EAAAirVenture OshkoshShopJoin

Is a cessna 140 a good tail wheel instructiuon airplane?

Posted By:
#1 Posted: 1/12/2011 15:58:22

I am just wondering if a Cessna 140 is a good tailwheel airplane to instruct in and have a new student learn in?
cessna_140.jpg



Chuck Ellis
Homebuilder or Craftsman
2
Posts
0
#2 Posted: 1/12/2011 19:45:45

I am using a C140 to train my son right now.  It will take longer for him to get his license on the tailwheel but I think he will be a better pilot in the end.  It's not hard to fly but it isn't as easy as a C150.  This, to me, is a good thing.  It is a little tight and weight limit so if you or your instructor is big you may have a problem.  We are both 6 ft 4 in and haven't had an issue.

 

We are having a lot of fun.

 

Good Luck!

 

Chuck

Wichita, KS



Frank Giger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
117
Posts
33
#3 Posted: 1/12/2011 19:47:17

 

I have no idea on the answer to the question, by good grief, man, that is a gorgeous aircraft.

 

That is definately airplane pr0n.

 



Tony Johnstone
IAC MemberNAFI Member
61
Posts
15
#4 Posted: 1/12/2011 19:57:18

I trained a Private student (age 17) from scratch last summer in his dad's C140, no problem, the 140 is a wonderful little trainer with no vices.  Go for it, and have fun!!   Tony



Mike Potopinski
1
Post
0
#5 Posted: 1/20/2011 20:19:04

I have trained Many Primary students in my C-120 (including my Son) and they were able solo between 6 to 18 hours.

But remember before they take their private check ride Sign off their tail-wheel endorsement otherwise they will be illegal to fly home.

Have Fun



Mike Gorno
1
Post
0
#6 Posted: 1/20/2011 20:21:08

I think it is an excellent choice - I obtained my private license and first 45 hours in a C140 in 1963 and have always been happy that I did.  You can taxi without S turns (I'm 5'7") and it will certainly teach you the importance of and proper use of the rudder.  It is fairly forgiving, fun to fly and economical with reasonable performance.  If I had a youngster to get started it would be just as good a choice today.

Mike Gorno

Pompano Beach, FL



Ed More
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
10
Posts
2
#7 Posted: 1/20/2011 22:31:57

I took my private ticket in a Cessna 140 and it is the easiest of all tail draggers that I have flown. One exception though, wheel landings are a caution because of the spring gear. No shock absorption and it takes a very gentle touch to do it right. Best T.O. is with the tailwheel 6" off of the ground and coordinated turns are very easy with very little adverse yaw.



EdM from NH
John Barelli
1
Post
0
#8 Posted: 1/20/2011 22:35:24

I think the Cessna 140A (All metal) is an excellent basic trainer.  From approximately, 1961 until 1973 I flew them regularly.  I took basic flight instruction and instrument training in the airplane.  From about 1964 until 1969, I worked as a full and part time flight instructor for Baker's Flying Service at the Kansas City, Missouri, Municipal Airport.  Wilbur & Jim Baker had ten Cessna 140's on the line.  Three of them were instrument planes.  With the old instruments the planes were heavy, but they were used only for airwork.  I've done night instruction,soft field landings in the craft, wheel landings, etc.

In 1969, I could have one or all of Baker's fleet for exactly ten thousand dollars a piece.

A solid airplane with up-dated avionics will perform better than the new ones because they are lighter.  If this is your first airplane, have someone who's bought four or five airplanes go with you and check everything out.

Watch for corrosion in the tail section.  Get all original log books: engine, propeller, airplane, etc.

Get a good flight instructor.  Start from scratch.  In the old days, a student was soloing in about ten hours.  If you've started flight training in a nose wheel plan.  I rhink you'll need twenty hours to make a transition; because most airplane drivers with nose wheel airplanes don't understand the forces affecting tailwheel airplanes and need to unlearn bad habits under every circumstances.

A good alternative is the Cessna 140 with the fabric wing.  They go for less.  There are a few 120's out there but they're getting very rough.

The recent aritlcle in the EAA Magazine about a rebuild on the C140 is the kind of airplane everybody should have.

John Barelli

 



Lee Arnold
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberHomebuilder or Craftsman
1
Post
0
#9 Posted: 1/20/2011 22:43:21

The 140shown is the same as one the Cessna employees club used in 1950, green trim & all.. A 140 was not only a good primary trainer, one was the inexpensive way to an instrument rating in the Kansas City area until about 10 years ago. The 120, 140, or a Luscombe was the performance plane to solo on your 16th birthday after 8 hours inctruction..  Lee Arnold EAA#1488



Grant Smith
Homebuilder or Craftsman
135
Posts
7
#10 Posted: 1/21/2011 05:58:44

I soloed in a C-140 in 1959 and still fly one whenever possible. It is  a very good training plane if you have an old school, qualified,  CFI. If you let the wrong CFI fly with, you you will regret it.



