Home » Tail-Wheel Training » Flying a Tail Dragger – Tip #3 – Taxi + Run-up + Take-Off – Shoes Matter! – POV flying

Flying a Tail Dragger – Tip #3 – Taxi + Run-up + Take-Off – Shoes Matter! – POV flying


Watch in HD and you can read the Panel!
Ride-along for my first lesson in a Piper Super Cub as I learn how to Taxi and Take-Off !

This is one of several more technical “tips” videos related to flying a tail dragger.
This video is more or less “un cut” in that I let it all play out in real time (with some added voice over for context and extra details).
And on this flight I learned that shoe choice matters!
(In all seriousness, I’ve always known thin shoes are best for pedal feel when flying a new type, but I’ve never had shoes cause the sort of problem they did on this flight – check it out!

Tail Draggers “fly” like most other aeroplanes, but taxi, take off and landing are a whole other ball game and requires a fair bit of training to master.

– if you haven’t seen it already – check out the “fun” video I edited from this footage. (link below)

Here are the direct links to some other Tail Wheel flights that I’ve done, but please also check my channel incase I forget to update the links here in this description:



Ski Flying:


I am happy to finally doing my tail wheel conversion training!
What an awesome adventure starting to fly an old Piper Super Cub!

The biggest take away from this first tail dragger flight for me, is how amazingly comfortable I was with the controls.
I hadn’t flown a glider since ’95, yet I felt at home with my left hand up there on the throttle (same exact place as the the “spoiler” control in a glider, which essentially works the same – pulling back ADDs spoilers, which reduces lift, basically the same as pulling back on the throttle.) and the center stick was in the same spot, so it felt natural to rest my forearm on my thy even before the instructor explained that was how you do it.
Honestly, flying a Cessna right seat felt much more awkward the few times I’ve done it.
I was impressed that I could basically fly the cub first crack.
Like could I fly it to save my life? Yes; But would it be pretty? No. 😛
It is really weird to taxi, and those heel brakes are very un natural to work with.
I can’t wait to build more tail dragger time – it really brings me back full circle to those summer weekends when I started nearly 20 years ago!

I’ll have many more “Flying Tail Dragger – Tips” coming; and they’ll be numbered randomly because I have no idea how many there will be and what order of importance to assign them 🙂


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I’m a Private Pilot, doing my best to stay current and learn. I fly for fun and might just be the least cocky pilot on the internet! My self analysis videos can seem self deprecating at times, but I am trying to learn from the small mistakes to avoid making a big one; I’m happy to share and find it rewarding to help other pilots or aspiring aviators in any way that I can. How does the saying go? “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards”. And in aviation, not all tests are survivable.

My virtual “ride-along” flying videos are aimed and sharing my experiences and giving back to the aviation community which has been so helpful to me. I shoot multi-camera angles, get detailed real time instrument panel shots, and have radio intercom audio. I respect people’s time, so I put a fair bit of work into editing to keep the videos concise and engaging; I add animations and further graphics and voice overs where needed to add context and explanations.

My hope is to continue to grow and evolve the “Flight Chops” project with input and support from the aviation community!

Steve Thorne, aka "Flight Chops"

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Flight Chops Disclaimer

I am a “weekend warrior” private pilot, I fly for fun with no intentions of going commercial. I have had my PPL for over 15 years, but still consider each flight a learning experience – I generally take detailed notes after each flight to remind myself what went well or what I could do to improve…. Having the GoPro cameras to record flights like this is invaluable. I find these self analysis videos very helpful in my constant quest to improve, and am happy to share.

Feedback is invited; however, please keep it positive.

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