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Q-talk 119 - Heard on the Q-list

I had the opportunity to high speed taxi Wes Isberg's Q200 Saturday before his first flight and would like to share some thoughts. Even though he did a fair job of controlling the plane down the runway, I found it very difficult to handle. I could not keep it straight either with rudder or his braking system or the combination. Wind was about 12K - 10-15 degrees off the nose. (Note: he has no bellcrank but has split the cables internally to rudder and tail wheel and has a modified dual differential finger brake system). Guess he didn't buy the Jim/Bob Six Pack Mod concept. My immediate response to him was to park the plane before he got hurt and fix the problem!

Now for the details. With just splitting the cables, Wes has no way to differentiate (detune) the angle of the tail wheel from the rudder. He's installed a modified dual finger brake that has a single stick that slides sideways to apply pressure to one master cylinder or the other or both. That is not good because its way to sensitive and hard to get positive results from known inputs. Further exacerbating the situation is his hand is on the brake and not the throttle when taking off or landing. Not a good thing!

How many serious tail draggers have anything other than toe brakes or heel brakes? Its just not natural to have finger brakes on a tail dragger and is to dangerous in my opinion. There are way to many things going on to be doing this additional "dance".

This leads me to a conclusion; the Q's with the sixpack mods installed, are really quite tame. Ask anyone who has them. I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would want to do anything different. Yet we see it all the time. Most new Q pilots have a very difficult time handling their planes initially and often crack them up or have an incident even before the first flight. Because you didn't invent it, doesn't mean you can't copy it! The situation with Wes; here's a very intelligent fella sitting on a field with successful Q's all around, yet he chooses to do his own thing. Why? Too much additional cost? Too much additional labor? Doesn't have a clear understanding of the problem? Doesn't know how to fix it - I THINK NOT! I do not understand this!

This leads me to another conclusion. If Wes, sitting in the middle of LVK with sucessful planes all around, chooses to go a different route, what does that tell you about builders working on their own, isolated and out of touch? I now understand why this is not so simple and brace yourself fellas, we're in for more!

These comments are in no way intended to bring heat on Wes, but to simply make a couple of points as to why Q pilots are still smacking up their planes. Hopefully this turns on the lights for all those who don't want to get hurt.

So far, even in severe crosswinds, my plane has never deviated from the center line. Bingo! There is a reason!


Jim Patillo N46JP Q200 800 hours in type.

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