel Endorsement. Some already had such an endorsement. So I re-did my syllabus for what I now called a “Master Class”. Since this course was designed for someone who already was familiar with tailwheel aircraft, I left out much of the time that we’d previously spent doing three-point landings and wheel landings. But I put in some maneuvers that were new, skill building and not likely to have been practiced. Included in this new bag of maneuvers were, depending on opportunity, the Landing in a Turn, Slaloms, The Dead Stick Landing, an intro to mountain flying,
Landing in a Turn
The view from the cockpit. A dead stick approach and landing started from approx. 8,000 feet.
In formation with Phil Comingore’s Cub over Madras.
Mountain Flying: Three Fingered Jack in the Cascade Mountain range west of Sisters (photo by Brittany Reinbolt)
formation flying and a few other items that I kept in the Tailwheel Endorsement course. For example, I realized that pilots had, for years, been using a rather goofy knot to tie their airplanes down. So I included knot-tying. The same pilots who could start a vehicle by “popping the clutch”, were familiarized with hand-propping, a skill that I realized all pilots needed to be familiar with but with which most had no skill at.
So, now that my courses are no longer available to Ladies Love Taildraggers scholarship winners, all hope is certainly not lost. After all, the cadre of female flight instructors providing instruction for this wonderful program have their own bags o’ tricks and have plenty to teach the pilot looking for more than a conventional tailwheel endorsement, spin endorsement or upset training. And, until aviation is truly sex-blind, I have to say that this move to female flight instructors is probably a good one.