View Full Version : Back to basics - hey, how hard could this be?

05-19-2002, 12:56 AM
Okay, this isn't about a PA-18, it's about a J3 but what the hell, it's a Cub right?

My local FBO has a J3 for rent. It's normally just sitting inside the hangar admired but not flown much. I've pondered the thought for the past year, nahh!, what for? Well why not? How hard could it be to fly that cute little bugger around? So today I decided I'd get checked out in the Cub. After a refresher on the Armstrong Starter techniques I volunteered to do the grunt work and she lit off with an eager pop.

So I climbed into the back seat. Now I know how a horse, or any other such animal that has it's eyes on opposite sides of it's head, sees the world with zero forward vision. I took over the controls and somehow got my feet onto those little heel brakes rediculously buried under the front seat. Man, I hope I don't ever have to actually USE these things! I taxied to the end of the runway with my head stuck out the open clamshell door and the propwash in my face - way cool! I used my toes on the brake pedals for the runup, pulled onto the active, lined up with the centerline and poured on the coals - all 65 of em' Later on, as we passed through 200 feet about three miles from the airport I was thinking 'Man, now this is real flyin!' We did some airwork, turns, slow flight and stalls then headed back for touch and goes. Hey - how hard can this be?

Well the rest I'm not too proud of. Basically I was all over the runway with a lifted wing, on one wheel, a couple of bolters and one that I can only describe as a dropped ping-pong ball. All in a paltry 5kt crosswind. I was humbled.

But I did get at least two decent ones and man it was a total blast. It will probably take me another couple hours or so to get signed off but the prospect of how that sucker is gonna climb with just me onboard nearly takes my breath away

05-19-2002, 10:49 AM
Great story! Thanks. Just be warned that once you get that cub under your belt and move up to a 150hp supercub, you will think you are in the space shuttle. On our "little" 7000 runway, I am typically at pattern altitude less than 1/2way down the runway after takeoff.

09-20-2003, 10:08 PM
One of the first airplanes that I logged certified flight instruction in was a J3 C90 Cub. I had flown my freinds C140 and got feeling for what flying tailwheel was like. The 140 would handle crosswinds pretty well. But when I got into a J3 that was WAY lighter than the 140, my cross-wind landings weren't quite as gentle. The first time my left wing lifted and I veered sharply to the right but was able to keep it on the runway. The second one I made a pretty soft touchdown but a gust of wind pushed my tail over and I started bouncing down the runway on the left main. My instructor and I held it as best we could and then when the intersection came up we put all the power we had in that little 90hp and climbed like you know what. Since then, I have made some pretty good landings in winds up to 13-15mph. Dosen't sound like that much wind but how many other 15 1/2 year olds can land a Cub? even though I've had my fair share of close calls in a Cub, I still love flying em' Hopefully I'll someday own a J3 and a PA-18.

Have fun flyin' the Cub

09-21-2003, 06:27 PM
Great stuff!

Whan I first bought my J-3 I was "practicing" landings with my instructor at a local grass strip. What a struggle--bounce, bonk, etc. Finally, I clunked one on in the crosswind and went sliding sideways across the grass before getting things straight again. :o My instructor laughed and said:

"If we were in a T-craft you would have taken the wheels right off!"

How embarassing! :oops:

The next weekend everything came together and I got in the Cub groove...

So have faith--we've all been there! :lol: