Re: Tail Up Taxi...

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Re: Tail Up Taxi...

Postby bigrenna » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:16 am

delete


Moderator's Note: This former participant posted a video showing someone taxying very fast with the tail up. The discussion which follows was in reference to that video. The former participant, for reasons other than this discussion-thread, has left the forums, but not before editing all his postings with the word "delete". Many of those threads which were deemed unimportant have been deleted by the moderator, but most which contained useful information have been salvaged and re-titled to their original subjects.
Last edited by bigrenna on Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tail Up Taxi...

Postby gahorn » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:57 am

And generally a stupid stunt, IMO.
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Re: Tail Up Taxi...

Postby canav8 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:07 am

gahorn wrote:And generally a stupid stunt, IMO.

Actually a graduate level practice often used in some operations where unimproved surfaces are involved. Common in Alaska. Generally not necessary. I have used this practice to reduce wear and tear on the tailwheel and fuselage over rough terrain where tailwheel steering does no service. It is a tool that a tailwheel pilot should have in their toolbag. You may not use the tool but it is a good tool. Doug
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Re: Tail Up Taxi...

Postby gahorn » Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:29 am

I guess some folks haven't considered/seen engines/props damaged by doing it. (And I'd ask, "What...fuselage wear and tear?")
If the fuselage is being injured by taxying, then it's being taxied too fast, or it should be towed. (I'm thinking lower-48 ops. AK ops are simply not "normal" enough to promote taxying habits that are dangerous to the airplanes and also hazardous to operators/bystanders. I don't buy into the theory that just because some people do or get-away with something in Alaska that it must be a good procedure which others/wannabees simply must accept/and admire, as if they also should aspire "to be cool.")
Yes, (before it's asked) I've done it. No, it's not hard. However it introduces unnecessary risk to self and others. It is not cautious or conservative operation. It probably meets the definition of "excessive speed during taxi" and is therefore likely categorized as "careless and/or reckless operation" if anything goes awry.
But I realize the "cool" factor simply cannot be resisted by some folks, many of whom are eager, yet possess borderline skillsets, so I felt compelled to bring up these points.
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Re: Tail Up Taxi...

Postby c170b53 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:34 am

It's something I've never tried as my Scottish heritage would never allow me to have such an affect to the bottom line should I screw up.
A fellow worker had a great story that when told by him, had many a aviator busting a gut. The short version, he was an apprentice assisting in an super cub's engine rebuild. They flew to a small airport to return the completed aircraft to the owners. When they taxied up to the apron the entire family was there to see their pride and joy. The pilot decided to put on a show and raised the tail and turned 180 but unfortunately the prop buried itself into the ground and the engine immediately came to a halt. My friend said at the time he tried to sink into the floor but in a super cub there's really no place to hide.
I'm sure if you know what you doing you probably won't do much harm, whereas I wouldn't even give it a thought, as I screw up almost too much even for myself :oops:
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Re: Tail Up Taxi...

Postby Bruce Fenstermacher » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:40 pm

I do tail high turns all the time. Oh wait I'm in a helicopter when I do them. Sorry wrong forum. :|

I can imagine that at some point I could feel so connected and in control of an aircraft with the right braking, engine power balance that I would do that. In fact I could see it become so routine that I do it even when not necessary. Kind of like wheel landing on a dead calm day on a 10000 ft manicured firm Bentgrass runway.

However I have never had an aircraft that I feel I could safely do it to the extremes in the popular videos and don't expect I will. I also don't expect I'll ever really need to do it to the point it is worth the risk to the prop and engine.

We all have different risk / reward levels. I don't have a desire to do tail up turns in an airplane so the risk is way to high for me. But I'll do them all day long in a helicopter without thought that some folk don't even want to sit in. :?
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Re: Tail Up Taxi...

Postby bagarre » Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:37 pm

Bruce Fenstermacher wrote: Kind of like wheel landing on a dead calm day on a 10000 ft manicured firm Bentgrass runway.


Really? I do wheel landings all the time on 2400 feet; crosswind or not. So much so that I have trouble with three pointers :roll:

As far as tail up taxi: I wish I had enough power to consider them an option.
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Re: Tail Up Taxi...

