Fundamental or Technique

A three point landing in a tailwheel airplane is commonly defined as three wheels touching at same time; the fully stalled attitude. A careful look at the attitude of the landing pictured here reveals that the tail will be just a little high at touch down. The landing will not be three point; the airplane is not fully stalled. The airplane will skip, then stick on the second touch. A skip is a tiny bounce. I like that technique. If I try to always achieve a perfect three point, my landings, on average, will be tail first half the time. Tail first landings should be avoided. I like a little skip with a stick on the second touch. Using a skip, I avoid landing tail first and half the time my landing will be a perfect three point landing.
A three point landing in a tailwheel airplane is commonly defined as three wheels touching at same time; the fully stalled attitude. A careful look at the attitude of the landing pictured here reveals that the tail will be just a little high at touch down. The landing will not be three point; the airplane is not fully stalled. The airplane will skip, then stick on the second touch. A skip is a tiny bounce. I like that technique. If I try to always achieve a perfect three point, my landings, on average, will be tail first half the time. Tail first landings should be avoided. I like a little skip with a stick on the second touch. Using a skip, I avoid landing tail first and half the time my landing will be a perfect three point landing.
Many student pilots learn to fly with instruction from few or maybe even one instructor. The student’s understanding of skill set and flight science is limited to the flight school curriculum and how it was presented. The student might learn a technique in lieu of principle. The situation is exaggerated if the student does not read or seek additional source of knowledge/instruction beyond pilot school.

Fly with as many other pilots as you can; seek alternate CFIs to complete your flight reviews; read about airmanship and flight procedure. Make it your goal to think about how you fly:
• Have you been instructed to do the same maneuver in different ways by different instructors? Different techniques are applicable to different aircraft, different purpose and different pilot styles. A technique is not always definitive nor universal. Develop your own style and techniques that work for you.
• Can you identify fundamentals of flight? If you cannot define them, you probably don’t comply with them. Fundamentals always apply. For example, Newton’s Laws of motion directs a pilots to be patient and allow the airplane to come to him after making an input to a flight control.
• Does your understanding of flight maneuvers conflict with your understanding of fundamentals? For example, you use the ailerons to execute a turn, so perhaps you think the ailerons make an airplane turn. Your understanding will be challenged if you maintain bank and apply forward stick during a level turn. The turn stops and the airplane will fly a constant heading. Is it possible that the elevator, not the ailerons, makes and airplane turn?

Challenge yourself to identify your techniques for performing flight maneuvers and define how your techniques take advantage and promote a flight fundamental.

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