One minute, from turning downwind, to rollout to
You turn downwind, but being bored, you continue
rolling and turning to fly the downwind inverted at
As you approach abeam the runway threshold, do
a 1 1/2 roll to upright - no barrelling - and power
off. Bank and pitch down. If you do it right, you
do not need to touch the throttle again. Note the
continuous after-firing of the exhaust during the
entire approach - the throttle stayed all the way
back. Gerry Younger would be proud - not "power
Belly check on base - make sure no one is flying a
four-bars final - and you're slightly high, so sideslip
on a 20 to 30 degree slant final to touchdown,
for improved visibility. Over the threshold, wings
level, flare, and keep bringing the stick steadily
back to get the weight on the tailwheel. Nice
stall warning squawk.
What a tremendously groovy little airplane.
Welcome to the Biplane Mafia! We need shirts
or cards or something.
have done in my lifetime. Tens of thousands, I guess.
I tell anyone that buys a Pitts, to order two sets of
main tires and tubes, and a new tailwheel, and to try
to burn them off as fast as you can. The objective is
to do 300 to 500 approaches and landings in as short
a period of time, as possible. Doing 25 circuits in an
hour every day, that would be 3 weeks assuming no
wx hiccups. At the end of which, you have mastered
the aircraft, and the neighbours want to lynch you.
But if you make that journey, of 300 to 500 landings,
you will be able to land it in virtually any wind. Crosswind?
Bring it on - now you can see the runway on final!
There are many different ways to land - Budd Davisson
slant final, Gerry Younger Stuka Final, Sean Tucker cruise
missile. You can even wheel land it when you get really
good. But sooner or later, the tail comes down, and
you can't see forward, and you have to keep it straight.
The answer is in the helmet cam - I put my head back
as far as I can, look forward, and use my peripheral vision
to look at the parallelograms on each side behind the
bottom wing, formed by the contrast at the runway edge.
It's terrifying when there is no contrast - all grass, or
all snow - you have no idea if you are developing an
angle on the runway, and it makes it hard to flare, too.
Sure is fun, being in the Biplane Mafia, though. With
apologies to Mr Bougie: