Tailwheel Flight Instruction
Brian Lansburgh is the founder of The Tailwheeler’s Journal. He was previously Sunriver Soaring’s manager and pilot and ran the Sunriver Airport for a while.
Brian was raised in the film business with a screenwriter mother and a director father. His experience in both aviation and film production have served him well, not only with an Academy Award Nomination for his film, “Dawn Flight”, but most recently with video projects that serve the Tailwheeler’s Journal as well as a small group of clients.
Before coming to central Oregon, Brian was a pilot for L3 Wescam, a job that kept him flying camera planes all over the US and Canada. His duties for Wescam ranged from providing aerial coverage of Monday Night Football to serving as a surrogate Predator UAV during war games at the Naval Air Station in Fallon, Nevada. He honed his flying skill during fourteen years as a comedy stunt pilot in the air show business. It was comedy flying which launched him into precision airmanship flight instruction. Local pilots would often ask for some help after seeing him fly his comedy routine. Eventually those sessions became formalized into what are now the Tailwheel Endorsement course and the Stick and Rudder Master Class.
The flight instruction at Tailwheel town works because of how Brian teaches the maneuvers. Maneuvers like Slaloms and Landing in a Turn require that the pilot really control the airplane when it’s both flying and touching the ground. Most pilots are just going for a ride during the landing experience. Tailwheel Town pilots are placing the aircraft exactly where they want it and are maintaining precise control during this phase of flight. At altitude, maneuvers like Alternating Sideslips, Sky Doodles and Dead Stick flight help the pilot advance far beyond simple coordination of the airplane. And, very importantly, Brian’s philosophy that a flight instructor must teach and protect frees pilots to practice these unusual, challenging and fun maneuvers without once placing themselves in jeopardy. Besides flight instruction, Brian currently produces flying videos and writes an article every week for The Tailwheeler’s Journal.
We have a Cessna 140 in the “Squirrelwerks” which will be available at some date in the future.
After years of offering a six-hour course for either a Tailwheel Endorsement or a Master Class, we have changed our offering. From now on, we will offer a ten-hour course which will include advanced training, including a spin endorsement for those planning on becoming a CFI. As the course as presently offered, ground instruction is free of charge. The applicant and the instructor will determine which maneuvers will be featured in the course. The price per hour has not changed. The advanced training course will not only offer enough time for someone to become proficient with some of the maneuvers, including the Landing in a Turn and Multiples, but also other maneuvers. As usual, anything that causes the course to be interrupted or stopped, such as mechanical issues or health issues will be deemed a justification for a refund of the un-used portion of the total fee. Tailwheel Productions will accept either cash or check but does not accept credit cards for tuition.
Tweakin’ up your skills
A lot of fliers come to us simply to polish up their flying skills. It’s not limited to tailwheel flying, either. Sometimes the course is to satisfy the Biennial Flight Review, which can be included. More often, it is simply to learn some of the more advanced maneuvers taught at Tailwheel Town or to prepare a pilot for a particular type of flying which he’ll be pursuing. We even fly with folks in their own tricycle gear airplanes. There’s no reason we can’t perform a lot of our advanced maneuvers in a tricycle gear airplane. Some of our greatest successes come from our flights in trikes!
We charge $75/hour in customer aircraft. We don’t charge for ground instruction. Payment must be made in advance, but we refund the unused portion in the event of cancellation of the remainder of the course for any reason. We do not accept credit cards, so bring a check or cash.
Prices are subject to change with fuel cost fluctuations. We do reserve the right to refuse any applicant for any reason. Don’t hesitate to ask, however.
Although there are a lot of great books on flying, we recommend that everyone be familiar with “Stick and Rudder” by Wolfgang Langewiesche and, of course, “Brian’s Flying Book” by Brian Lansburgh. Brian is a believer in Langewiesche’s method of comparing an airplane to a horse. He teaches that every airplane has specific gaits and familiarizes the student with the power and pitch that put the airplane in that gait. We will send a series of articles to each flier upon signing up for a course.
About Tailwheel Town
The name, “Tailwheel Town”, was arrived at after our first move. It stood to reason that wherever we taught our courses would become Tailwheel Town. We are currently located in Sisters, Oregon, but will soon be relocating to Idaho! It’s a great airport. It is a privately owned airport which is open to the public. It has several hangar homes on either side of the runway. Benny and Julie Benson purchased the airport a short time ago and have wasted no time in making huge improvements. It now has a newly built and wider runway, fuel and tiedowns as well as free loaner bicycles and a loaner car. For more information about airport facilities, call 541 719 0602. You can also check it out online at www.sistersairport.com
Many of our California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho students simply drive to Sisters, which sits on Highway 20 just 18 miles northwest of Bend, Oregon. International fliers and those from more distant parts of the U.S. find it convenient to fly into Redmond (KRDM), rent a car and drive the short distance to Sisters.
Lodging and Dining
There is plenty of lodging in Sisters. We’re currently recommending the Best Western Ponderosa Lodge (541) 549-1234. It’s at 505 U.S. 20, Sisters, OR 97759. If you tell them that you are meeting with Benny and Julie Benson’s Energyneering Solutions at the Sisters Airport, they will give you a discount. There are great places to dine in Sisters. We may also have the chance to lunch during your course.
If you have any other questions or concerns about tailwheel flight instruction, feel free to contact us. Our preferred method of communication is email at email@example.com. But you can also give us a call at (541) 948-9873. You may have to leave a message and wait for us to get back to you. Our mailing address is 160 South Oak Street, No. 430, Sisters, Oregon 97759. And, above all else, HAPPY SWOOPING! Brian Lansburgh