Point about three pointers.

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BBerson

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I thought stall was defined as Cl Max angle. On landing you want to arrive and three point as slow as possible exactly right at stall speed for a smooth level touchdown. If you do get to the backside of the curve at 17° while descending then you are already below level stall speed. Moving the stick forward to 13° while below level stall speed will not provide enough lift to lift off.
 

N8053H

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How many do wheel landings? To do a wheel landing one must relax on the stick. As the airplane comes in the stick is held back. Then as the airplane gets closer to the runway just a few feet off the ground start relaxing on the stick. Let the mains touch first. You don't just fly it onto the ground. Its a stepping action. Ease back on the stick then relax some, ease back then relax some. Making it almost look like you are stepping down steps. One step at a time. Once on the ground hold the stick a little forward. Keep the tail up until ground speed is so slow no lift left and the tail drops ever so easily onto the turf or runway.

Tony
 

Mark Z

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I'd rather see mastery of 3 point landings; two point are fairly easy once you figure out pushing forward on the stick. There's nothing like a greaser on all three.
 

Dan Thomas

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Had to perform one on my private check ride back in the 1960's, but haven't seen the need, nor done one, since.


BJC
Some airplanes prefer wheel landings in certain scenarios. The Glastar and Cessna 185 do, especially if the CG is forward, because the stab is close to the ground and ground effect tends to make the tail want to lift in a three-point touchdown. My Jodel lands nicer in a wheel landing.

The shortest landings are made with a tail-low wheel landing, with the tailwheel just barely off the surface, meaning that the touchdown speed is as low as it can get because the AoA is as high as it can get, and then raise the tail to remove the AoA and use heavy braking, keeping the nose from dipping further by modulating the elevator and brakes. Bring the tail down as speed decays. One can stop a 185 is much less than book value doing this. And I've never had a taildragger lift off again by raising the tail, either.

Wheel landings also save the tailwheel.
 

bmcj

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How many do wheel landings?
I do, to stay in practice, but I am a firm believer in 3-point landings for most planes. A slow pull back to full aft stick for a 3-point touchdown gives you the slowest airspeed at touchdown (and that works for Cessna 150's as well).

The Cub I used to fly was mis-rigged a bit, so that the stall attitude was greater than the 3-point attitude. That meant that I could bring it in nose-high with the wings still flying and roll it on the tailwheel with the mains still in the air. That's not how it's supposed to work, but it was a lot of fun to do!
 

Dana

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I was taught to do wheel landings in strong or gusty crosswinds. In the T-Craft that helped a lot as you could touch down on the upwind wheel. In the Fisher with the lower wing so close to the ground you can't really get a wing down all that far, but I've still been doing wheel landings in wind.

I'm looking forward to seeing what the Starduster likes when I pick it up (perhaps as soon as next week). The previous owner always did wheel landings, I'm not sure why. He described it as "a handful", but taxiing it around below tail lifting speed it seemed perfectly well behaved and less twitchy than my Fisher.

Dana
 

Aesquire

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If you prefer wheel landings greatly depends on the plane. WW1 replicas and others may lose rudder effectiveness as the tail comes down.

A "dead zone" in rudder control is one you want to get past quickly, and smoothly.

Bush landings also sometimes call for wheel landings, even with tricycle gear airplanes. Soft field practice for some planes is to try and keep the nose wheel off as long as possible to prevent it digging in. Yes, this makes the landing run longer. You have to prioritize your needs.

Some of the tow pilots locally like to wheel land & fast taxi with the tail wheel up. They are also the ones that are emphatic about flying the plane until it's tied down.
 

TFF

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Bush landings that are wheel type are heavy on the brakes. They are holding as much brake as they can hold down the tail with. Wheel landers are kind of doing everything in steps. Wheels down, hold straight, coast down, tail down, and taxi off runway. Three pointers want the wheels to touch so it stops flying , it's straight ,and is close to taxi speed all at once.
 

