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Tue, Jul 13, 2004

You Know, I've Always Wanted A Taildragger Sign-Off...

Vintage Aircraft Company Working On Tail wheel Transition Standard

Time Pieces, a company that specializes in tailwheel, vintage, and warbird co-ownership programs, is developing a standardized tailwheel transition and CFI certification program to be formatted as a FITS (FAA Industry Training Standards) program.

The company started operation in April, 2003 with the goal of keeping vintage aviation alive by offering co-ownership options in the great aircraft of yesteryear. Quickly though, the company realized a shortage of qualified tailwheel instructors. Knowing it could not have CFI’s with only 10 hours of tailwheel time giving endorsements to the aircraft owners, the company set out the create a training curriculum. Not long after, that, company executives say inquiries started rolling in from across the country. Eventually, Time Pieces tells ANN it found others could benefit from such a program and began crafting the program to benefit the entire tailwheel community.

"We hope that the program addresses several areas of concern. There needs to be better defined requirements around the flight checkouts and it needs to be more than just "Fly this way" because Mr. Stryke Deprop said so," said Time Pieces in a release to ANN. "It also became apparent there were many opinions on how to fly a tailwheel aircraft but most were unsubstantiated and lacked supporting knowledge. Therefore, extensive research into the flying techniques used by the original pilots and manufacturers of these aircraft will be gathered to create a substantiated and research-backed tailwheel training program. With all of the technology in aviation today, it is important that pilots learn the basics. Anything that we can do to further basic flying skills in our program will develop better pilots for the industry of tomorrow."

The goal of this program, according to the statement, is to develop a set of nationally recognized standards that are used in tailwheel instruction, endorsements, and CFI credentialing as well as currency requirements and recurrent training. "The defined standards will be developed to correct improper techniques that have crept into the system due to lack of oversight," the statement read. "Incentives, such as insurance discounts, should become available to those utilizing the program as major aviation insurance companies and underwriters have expressed an interest in participating in the program and its development. The program will remain consistent with FITS scenario based standards and will be a collaborated effort between Time Pieces, Purdue University, FAA, and Insurance companies."

FMI: www.IFlyTimePieces.com

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