by Budd Davisson's Plus 5/SportAERO
Thanks for inquiring about our specialized Pitts training.
Who Are We?
I have 32 years in teaching people to master the Pitts on the ground and in the air. Others specialize in akro, which I do as well, but I prefer to concentrate on overcoming the mystique of the Pitts on the ground. It's really not that hard. I really mean it when I say teaching Pitts landings is fun and I've never had a single student who didn't come to enjoy it.
How Much do We Charge and What do we Teach?
We charge $290/hr plus $55/hr for ground school (there's about 3.5 hours of that). Our Pitts is an long-gear S-2A so the attitude is identical to the S-2B/C. In landing, there is no difference between an S-2A/B/C and we can duplicate S-1C or S-1S characteristics and sight picture. We also train for the Pitts Model 12 (Macho Stinker), Skybolt and other high performance taildraggers.
Our goal in this training is to make pilots comfortable in the airplane in ANY wind on ANY runway, not just long, wide ones. Even though we have a 80 ft wide, 8,000 foot runway, we only use the first 1,600-2,000 feet and will, if you want, work you down to where you're using only half of the width. You'll average 10-12 landings an hour and you'll learn to handle the airplane in all sorts of unusual situations and emergencies.
What's Required and How Long Does it Take?
If you have no tailwheel time, we strongly suggest getting a tailwheel endorsement first, although this isn't a requirment, just a recommendation. Then, spend a couple of hours in the pattern flying something like a Citabria from the back seat to get used to the sight picture. This will shorten your training time in the Pitts considerably.
Depending on background and experience as well as what you are transitioning into (single-place, two-place Pitts, Model 12, etc.), figure 6-10 hours for the transition, although that seems to vary all over the block and is impossible to predict. We fly 2.0-2.2 hours a day, so you'll need a minimum of four days on site, exclusive of travel time, with five to six days being more common.
We Teach Akro Too
Our akro courses are custom tailored to the student and his/her goals but generally break down this way:
-3 hours -- goes through the basic maneuvers, loops, rolls, inverted flight
-5 hours -- introduces a few more maneuvers and works at proficiency on the maneuvers.
-10 hours -- includes most maneuvers in the intermediate sequence
proficiency in them.
Most people opt for a combination of the five hour course with several hours in the pattern learning to land the airplane, whether they intend to fly a Pitts or not, just so they have some familiarity with it.
Accommodations at a Good Price
Because hotel rates in the Scottsdale area are quite high, we have luxurious bed and breakfast accommodations available for $125/night /room ($15 additional for extra person, same room) which includes the evening meal and a continental breakfast. The rooms are quite nice, self-contained and totally private. A large swimming pool and resort atmosphere are part of the package. We'll make the arrangements for you.
One upside to staying in the B & B is that the ground school NEVER ends. It's an all-encompassing Pitts Experience.
No smoking only. Try not to arrive after 10 pm, please.
Directions to the Airport
For planning purposes, we are located in the Scottsdale FBO building on Scottsdale Airport which is part of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Figure a 35 minute drive from Sky Harbor airport including traffic.
Fastest route is to jump on 202 East, right out of the airport to the 101 north. Take that to Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. Exit and head West to Scottsdale Road. Go south on Scottsdale Rd to Butherus/Greenway and you'll see the airport entrance sign. Turn left. Go in the airport until the road "T"s at a stop sight. Turn left at the stop sign and go to the last building on your right, Executive Air Services. I'll meet you in the lobby.
Directions to B & B:
Give us a call at 602/971-3991 or 602/971-4022