I had the opportunity to high speed taxi Wes Isbergs' Q200 Saturday
before his first flight and would like to share some info. 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
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 exacerabating 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 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 intellignet fella sitting on a field with
sucessuful Q's all around, yet he chooses to do his own thing. Why?
To much additional cost? To much additional labor? Doesn't have a
clear undrstanding of the problem? Doesn't know how to fix it - NOT!
What? I do not understand this.
This leads me to another conclusion. If Wes, sitting in the middle
of LVK with sucessful planes all aroud, 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 someoen who
don't want to get hurt.
Jim Patillo N46JP Q200 800 hours in type. So far, even in severe
crosswinds, this plane has never deviated from the center line.
Bingo! There's a reason.