A PA-11 Taxiing

LV-YMI taxiing

This picture shows how to taxi a conventional-gear aircraft (those with the little wheel below the tail).

Except in the case of really tall pilots, you will see nil up front during taxiing, take off or landing, and this should give you an idea of what kind of 'talent' (that is, practice) you would need to fly a taildragger.

It's like Obi Wan telling Luke to feel the Force; more or less, you have to get a pretty good feeling of what the aircraft is doing in order to give it the constant control inputs needed to keep it going where you want it to go.

But don't despair: it is not impossible to tame a taildragger. Consider that in the past, student pilots flew solo at four to six hours on these things; today, the average for those that learn to fly in a taildragger is about 18 hours to fly without instructor.

I was the pilot in command of LV-YMI (sounds like having a B-747 in the pocket or something like that, doesn't it?) when this picture was taken, and note that runway 36 begins on the right of this picture (about 30m from there), and I was taxiing off to taxiway one, which means that I landed and stopped the thing in about 36 metres with a moderate slightly-crossed headwind. You can actually land it in spaces where you would not dare to crash with other planes (note the different coloration and texture of the runway treshold that LV-YMI did not even cross).

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