Acquiring Your Husky Sensory ReceptorsIFR Flight & SIM Center™
Acquiring your Husky Sensory Receptors
by Mark Wilson
Several years ago, an IFR Flight Training School™ student, now IFR Flight & SIM Center™, flew a stage check with one of our Husky Instructor’s. It was the first time the student had flown with this instructor. On his way to the training room for his post flight debriefing, the student peeked in my office and said, “I wish I had half the sensory receptors that instructor has.” The student is a Neurologist.
Hearing the doctor’s assessment of the instructors flying ability gave me a new appreciation for the training we do. Flying becomes easy when a pilot develops the level of ability our Husky Instructor had acquired in his five decades of flying. That level of ability doesn’t have to take fifty years to acquire, but it will take some time. It doesn’t happen instantly though it begins to happen immediately when you begin your Husky training and continues to develop throughout your training.
When your opportunity comes along to fly a Husky, take your time and learn to fly it well. Pilots running through any training program too quickly can lose an opportunity to reach the higher proficiency levels available in a more comprehensive training program.
If you haven’t flown a tail wheel aircraft previously, it will take practice to develop the ability to handle the controls while operating on the ground during takeoffs, landings and taxiing. Your previously acquired ground steering sensory receptors will develop differently when the steering wheel for the aircraft is behind the aircraft center of gravity vs in front. Over time you’ll find that your reaction time improves. Eventually, your body will learn to sense with anticipation the moment a correction is needed for directional guidance and your control input will become preciously what’s needed to keep your Husky going straight. It simply takes practice acquired best with a skilled tail wheel instructor in the Husky with you.
I hear our instructors tell our students in their landing briefings, “No matter what you do, keep the Husky going straight ahead — it’s okay to bounce as long as you keep it going straight ahead.” They stress this point in tail wheel airplanes because, when landing, once the tail swings around to a certain point, it just keeps on going resulting in a ground loop. And, by the way, anyone can experience a ground loop but such occurrences become much less likely to happen with the skill development provided in a good initial Husky training course and subsequent adequate practice. It’s also important to observe your personal minimums which will vary from time to time depending on your currency, the weather/wind conditions and how you are feeling on a particular day. That’s a judgment call and our flying is always happier when our judgment is sound.
You’ll know when your Husky proficiency is adequate. Ease of flying your Husky is a primary indicator of proficiency. When you can control your Husky accurately with ease, you’ll know you’ve done the work needed to become a good Husky Pilot.
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