Lesson 1 Date: September 26th, 2007 Hours: 0.9 Total Hours To Date: 0.9 Summary: preflight, taxi, flight maneuvers We started off with a little ground school discussing how the tailwheel is different, but mostly talked about the Citabria. How it handles different from the Skyhawk, rotation speed, climb out, approach speed, and etc. We then went out and Gilbert took me through the preflight for the Citabria, basically same as the Skyhawk except ladder required for checking fuel tanks. Took me through startup, which was also similar to Skyhawk. I did taxi out which seemed only mental key was to keep stick back. Maneuvering was much easier as tail would come around easier on a point. Maintaining straight line seemed like just rudder didnt do much, like I had to get on toes (brakes) a little. Is the tailwheel steerable on Citabria? Gilbert took me through checklist and I got us on the runway, I had feet and hands on through takeoff, but Gilbert mostly in control. I took over on climb out and we headed to practice area. Started with just trimming plane out for cruise, then some easy swaying turns. Much harder to keep on the ball in the Citabria. I really think it will force me to start feeling the ball more, because I dont think I can keep up by watching it. Is this what yall mean by making me a better pilot? After turns did slow flight, power off stalls, power on stalls, and steep turns. Wasnt expecting it, but we also did several spins. I had done spin training in the Decathalon, I actually liked doing these again. We pointed back to Northwest while working on slipping both directions. Did a slip dropping about 800 feet. I did radio and took us to the numbers in downwind. Gilbert first demonstrated a 3 point landing. Turned back over to me for climb out and then I did most of the next approach. I wasnt slipping as much as he wanted, so he forced the stick and rudder over that much more, which Im not comfortable with at 300 ft. Coming out of the slip 100 ft. I like how plane reacts, but seemed like I was snaking it, I think because of overcorrection. Gilbert talked me through it and he came on the controls more and more for a touch a go. Last landing was for full stop and Gilbert demonstrated a wheel landing. It was fun, I love the feel of the stick. The Decathlon is much more a performer, but the Citabria is a plane you could have a ton of fun with too. Good first lesson, I still want to perfect some of those flight maneuvers and for how much the plane moves close to and on the ground, I see now why you need so many hours for tailwheel. Next lesson we go over to Alliance and work on controlling the plane down low and I guess maybe some touch downs. Marcair is running many students through tailwheel now. Didnt even know it, but theyve come up with a nice booklet and curriculum. Im going to enjoy this. Thanks everyone for the recommendation to get my tailwheel.