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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] RE: Need Pitts Tips

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] RE: Need Pitts Tips


Thread: [Acro] RE: Need Pitts Tips

Message: [Acro] RE: Need Pitts Tips

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: Steve Pennypacker <spenny at>

Date: Mon, 05 Aug 2002 18:14:23 UTC


  What is the goal of your lessons?  It sounds like you have a Citabria, but 
will rent the S-2.  Are you looking to get checked out in the Pitts in 
order to trade in your one wing for two?  Or just to have fun?  Or to see 
if the Pitts might be for you?  Or....

That makes a big difference.

Most people would agree that landings are the toughest part of learning to 
fly a Pitts.  Acro and spin recoveries are at least an order of magnitude 
easier, and just as essential before doing any solo acro in the plane.  So 
if you're going to do it all anyway, you might want to consider a building 
block approach.  Start with the easy stuff and learn to fly the airplane. 
 Then move on to landings once you're a bit more used to the speed, 
controls, visibility, descent angle/rate, low-speed behavior, and so on. 
 The Pitts is demanding, not hard, to land.  Like any other demanding 
skill, it's a lot easier to learn if you've got a good solid foundation. 
 Unfortunately, the Citabria won't really get you any more of a foundation 
than riding a bicycle would prepare you for racing a motorcycle (I guess 
you could cut 6' off each wing panel, paint the windscreen black, and tie a 
sack of flour to the tail...).  They both balance on two wheels, but that's 
about it.  Get a good foundation in the Pitts before you start burning lots 
of cash doing bounce & goes.

Another way of putting it:  acro & spins will help you learn to land, but 
landing won't help you learn acro or spins.

I'm not an instructor, so my advice is probably worth what you've paid for 
it.  Surely others will disagree.  Your instructor should have a plan for 
how to get you from here to there.  If you have confidence in him, you 
should follow that plan.  I might not be the only one on this list who's a 
bit wary/suspicious of anything less than a structured approach.

S-2B (for a few more days... sigh)

On Monday, August 05, 2002 12:47 PM, aerobatik at 
[SMTP:aerobatik at] wrote:
: Already, some good suggestions! Thanks!
: I'm more concerned about getting on the ground safely,
: first, and getting used to how quickly things happen.
: Spin recovery and any aerobatics are going to wait until
: I know I feel realtively comfortable landing the beast.
: Of course we might do a loop and a roll here and there,
: but no cranking and banking until I think it's a plane
: for me.  No sense in looking to moving up if I can't get
: back to base.
: So I've been trying to get ready by making "fast"
: approaches in the Citabria.  It just doesn't seem that
: this fast approach technique is going to help any. I'm
: not sure there's anything I can do in my Slowtabria to
: aid in the transition.
: I think we'll have some structure. My instructor is just
: careful to not exceed my limits or desires. So he's
: always checked my condition and asked if I was ready to
: move on to the next manuever, try the last one again or
: go home.
: What I was getting at was I guess some insight on what I
: should try and not try to get used to the Pitts as
: quickly and safely as possible. I have confidense in my
: insturctor's flying ability. I just want to make sure I
: learn as much as I can in a concise manner.
: My first lesson is on Friday.  I've never even sat in a
: Pitts, let alone flown in one. So I'll try it on for
: size and see.
: Still take as much advise as I can get!
: Thanks!
: Matt


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