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Thread: PPLTraining- Tailwheel and Somewhere Beautiful

  1. #1

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    PPLTraining- Tailwheel and Somewhere Beautiful

    I want to go get my PPL training done somewhere with great natural scenery and beauty within the US where I can do training in a tailwheel. Essentially I would go live there for a few months while I train and get certified- probalby out West. I'm in a metropolis now.

    I looked at Tac Aero in Hood River. The only issue is they give preference to anyone who books full time week classes. So if my instructor gets a call that someone wants to book them for the following week- I don't fly that week. In theory I could not fly for many weeks if they get booked up. They are also expensive- with plane rental close to $200/hour- less of an issue than not being to reserve instructor time. So if I move up there for 3 months there is no guarantee I could get the flying time I need without going fulltime.

    I want to pursue part time. Maybe a few hours a day a few days per week. I have a day job so I can't do 9-5 for 5 weeks straight. Maybe knock it out in 2-3 months.

    I'm looking for locations that fit the bill for the following:
    1. Nice natural scenery
    2. tailwheel
    3. Great instructor (name please
    4. Backcountry culture- I realize I'm just getting my PPL so it wont be doing anything but basic flight stuff- but I would love to be around an instructor/airport that has some of that culture going on as I would like to explore doing it down the road.

    Any input appreciated.
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  2. #2
    cafi19's Avatar
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    My vote. https://www.iflysummit.com/

    You may check to be sure they will do primary in a tailwheel aircraft. SJ is there as well so I can speak first hand about the quality. All of the instructors are top notch!

    cafi
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    Utah-Jay's Avatar
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    I did all of my flight training in a taildragger, I did not want to learn on training wheels
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafi19 View Post
    My vote. https://www.iflysummit.com/

    You may check to be sure they will do primary in a tailwheel aircraft. SJ is there as well so I can speak first hand about the quality. All of the instructors are top notch!

    cafi
    This is helpful. Thanks!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by cafi19 View Post
    My vote. https://www.iflysummit.com/

    You may check to be sure they will do primary in a tailwheel aircraft. SJ is there as well so I can speak first hand about the quality. All of the instructors are top notch!

    cafi
    Thanks- I see you are in Herber City.

    SLC area is one of the areas I was looking at. Can you tell me where you trained?

  6. #6

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    Natural beauty and backcountry culture? Can't go wrong with Alaska.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Natural beauty and backcountry culture? Can't go wrong with Alaska.
    Yep. Know a location/instructor?

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    I don't know anything about the instructors at Summit (other than SJ, who's great but I don't think he does primary training), but I can vouch that the facility and the surrounding area won't disappoint.

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    https://stewartsaircraft.net/index.html

    i donít know your definition of natural beauty or where you are located, but Red Stewart airfield is a great, low cost way to get lots of tailwheel time in a setting totally appropriate to a J3 or Champ (they have both). itís a family atmosphere there. no serious mountains nearby but plenty of wide open spaces and grass fields to practice landings. i donít know if they do primary in a tailwheel, but you can ask. their prices are really reasonable for both planes and instructors. the instructor i used was a seasoned veteran and a nice guy. i suspect they are all like that.

    check out Dewey Davenportís youtube channel to get a sense of that kind of flying in that area.

    note that if you are getting your PPL, you will want some time in busier airspace to learn radio work and such, so mixing in a plane with electrical system might be beneficial too.

    good luck.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    Yep. Know a location/instructor?

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    Willow Alaska, Legend Aviation, Walt Warner. https://legendsalaska.com/flight-training-alaska/
    When I did my PPL, rented a place in Caswell, used my airplane. Walt has an M7 180 hp fixed pitch Maule, a Cub, hot rod 172 on floats and a Citabrea. I do my bi-annuals using his Maule. Canít beat the scenery within the 25 mile radius after he cuts you loose to get in your hours solo. He cut me loose at 10.7 hours...great guy. Never ever raises his voice. This one time back in band camp....he he...I couldnít make my Pacer spin for chit. When Walt did it...this scream could be heard....is there a little girl in the back seat...that was a lesson Iíll never forget...as that noise obviously came from me...


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  11. #11

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    Plane rental everywhere can be kind of pricey. I bought my plane before I started my lessons, and I would definitely do so again. Your first plane doesn't need to be something fancy. Just buy some cheap Stinson, Pacer, Rans, Kitfox, etc. and start training. Make sure you get a good pre-buy inspection first, and make certain that the plane will be able to fly at the density altitudes you will be training in.
    Last edited by luke_herron1; 03-19-2021 at 08:53 PM.

  12. #12
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    PPLTraining- Tailwheel and Somewhere Beautiful

    Go see Sawyer Fahey up in Maine - Sugarloaf Aviation at Carrabassat Valley. Get your PPL, tail wheel endorsements, float rating.

    https://www.facebook.com/sugarloafav...432063/?type=3

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    Transmitted from my FlightPhone on fingers...
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    skukum12's Avatar
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    My dad had been showing me the basics when Walt Warner jumped in the back seat of my 12 to get me soloed. He lives/lived on a private strip surrounded by tall trees. He asked me if I thought I had experience enough to drop him off at home. "Sure thing." I said. I approached low over the trees and shoved her into a slip an elevator would be pround of. That got his full and complete attention! "I didn't know you knew how to do that!" he hollered over the intercom. I rolled to a stop in front of his place and handed him my log book. He inked me for solo.

    There is plenty of scenery and back country to be flown around Willow.
    "Always looking up"
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    I want to go get my PPL training done somewhere with great natural scenery and beauty within the US where I can do training in a tailwheel. Essentially I would go live there for a few months while I train and get certified- probalby out West. ....I looked at Tac Aero in Hood River. The only issue is they give preference to anyone who books full time week classes. So if my instructor gets a call that someone wants to book them for the following week- I don't fly that week. In theory I could not fly for many weeks if they get booked up. They are also expensive- with plane rental close to $200/hour- less of an issue than not being to reserve instructor time. So if I move up there for 3 months there is no guarantee I could get the flying time I need without going fulltime......
    If you're going to move temporarily to where you're gonna do your flight training,
    why woudn't you want to book "full time week classes"?
    Get on it hard, get her done.
    Otherwise, I'd suggest doing it close to home-- the closer the better.
    I got my private in 3-1/2 months, generally flew about 3 times a week while also working full time.
    The airport (still based there) is a 15 or 20 minute drive from home.
    Doing it in the summertime when the days were long made after-work, weekday flights easier.
    I tried to do most of my flying during the week when things were quieter,
    less traffic to have to contend with.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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  15. #15
    Utah-Jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    If you're going to move temporarily to where you're gonna do your flight training,
    why woudn't you want to book "full time week classes"?
    Get on it hard, get her done.
    Otherwise, I'd suggest doing it close to home-- the closer the better.
    I got my private in 3-1/2 months, generally flew about 3 times a week while also working full time.
    The airport (still based there) is a 15 or 20 minute drive from home.
    Doing it in the summertime when the days were long made after-work, weekday flights easier.
    I tried to do most of my flying during the week when things were quieter,
    less traffic to have to contend with.
    Similar for me, I flew 2 hours at a time 3-4 times a week. Sport pilot here, so I got it all done in 30.5 hours start to signed off checkride.

  16. #16
    wyatterup's Avatar
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    It sounds like you want the rewards of flying without putting in the work. Tac Aero, Chandler Air Service, CP Aviation are all great tailwheel flight schools and it’s hard to beat the scenery in most of Alaska. Commit to the challenge otherwise you are just spending more money and frustrating yourself and the instructor.

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    Why wouldn't you just book full time classes and get it done with?

