knots, requiring the best efforts of even the
most proficient pilot. Sadly, the pilot became
confused as he taxied downwind to parking.
As the tail lifted, pushing the nose down, the
pilot countered by doing what seem instinctual: He pulled back on the yoke.
Amazingly, the aircraft
shuddered to a stop dead
center on the taxiway.
While that action might raise the nose in
flight, it has the opposite effect when taxiing
with a tail wind. The lifted elevator merely
provides a larger surface upon which the
wind can act, pushing the tail up and driving
the nose down. With each gust, the pilot
hauled back harder on the controls, until
finally the show climaxed with a spray of
sparks showering off the prop as it ground
into the taxiway.
“Okay, Greg, your right brake just failed, and
there’s an aircraft blocking the next intersection. Let’s see if you can stop this thing
before we crash.” It was one of my favorite
drills, and I had yet to find a student who
could successfully manage the failed brake
scenario when it tumbled into his or her lap
during taxi. Most pilots tend to taxi a bit
faster than necessary, and when excess
speed combines with an unexpected situation, students find themselves rapidly
running out of asphalt, ideas, and directional control.
Greg surprised me, coping calmly and
effectively with a technique I had never
seen. First he pushed hard on the right rudder to turn the nose wheel. Just as the
aircraft began to lurch to the right, he
jammed on the left brake. Amazingly, the
aircraft shuddered to a stop dead center on
the taxiway, completely missing the imaginary aircraft at the intersection. Of course,
(FU;UIF;NPTU;GSPN;ZPVS;HMBTT;QBOFM;XJUI;UIF; 71; 9;;
Learn more at VerticalPower.com or call (505) 715-6172.