Grumman Tiger

ChasenSFO

hen teaser
I've got a checkout coming up in the AA5B and I'm excited for it. I'm told, however, that there are some odd characteristics to look out for such as issues with pitch control in the flare. Most of my time is in 172s with very little low wing time, just curious what advice you guys may have so I can try and get my cheap ass signed off in one flight. :)
 

ZapBrannigan

Old School
I went to Florida Tech back when they called it FIT. The primary trainer at the time was the Tiger. Once you get used to taxiing it on the ground it is a well behaved airplane. Pretty quick for a fixed gear and fixed pitch prop. It's occasionally nice to fly with the canopy open a few inches. Easy to get nice landings out of it. It has somewhat aggressive stall characteristics for a trainer and I remember being warned not to spin it.

I'd buy one if I weren't a pilot for a living.
 

inigo88

Composite-lover
I fly the highest time Grumman Tiger in the world fairly regularly (used to belong to my current employer). From an engineering standpoint it's a funny and quirky airplane. Uses a lot of composites and the fuselage is actually BONDED aluminum (yep, glued together). The spars are just steel tubes and are pretty bulletproof. The ailerons use torque tubes instead of cables and are very smooth, but I believe there are inspection ADs for the brackets, which crack. All the control surfaces are so well faired for speed that it makes checking hinges and things more difficult on the walk around.

I need to work on landing it slower than 80 knots with 2/3 flaps, otherwise it's an awesome airplane. :)
 

Vector

Well-Known Member
Chasen, let me know what you think of it. If the Mooney I'm looking at doesn't work, I've got a couple of Tigers on my radar that I'm checking out next.
I have quite some time in Grumman products. From a maintenance point of view, the cost per flight hour seems to be higher as I recall. Used parts are also more expensive. They are also harder to sell I am told.

@ChasenSFO, The flying in my experience was great. Coming from Cessna's it will feel sporty. I always land fast, so didn't think it was an issue. Keep looking at the departure end during transition and you would have no problem arresting your sink rate and touching down nicely.
 

Finny

Well-Known Member
I taxied one once from a maintenance hanger to a guy's personal hanger with the canopy back and the breeze in my face. It made me feel like an awesome WWII pilot! True story!

Other than that no experience but they sure look like a fun bird to fly.
 

ChasenSFO

hen teaser
The second I saw that you can have the canopy slid open up to 113kts, I knew this would be awesome.

I see spins are prohibited. I was always told 172s stalled aggressively compared to other GA planes, is the Tiger more intense?
 

Cessnaflyer

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
The second I saw that you can have the canopy slid open up to 113kts, I knew this would be awesome.

I see spins are prohibited. I was always told 172s stalled aggressively compared to other GA planes, is the Tiger more intense?
Maybe the 150, 152 but the 172 was like a gentle falling leaf compared to other things. Treat it like a plane and it will come together. The worst part is taxiing.
 

Itchy

Well-Known Member
It's been about 35 years since I flew one. I remember liking it though. I also remember, you MUST land n the mains and not bounce.
 

ChasenSFO

hen teaser
By the way, it was pretty awesome. I felt like it stalled very gently, wings kind of go all over the place but that's part of the fun. It's pretty damn easy to land too, greased all my landings in it despite a gusty x-wind to both mine and the CFI's surprise. Feels badass flying it, especially doing 60* steep turns with that canopy. The flap situation is really weird, it's kind of like the window controls on some cars. Flip it up, and they go up in an "auto" mode. But you have to manually hold the flaps down and either look out the window or push aside the seat cover by your leg to try and read the "Up, 1/3, 2/3, Full" readings to see what you have. I found it best to just drop them in as I needed them, but that'll take some getting used to.

Highly recommend you fly it if you can.
 

TwoTwoLeft

o- - - - - - -l
There is very little to no washout on the wing, so the stall is fairly abrupt. Just be aware of it on short/soft field landings. It will be mushy, but flying fine until you go to increase you AOA in the flare a bit more. Then it will feel like the bottom just fell out from under you. This is more apparent with someone in the back.

In practicing stalls at altitude, keep the ailerons neutral with a wing drop. Maintain wings level with rudder only. Falling leaf stalls are also a bit different. The airplane will pitch up and down quite a bit.

If you read the AA5 accident reports, most are from approaching too fast and going off the end.

You'll also want to switch fuel tanks every 5 minutes. The airplane is very sensitive to fuel imbalance.
 

trafficinsight

Well-Known Member
I think the pitch control on landing thing you're thinking of is the AA-1, which had little tiny elevators.

Just learn to fly it and you'll be fine ;)
 

TwoTwoLeft

o- - - - - - -l
That's only around 5 pounds at most. Take it to 15 minutes and it still flies just fine.
It'll fly "fine" with a 60 lb imbalance. The whole point is to prevent it. I've done a few hundred hours of instrument training in the AA5B. With no roll trim and fuel being farther away from the longitudinal axis than a comparable Piper or Cessna, managing the fuel is a big part of flying "hands off" in that airplane. With the light elevator and push rod aileron controls, over-controlling is already an issue with an unfamiliar pilot coming from flying mush box like a 172.
 

Cessnaflyer

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


Obviously the guy who said that has never stalled a T-6 or P-51.
That looked like a 172 stall. I was thinking this thing was going to break and start tumbling all over.

I think the worst stalls I've been in have been in the Beechcraft Sport and Sundowners. That thing always had the weirdest breaks.

I was doing a flight review with a guy in a Bonanza who broke out in the biggest sweat when I made him to a stall series. He had to take give control to me so he could clean all the sweat up!
 

Hacker15e

Dunning–Kruger Observer
That looked like a 172 stall. I was thinking this thing was going to break and start tumbling all over.
That's because that one was handled well. I can't really find a good video of a bad one, I'm on my phone, but rest assured failure to properly control power or keep the ball centered leads to some quite aggressive breaks at the stall.

IMHO the Six is even worse than the Mustang, although I only have a couple flights doing stalls in the Stang.
 
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