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    There are a bunch of backcountry adjacent operations near metro areas. Hampton Airfield, NH is one. Andover Aeroflex in NJ is another. If the place only has a J-3/Champ you might be better served by picking off Sport Pilot first on the way to PPL. Most important thing is to pick a place that works with the rest of your lifestyle and get started. Have fun.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafi19 View Post
    My vote. https://www.iflysummit.com/

    You may check to be sure they will do primary in a tailwheel aircraft. SJ is there as well so I can speak first hand about the quality. All of the instructors are top notch!

    cafi
    We currently don't do primaries in tailwheel. Part of the problem is getting DPE's to do tailwheel checkrides. It is not required, but we do do a tailwheel lesson or two with primary students so they can get an idea of why it is important for them to use rudders if they ever want to be cool pilots I've found that if the instructor is tailwheel centric and teaches proper rudder usage, the conversion from nosewheel to tailwheel is not bad. I have done five or six primaries in tailwheel, and they often do take a little longer prior to solo, but other than that, not a big deal.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  20. #20

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    I agree, go full steam ahead on learning. I did a commercial rotorcraft add on. Moved to AZ for as long as it took to do and I was all done in roughly a month. If I did it the conventional way, I would have spent three times as much and it would have taken many months (or years) longer.

    But that said, I also get one needs to make a living. Work first. Play second. That is the correct prioritization.

    I never found the back country culture in AZ, but it was sure a nice place to fly in the winter.

    Sikorsky

  21. #21
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    http://www.rigginflightservice.com/

    Not very scenic but if you want to learn to fly in high winds, very cold temps in the winter and very hot and humid in the summer. This may be the place.
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  22. #22
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    I'll go against the grain here & say that I don't think there's anything wrong with doing your PP training in a nosedragger.
    Much easier to come by C150's etc to train in, and generally less expensive to rent as well.
    Get your private, then do a graduate course in flying taildraggers.
    A friend of mine says "I got my license in a 150, then learned how to fly in a Cub."

    Personally I got my PP license in a C152, then bought a C150 & flew it for a couple years.
    Then moved up to a C170 and never looked back.
    Been flying taildraggers exclusively for 24 years plus now.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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    Lots of great options here. Thanks.

    Will do some digging.



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    SuperCub MD's Avatar
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    www.northwoodsaviation.com

    They mostly do floats, but I see they have a 172 on wheels along with the cubs and 185, so they would probably do primary. Along with Riggin, they would be worth a call.
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    Cub Special Ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utah-Jay View Post
    I did all of my flight training in a taildragger, I did not want to learn on training wheels
    Sorry SJ, couldn't resist.
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    "There are 3 kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." Will Rogers
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  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Utah-Jay View Post
    I did all of my flight training in a taildragger, I did not want to learn on training wheels
    I see you are in Utah.

    Are you near SLC? I was thinking about trying for something out there.

    Do you have a location/instructor you would recommend?

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  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    If you're going to move temporarily to where you're gonna do your flight training,
    why woudn't you want to book "full time week classes"?
    Get on it hard, get her done.
    Otherwise, I'd suggest doing it close to home-- the closer the better.
    I got my private in 3-1/2 months, generally flew about 3 times a week while also working full time.
    The airport (still based there) is a 15 or 20 minute drive from home.
    Doing it in the summertime when the days were long made after-work, weekday flights easier.
    I tried to do most of my flying during the week when things were quieter,
    less traffic to have to contend with.
    I've seen a few comments asking why I just don't do full weeks, full time and get it done with or why don't I "commit" but I don't think i was clear on what TacAero told me for full time.

    I may have misheard them, but I believe full time= 9-5 5+ days a week because it is ground school and flying. I am fine with maybe 20 hours a week, but I just can't dedicate 40+ hours a week for five weeks to a hobby because I have other obligations like running a business.

    I will say- I envy those who can!

  28. #28
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    I'm getting mixed signals-- you say can't devote more than 20 hours a week because you run a business.
    OK, I get that.....but you also say you want to go away somewhere for a few months to do your flight training.
    The two things don't seem to match.
    Do you run your business remotely, maybe via internet?

    Your screen name is "Cardiff Kook"...if you live in the Cardiff in southern Cal,
    maybe you can flight train with Bob Turner in his J3.
    I think he's in San Diego.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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