Sporty’s Introduces Tailwheel Checkout Course, hosted by Patty Wagstaff
Backcountry flying is one of the hottest segments of general aviation right now, and Sporty’s latest course offers the perfect way to get started. Tailwheel Checkout, hosted by legendary airshow pilot Patty Wagstaff, includes over two hours of practical tips for mastering these demanding airplanes, based on Patty’s decades of flying taildraggers at airshows, in Africa, and everywhere in between.
“We are thrilled to partner with Patty Wagstaff on another new course,” said Sporty’s Academy President Eric Radtke. “She combines deep expertise and a fun approach to flying, making her the perfect guide for anyone exploring the world of tailwheel airplanes.”
Throughout the course, stunning 4K video shows a wide variety of taildraggers operating in diverse environments. Featured airplanes include the Citabria, Super Decathlon, Extra 300, Piper Super Cub, and Cessna 180. Multiple camera angles help pilots visualize every maneuver from start to finish, and 3D animations explore key topics like ground loops and P-factor.
This comprehensive course covers both the theory and practice of flying tailwheel airplanes. It begins with a look at the airplanes and their systems, then breaks down the physics of taildraggers, including stability, inertia, left-turning tendencies, and why ground loops happen. Next comes a look at tailwheel preflight inspections, taxiing techniques, and all the varieties of tailwheel takeoffs. And of course there’s a detailed examination of landings, including three point and wheel, plus Patty’s helpful three-step method.
Sporty’s Tailwheel Checkout Course covers more than just the basics. In the advanced tailwheel section, pilots learn about slips, how to use flaps, common mistakes during soft field landings, and even a few bush pilot techniques demonstrated in the wilderness of Alaska. Special “what if?” sections teach how to react when things go wrong, and are packed with real world advice. The course also includes a review quiz, certificate of completion, and a valuable reference library.
“Learning to fly a taildragger is one of the best ways to improve your flying skills,” said Wagstaff. “With this new course, pilots will learn both the theory and practical knowledge they need to earn the endorsement and unlock the full potential of these amazing airplanes.”
Like all Sporty’s courses, Tailwheel Checkout Course works on a wide variety of devices, including online, iOS devices, Android, smart TVs, and even Apple CarPlay. Access to all platforms is included, and progress automatically syncs between devices.
Medium resolution pictures for online: