Tailwheel Differences Training


Differences Training is a mandatory requirement before undertaking flight in aircraft that include any of the specified "Official Differences" categories. Training must be performed by an instructor who already has that "difference" signed off themselves. Differences Training is recorded in your log book, with an official CAA certificate (sticker) recording the completion of training, signed by the instructor.

Flying a tailwheel aircraft is significantly different from flying an aeroplane with a nose-wheel.

There are many aspects that need consideration, including a variety of landing procedures that we cover in our comprehensive training for this type of "difference". On specific types, training will also incorporate starting (hand-swinging) procedures - including solo starting!

We also ensure you will be happy with landing the aircraft on a variety of surfaces, in a variety of conditions (especially cross-winds), and show you more than one technique to ensure you have the choice of which best suits you!

We also consider the theoretical aspects that make tailwheel aircraft handling more challenging, enabling you to better anticipate aircraft behaviour before strapping in.

Typically, the conversion lasts around 5 hours to ensure you have grasped the different handling skills. Although there is no legal minimum training time before sign-off, we will only certify your difference training once we are satisfied of your competence. Some people take more time, and some people take less! It's down to the individual concerned.

See below for further information.


Training Syllabus

Our syllabus not only conforms to the officially required trianing, but we also show you some tips, tricks and best practices to ensure you get the very best out of your time spent with us.

  • Theoretical Considerations
  • Specific "type" Considerations
  • Loading and CofG Positioning
  • Starting and Taxiing
    • Hand-swinging
    • Wind considerations
  • Take-off techniques
    • Tail up
    • Maximum (short field) performance
  • Landing Techniques
    • Side-slipping
    • Three-Pointers
    • Wheelers
    • Crosswind Techniques
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Parking and Mooring


Remember that you are being instructed by an instructor with an enviable reputation for delivering results to you. Our personal objective is to make sure you land with a smile on your face. If you don’t – we haven’t done our job properly.

There are three options for our instructional charges; £50 per hour, £150 per half-day, or £250 per full day.

If you want us to come to you, just add our travelling and accommodation (at cost).

The aircraft costs are extra; you can use your own aircraft, hire from a training organisation local to you, or hire from a training organisation local to us.


Where can I do this course?

We are more than happy to come to you wherever you are! However, we normally operate in Essex, with relatively easy access to the airfields in the area. We teach (and examine) regularly (either as part of a club or freelance) at Earls Colne, Andrewsfield, North Weald, Duxford, Crowfield and Cambridge. There are numerous smaller airfields available such as Elmsett, Clacton, Rougham and Great Oakley within easy reach. Southend and Stapleford are also possible.


Which Aircraft can I use?

You can use your own or syndicate aircraft, which in some ways, is better since you'll become really familiar with it as part of the course!

If you belong to a flying club already, most organisations are happy for us to instruct in their aircraft if that's an option you'd like to pursue.

If you need to hire an aircraft locally to us, we have access to a variety of aircraft types and training organisations. Please feel free to contact us for more detailed information.