Taildragger Training: Coordination, Slow Flight, Steep Turns

After finishing my PPL, my instructor tried to convince me to learn how to fly taildraggers. As it’s generally a good idea to listen to your instructor, I booked a flight, just for fun, to see how it goes.

I thought I could fly, but this airplane bluntly showed me how wrong I was. After a trip to the practice area and a few circuits, I was ready to tell my instructor that I’m not interested in taildraggers. They are a thing of the past and there is no point making the effort to learn how to fly them.

However, some unknown force in that plane (and there are a lot of them) prevented me from giving my thoughts to my instructor that day. I just jumped in my car and left. Getting out of the airport, I felt that I want to get back in the Citabria right there and then. I didn’t, but I booked another lesson. A few more circuits and I was completely hooked. It is a very nice airplane, and my favorite until now.

After about 10 hours in the Citabria, I still need to improve my coordination skills. What you see in this video are a few coordination exercises, some slow flight and a couple of steep turns.

The Landing Beer Blonde Ale

TLB Blonde Ale


This is officially the first drinkable beer I created. I still have to fix a few things, but the recipe will remain mostly unchanged.

It is based on a mix of Heidelberg and Vienna malts, which makes it very light in color. The aroma is very malty, in part because I didn’t use a lot of hops, and in part because I used Aromatic malt which is known to give a strong malt flavor. To improve the head retention and flavor stability I used 5% Acidulated malt. My mash efficiency was a little bit low, and my pre-boil gravity was also low. I fixed it with dry malt extract.

As hops, I used Celeia, German Tradition and Glacier. That gave a bitterness of approximately 28 IBUs and some aroma, but almost undetectable, so the taste is given mostly by the malts.

The yeast is the Lallemand Windsor Yeast.

The problem is mostly with the water. I used regular tap water and this was a mistake. This is because it gives the beer some unwanted flavors and creates chill haze. The chill haze was a real problem in my case. The beer looked crystal clear after four weeks of bottle conditioning, but it became hazy after putting it in the fridge.

The next batch will fix the small issues, increase the bitterness slightly, and will hopefully remain my favorite beer.

Calgary City Tour


Departure from Springbank Airport (CYBW) runway 17 over elbow springs and return over HWY 1, straight in runway 26. The flight was in a Cessna 172 (GORL).

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Trip to the Mountains


The weather was perfect for this flight. Clear sky for the entire trip and a 2 KT headwind. The airspace was quite busy at CYBW, but once I was out everything was OK. The trip took about an hour and 10 minutes and it was amazing.

I took off RWY 26 and was cleared to PETROCAN at 5500 ft. Calgary Terminal cleared me en route, altitude at my own discretion. I flew at 8500 to the south end of Lake Minnewanka. I planned to fly a circle over Banff, but I changed my mind as the airspace was quite busy. I flew over the lake at 7500 and entered Calgary Terminal at 6000. The arrival was uneventful, but the landing could have been better.