Dan Thomas

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Three pointers want the wheels to touch so it stops flying...
I hope you didn't mean that the way it sounds. When the wheels touch, the weight begins to transfer from wings to wheels. That takes some deceleration time, and the wing is still full of lift, enough that anyone who thinks the airplane is done flying just 'cause the airplane is "on the ground" is in for a nasty surprise someday.
 

BBerson

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That's why an experienced bush pilot pushes the stick forward on a taildragger to put weight on the wheels to make the brakes work.
 

bifft

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I'm looking forward to seeing what the Starduster likes when I pick it up (perhaps as soon as next week). The previous owner always did wheel landings, I'm not sure why. He described it as "a handful", but taxiing it around below tail lifting speed it seemed perfectly well behaved and less twitchy than my Fisher.
In my Starduster Too, I found it very hard to wheel land without bouncing. Only way I managed to do it was to flare with power instead of stick. Could also easily roll the tailwheel on before the mains touched. Never had directional problems, just poor visibility on the ground.
 

Battson

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I picked up a Sport Aviation some time ago and was reading an article by a fellow named Steve Krog who teaches tailwheel flying and has a series of articles on that subject. Mostly he uses J3 Cub.
Now I'm sure he's a competent pilot and has vastly more hours in that airplane than I'll ever have, but:

He makes the following point: "When landing in a three point attitude, you must never push the stick forward after the wheels are down because this will unstall the wing and you'll be flying again." Or words to that effect.

IMHO, this is utter nonsense. A Cub's wing in the three point attitude (and just about any other tailwheel airplane, save a few exotic STOL types) is not stalled. If his assertion was correct, you could never take off unless you first pushed the stick forward to "unstall" the wing. I can assure Mr Krog that I can take off a Cub with the tailwheel in firm contact with the runway. Open the throttle and with the stick back slightly, it will just lift off the ground perfectly well, with the tailwheel the last thing to leave the ground. And most other tailwheel will take off in their ground attitude. Not saying that is the best way to do it. But the idea that you will make a Cub fly again after plonking it down on all three wheels by pushing the stick forward is, aerodyamically speaking, impossible. Where do pilots get these ideas and perpetuate them for decades? The same place pilots get their automatic engineering qualifications after the checkride?


Discuss among yourselves; I need to slap more dope on fabric....
I think the point he was thinking of (possibly confusing with a stall), is the standard technique to avoid pilot induced oscillation. Once you commit to the three point landing and it settles on, you need to keep that stick hard back come hell or high water, assuming you're committed to the landing. Nothing to do with stalling as you say, but good technique none the less.

I've met the odd instructor so green off the training line, you can imagine some must go through life with some incorrect theory in their heads. As long as the practice is OK, they may never realise they misunderstand the theory.

To the wheel vs three point landing debaters... only using one technique or the other, is like only using every second gear in your car. You'll get by just fine that way, but you're missing out on some useful stuff which costs you nothing. A good pilot knows how and when to use both.
 

BJC

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I know Pitts drivers who will only wheel land, and I know Pitts drivers who will only three point. Each group includes some outstanding pilots. Lots of history has shown that either technique, properly executed, works well in a wide spectrum of runway and weather conditions.


BJC
 

N8053H

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Everyone missed the point on my comment about wheel landings. In order to do a wheel landing one is holding a little forward pressure on the stick. The airplane does not fly, it tips forward on it's axes for its trying to dive or go down. But being planted on the ground all it can do is raise the tail. I can now throttle up past take off speed and keep her on the ground. Not until I raise AoA of the wings or lower the tail will it fly.

I like wheel landing then seeing how far down in speed I can go and hold the tail up. Then when dropping the tail I like it to kiss or touch down on the turf or runway ever so softly. I also like to see if I can touch the mains down so softly that I do not feel it. Only when the nose pitches down from the mains being planted do I know I am on the runway. Another thing that puts a smile on my face. You are not doing this at blazing speeds but at normal landing speeds. You just hold a little extra speed on touch down.

This is what I call fun.

Tony

P.S. I should mention..I don't use brakes.
 
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