Postby Bramlett » Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:52 pm

I bet this Skywagon Pilot wishes he hadn't done the tail up taxi.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4d4_1331415215&p=1

I can appreciate there being a time and place for such a skill but...
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Re: Tail Up Taxi...

Postby bat443 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:22 pm

I wasn't going to post a reply because it usually upsets the individuals advocating the learning and practice of such "skills". but as one who has to pay for 180 insurance, I can only hope that you and all others are self insured, as it directly effects the bottom line of my premium bill. And as far as using a tail up taxi on rough surfaces, if the surface is rough enough to damage the tail, what make you think you won't stub a toe (main wheel) and put the airplane on its nose.

Just my 2 cents worth, Tim
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Re: Tail Up Taxi...

Postby bagarre » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:37 pm

Is that to say that 180 pilots are more careless than 170 pilots? 8O

(That was a joke. Please, no flame wars)
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Re: Tail Up Taxi...

Postby pdb » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:26 pm

I am not sure this practice is all that common here in Alaska though we have probably all done it a time or two when stuck in the mud and we need to move one wheel first then the other. But just because we have done it doesn't make it smart.

You have to remember that Murphy's Law is wrong. We can do very risky or stupid stuff and frequently get away with it but don't draw the wrong conclusion that you weren't stupid and or it wasn't risky.
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Re: Tail Up Taxi...

Postby counsellj » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:51 pm

I've used this technique once to get a flat tailwheel back to the ramp, but one must use a lot of brake and/or speed to get the tail up and then lots of power to maintain it unless you raise the tail dangerously high. Also remember, rag/tube taildraggers are a lot lighter on the tail than most metal airframes. IMHO it is a less risky maneuver with those types of aircraft, but not usually needed either way. Either way, I don't make a habit of doing it in any aircraft.
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Re: Tail Up Taxi...

Postby Ryan Smith » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:24 am

I tried the tail up taxi thing in our 52 B once and it was pretty uncomfortable to do. Haven't tried it since.
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Re: Tail Up Taxi...

Postby LBPilot82 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:39 am

Since we are talking about raising the tail prematurely, and I hope I'm not hijacking this thread, do all 170 models have a VERY heavy tail at the beginning of the takeoff roll? I would imagine this would be the same as a high powered taxi in order to get the tail off the ground. I'm not sure this could be done without great effort in an A model. Trying to raise the tail very early in the takeoff roll in my A model is all but impossible with the tremendous aerodynamic forces on the elevator. I'm not exactly a small guy but I would have to really push harder than I dare to get the tail off the ground at anything under probably 25mph or so. I wonder if the larger elevator counterbalance and shorter feathers on a B model elevator makes a big difference in this situation. Maybe flap settings would make a difference? I practice short field takeoffs with flaps retracted as well as the first notch. I just don't think I could taxi with the tail up without over-exerting myself or bending parts. I don't have much time in B models to compare.
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Re: Tail Up Taxi...

Postby gahorn » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:01 pm

The only time I add forward yoke to raise the tail prematurely in my B-model is when taking off on a rough field to relieve the tailwheel spring/bracket assembly from unnecessary beating. The rest of the takeoff: On grass using 10/20 flaps, as soon as the tail will support-itself, I then apply very slight back-pressure on the yoke to prevent further weight-shift forward, resulting in a "soft" field lift-off at the minimum un-stick speed.

Otherwise, on pavement using 0 flaps, I use back yoke until about 25 mph and then relax the yoke to neutral position, and allow the tail to raise of it's own accord with neutral elevator. I allow the aircraft to accelerate until the nose drops perceptibly, consequence of the tail rising a bit further of it's own accord, then with only slight back-yoke/rotation the aircraft gently leaves the runway, but at somewhat higher than minimum speed (resulting in a bit more solid initial flight-control.)

My B-model has an empty tailweight of 134 lbs, and the tail cannot be forced-up very early. The only "tail up taxying" I've ever performed in it was inadvertent (going too fast, downwind, forward-elevator, and suddenly faced with a need for emergency stop. The perception was that it very nearly resulted in a prop-strike.

"Tail up taxying" in my Aeronca was not difficult. But that was my first, personal airplane, and in those days I imagined I was a bachelor-playboy jet-jockey and a fun-loving idiot. I got lucky and never hurt the plane.

These days I'm happily married. :wink:
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