Only Two Things to Know: Don’t stall, and control the nose.
Posted on March 15, 2012 by jalsip
I think, as pilots, we admire the good stick and rudder pilot. We recognize the skills demonstrated by aerobatic pilots, the pilot who lands a float plane on a tiny mountain lake or the local tailwheel pilots making a perfect touch down in a strong cross wind. What do those pilots do that makes them great sticks? What can you do to become a confident, skillful stick and rudder pilot?Actually there are only two fundamentals to master – “don’t stall and control the nose”.
The first fundamental is an understanding of what the legendary pilot Bob Hoover meant when he said “fly the thing”. Good sticks understand that airplanes do not stall, pilots cause airplanes to stall. Avoid a stall and you avoid a spin – just fly the thing. In my Key Points Video titled Stall, Upset and Spin Recovery I develop the advice from Bob Hoover to just fly the thing. The video focuses on the one flying skill that will make you a better pilot, and may save your life in an emergency.
The second fundamental of good stick and rudder skills, requires that the pilot know intuitively that an airplane’s rudder controls yaw. Some pilots fly like they drive a car. When the airplane’s nose turns left or right, they turn the yoke against the turn. In my book titled Flying the Tailwheel Airplane, I address the second fundamental of good stick and rudder skills – recognition and control of yaw. Yaw can be caused by use of ailerons (adverse yaw), P-factor or gyroscopic effect, but whatever the cause, the good stick will use rudder to control yaw.