is very happy today ... he soloed his Pitts S1S!!
CPL, about 500TT, around 150 tailwheel. He did
precisely the 5.0 hours dual on Pitts - minimum
required by his insurance company - and he "got it"!
I won't "out" him, but soloing a Pitts is quite an
accomplishment. You know who you are
PS I am not in favour of more paperwork, but I
have always been amazed that the Pitts does not
require a type rating. Many docile homebuilts require
a type rating, and IMHO the L39 jet (for example) is
far easier to land, and it requires a type rating.
So 5 hours dual, thats a loooooot of touch and goes in a Pitts! I can do one a minute or something nuts like that.
Yeah, the neighbours here must really hate me (ahem).thats a loooooot of touch and goes in a Pitts!
I just leave it at 2700 RPM. Doesn't hurt the engine.
Burned off a Lang tailwheel in the process, and left main
will need a change before Geneseo, but that's just par
for the course!
Told the new Pitts pilot to order two new sets of main
tires and tubes, and a new tailwheel, and to try to burn
them off as fast as he could!
I don't understand the medical science behind it, but
what you need to do, is 300 to 500 landings in the Pitts
in as short a period of time as possible. 25 a day (one
flight) is nice, 50 a day (two flights) is better.
After that intensive experience, the hand-eye skill and
judgement required to approach and land blind and roll
out straight is burned into the electrochemical tracks in
your brain for life. However, it must be done in as short
a period of time as possible. One week, max 10 days.
Not 10 years.
The really cool thing about learning to land the Pitts, is
that once you master it, the high wing loading and approach
speeds (I use minimum 110 mph on base, minimum 100
mph on final) means that you really couldn't care less
about the wind.
While other pilots are fretting and looking at the windsock
standing straight out across the runway, you have a short
fuselage and a tiny vertical fin and a big rudder, and you are
saying, "Yahoo! I will be able to see something on final, in
the sideslip today!"
You become really quite contemptous of the wind. This will
occasionally bite you. A few years back, I did some Pitts
flying in a howling wind - just watch the ailerons and canopy -
just fine, and then jumped into the Maule, did a lazy takeoff,
and damn near ended up in the grass during the takeoff, on
the downwind side of the runway!
That young Pitts pilot in Quebec is going to learn an awful
lot about aerobatics, and stick & rudder flying in the next
couple of years. All he needs to do, is put enough 100LL
through his engine.
His reward, at the end of two years, is that he will be able
to jump into nearly any interesting airplane - Stearman,
Waco, Harvard, P-51 - and be able to effortlessly fly it,
first time. And people will envy him for being a "natural"
As my buddy (AN-2 pilot) says, Welcome to the Biplane Mafia!
Yes and when a new Pitts pilot gets his (or her) wings Transport Canada adds your name to the membership list:)The first rule of Pitts club is that you do NOT talk about Pitts club.
fantastic to see young pilots with stick and
rudder skills as impressive as you guys
Yeah. I remember, a few years back, you jokedwhen a new Pitts pilot gets his (or her) wings Transport Canada adds your name to the membership list
to me that whenever a Pitts pilot started his engine,
four TC Inspectors would go into a meeting room
to decide what they were going to do about it
I guess the Biplane Mafia might not be well liked,
but it is apparently well known
What I have learned over the years is that when
you work hard, and get good at something worthwhile,
there is always going to be a segment of people
who really don't like that.
So be it.
a secret handshake. I remember getting drunk in a bar one
night at Rideau Ferry with a good friend who is a Mason, and
he showed me the Secret Handshake (tm) which of course I
Until we can ply Mr Bougie (a card-carrying member) with
alcohol and loose women, resulting in his usual superb artwork,
I suggest we get Eric to make us up some white T-shirts with
on the back. A tad crude, yes, but so am I