Grant Smith CFI
Terk Williams
10
Posts
1
#11 Posted: 1/21/2011 10:46:06

'Morning Christopher

Learning in a good tailwheel airplane is by far the best way to learn to really fly an airplane.  The only problem these days is to find a good instructor that is also competent in a  tailwheel airplane. Get that part sorted out before you buy something no one in your neighborhood can teach  in . Similarly, find someone who can do your maintenance before you buy it.  I've been in this game many years as both pilot and mech.  Getting someone qualified to help you inspect before you buy is also a MUST.

Best of luck

Terk Williams

JAX



Richard Shankland
Homebuilder or Craftsman
7
Posts
0
#12 Posted: 1/21/2011 19:14:37

I would like to echo all the comments of the guys who got in ahead of me. Because my dad was a pilot and owned a Cessna 120, I flew with him for quite a while before I got my student pilot's license. I soloed after but five hours of "official" dual and absolutely loved the airplane. With a girlfriend in Eastern Washington and living in Western Washington, I had many happy hours crosscountry in the Cessna, listening to the Adcock range over the LF receiver and, a couple of times, getting trapped above the overcast which butted it's ugly bulk up against the Cascades.

If it were not for the fact I am flying my very own Emeraude right now, I would definitely be in the market for a Cessna taildragger. I still remember the sound of the tailwheel on the gravel at the old Thun Field near Puyallup, WA.

Go for it!

Rich Shankland

EAA 513324




Files Attachment(s):
N1927N.jpg (165303 bytes)
David York
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
4
Posts
0
#13 Posted: 2/18/2011 15:46:53

I have to agree with all the above.  I started flying in a Cessna 150 in Independence, MO, in 1968 and had just soloed when my instructor wrecked his clipped wing cub during an airshow.  It looked like he would never walk again, but he proved the doctors wrong and was flying within a year.  However, since the draft board was breathing down my neck, I switched instructors and was fortunate to find Ray Baker, brother of Wilbur Baker.  Both brothers had started Baker Flying School in Kansas City, but had parted ways (amicibly) years before I met Ray.  Ray had a C-140 and always tried to keep three active primary students.

It took me an additional 2.5 hrs of dual in the 140 to get to where I could solo again.  I thoroughly enjoyed flying in the C-140 and credit my avoiding a couple of later landing accidents on snow and ice to the early tailwheel training in the 140 and a subsequent Stinson. 

If I wasn't currently restricted to flying LSA aircraft due to medical reasons, I would certainly be in the market for a 140 of my own.



Rob Staib
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
3
Posts
0
#14 Posted: 2/20/2011 14:28:52

If you have no flight time any aircraft can be used.  Some may need more time then others but I think you will be fine in a 140.  I have one and have taught in it with no problems.  I am actually selling mine to move up to something bigger.



Mike Pastore
Vintage Aircraft Association Member
1
Post
0
#15 Posted: 3/4/2011 13:55:12

Hello Chris,

You certainly have received a lot of great responses to your question.  Not sure if I can add anything new or different, but I'll try.  I purchased a 1947 140 last April and will say that it is probably the most enjoyable airplane I have flown.  With that said, all light tailwheel airplanes can be somewhat of a challenge and the 140 is no exception, especially with the spring steel landing gear.

Landings can go wrong pretty quickly with these airplanes.  I have heard that the damage rate on the remaining fleet is near 100% from groundloops and going up on end (mine suffered both over the past 64 years).  If you are purchasing your own airplane and plan on taking lessons, I would encourage you to make sure that whoever you use as an instructor has good solid background not just in tailwheel airplanes but also time in make and model.  That will go a very long way towards making the process a lot easier for you.  If you are looking for an instructor, among other resources you can poke around on the Cessna 120-140 site at www.cessna120-140.org.

The biggest drawback to the 140 is common to all of these small airplanes....weight.  It's pretty typical to end up with a 500 lb limitation on useful load (or less) which will be an issue if you and your instructor are much larger than the "FAA 170 pounder".  And, though the 140 is better than most, the cockpit can get pretty tight too.

In any case, 120-140's have outstanding pitch and roll rate sensitivity which demands smooth flying.  Flaps on the 140 are marginally effective and the aircraft is pretty slippery.  Landing these little babies if you're hot and high on a short field can get interesting indeed.  And, there's not a lot of power to go around -  especially if there are two big guys in the cockpit.  All this means that if you learn to fly in a 140, you will be most certainly be "smoother" than the average bear and - out of necessity - develop pattern skills, airspeed control, and landing skills well beyond those of the regular 172 driver.  

All these are skills that you will be able to take to the bank.  So, in that sense (along with the pure pleasure of flying these old Gals), the 140 is definitely an outstanding airplane to learn in.

Hope that helps.  Good luck to you!

Regards,



Mike Pastore, CFIA Illinois FAASTeam Member