Dirk Booysen completes his Taildragger endorsement with Flying Frontiers
THIS IS WHAT DIRK HAD TO SAY ABOUT HIS FLYING EXPERIENCE WITH US.
“As a pilot with many hours on non-conventional landing gear (tricycle) aircraft I have always been fascinated with the bush piloting skills of the Alaskan pilots and their Super Cubs. Although I bought a Tiger Moth it has been quite a journey to complete a conventional landing gear (taildragger) type rating on this 75 year old aircraft mainly due to maintenance issues. She also does not have brakes and flying at my home base at FAKR with its chronic crosswinds is not an experience for the fainthearted. I was therefore quite intrigued when I came across an advertisement from Flying Frontiers based at Howick airfield in KZN offering a basic taildragger conversion as well as advanced training in their Zlin manufactured Savage Bobber aircraft. I arrived in Howick on the 11th of December 2016 with typical midlands weather (rain, mist and low clouds). Fortunately the weather cleared sufficiently on the 12th and we managed to get 4 hours of flying in between rain, 20kt crosswinds and low cloud cover. Although the initial tailwheel conversion normally takes 15 hours Craig and Ian was good kind enough to take previous experience into consideration and I manged to finish the conversion early the next day. The flying includes short field operations and I could not believe that I was able to land the Savage Bobber within 40 meters which coincidently is the width of the Howick runway. Craig and Ian were great hosts and even bought some lunch and cold drinks while we waited for the weather to clear. Howick is an ideal location for the training as it provides challenging flying at a low traffic aerodrome with lots of fields around which they use for advanced training. I can highly recommend Flying Frontiers for any pilots (no matter your experience levels) who wish to improve their flying skills. A little stick and rudder work never fails to get the blood pumping.
Dr Dirk Booysen