Tail Wheel Differences Training

Modern Piper Cub (left) and
a WW 1 SE5A fighter (right)

No flight test or written examination at the end
of the course
Chipmunk, excellent for tail wheel conversions
An iconic WW 2 fighter the Hawker Hurricane


In order to extend a pilots privilege to another variant of aircraft within one class or type rating, the pilot shall undertake differences or familiarisation training

Part FCL GM1 FCL.710
(a) Differences’ training requires the acquisition of additional knowledge and training on an appropriate training device or the aircraft

(b) Familiarisation training requires the acquisition of additional knowledge

A pilot wishing to fly a tail wheel aeroplane is required to complete Differences Training to the satisfaction of an appropriately qualified instructor. The type and content of the Differences Training is given in CAP 804

The On-Track Aviation single engine tail wheel differences training course has been designed to meet most people’s needs and abilities. It is only a guide and the actual amount of training will very much depend on how each individual performs on the course

Pre-Course Entry Requirements

Before beginning a course of training the applicant shall hold a:

(a) NPPL(A), LAPL(A), PPL(A), CPL(A) or ATPL(A)
(b) SEP (land) Class Rating or SSEA
(c) Medical Certificate appropriate to the licence held

Ground Training

The ground training consists of 2 hours of ground instruction on subjects associated with tail wheel operations including:

Physical differences
Loading and Effect of CG Position
Dynamic differences and handling during:
# Ground handling
# Starting and taxiing
# Taking-off
# Engine failure during take-off
# Landings including 2-point “wheelers” and 3-point landings
# Crosswind operations
# Parking and mooring

Type specific training to include:
# Take-off and climb performance
# Cruise performance
# Landing performance
# Speeds for normal operation
# Speeds for emergency operation
# Airframe and manoeuvre limitations
# Spinning
# Stall/Spin warning
# Fuel system
# Engine systems and instrumentation
# Undercarriage system
# Electrical system
# Cabin and environmental system
# Flight instrumentation
# Other systems including pneumatic, vacuum and hydraulic
# Aerodynamic controls and handling characteristics
# Engine handling
# Flaps and trim systems
# Emergency procedures

Flying Training

The flight training consists of a 5 hours of dual instruction covering the following:

# Ground handling
# Starting and taxiing
# Taking-off
# Engine failure during take-off
# Visual circuit pattern
# Landings including 2-point “wheelers” and 3-point landings
# Crosswind operations
# Parking and mooring

Skill Test

There are no formal tests on completion of the course of training


CAP 804
Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011
The Complete Taildragger Pilot by Harvey S Plourde
Royal Air Force Manual Flying (AP3456) Principles of Flight (Volume 1)


Permits a pilot to fly single engine tail wheel aeroplanes as PIC

Note: To extend the privileges to multi-engine tail wheel aeroplanes requires further differences training

Validity / Revalidation / Renewal

If the variant has not been flown within a period of 2 years following the differences training, further differences training or a proficiency check in that variant shall be required to maintain the privileges, except for types or variants within the single-engine piston and TMG class ratings

The differences training shall be entered in the pilot’s logbook or equivalent record and signed by the instructor as appropriate


On-Track Aviation Limited: Wellesbourne Mountford Aerodrome, Loxley Lane, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire. CV35 9EU, United Kingdom
T +44 (0)1789 842777 | F +44 (0)1789 842755 | email: info@ontrackaviation.com | skype: ontrackegbw |Registered in England: 4017255 | Approval No:GBR.ATO.0179
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