EAA multimedia journalist Brady Lane chronicled his journey to earn his sport pilot certificate
www.EAA.org/wings. Ab initio is Latin for “from the beginning,” and in this column he’ll
continue to share his adventures as he gains experience as a newly certificated pilot.—Eds.
Little Big Things, Part II
Big lessons learned from a little tailwheel
MANY PILOTS HAVE TOLD me earning a tailwheel endorsement would
make me a better all-around pilot, and that’s precisely why I
wanted to learn how—the thrill of being challenged and having to
work hard to learn a new skill. The fact that I also would be able to
fly some really cool vintage planes and, one day, the homebuilt I’m
working on in my basement was just an added bonus.
As a rookie tailwheeler, I knew it would take many hours of
stick time to be able to keep the 1946 J- 3 Cub going straight down
the runway. And that was the biggest lesson I learned—the impor-
tance of keeping the plane straight on approach and landing, all
the way through the rollout. Along the way many other unex-
pected lessons surfaced. These jewels of experience weren’t on my
instructor’s agenda nor were they on my radar. They came about
merely because I was exposed to a differ-
ent form of flying in a different
environment in a different plane.