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Landings...

Posted By:
Derek Isbell
28
Posts
2
#1 Posted: 5/10/2010 07:05:04

I'm a student pilot with only a mere 25 hours behind the yoke and i feel comfortable with other aspects of flying except the most important. Landing. according to my instructor i have nice approaches but my flare and subsequent touchdown always leave something desired. It's fustrating  me because i want to master this skill so i can feel more competent in the air. Is there anyone out there who can help me either with some technique or just some pointers to lessen the anxiety.

Thanks



Jerry Rosie
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
482
Posts
101
#2 Posted: 5/10/2010 07:28:42

Hi Derek,  It is difficult to figure out what may be causing you trouble unless we could ride with you.  But, if I'm interpreting your words correctly (and reading between the lines a bit) I would guess that you are looking at the ground too close to the nose of the airplane as you are about to flare.  Try raising your eyes a bit and look at the end of the runway instead of the ground in front of the airplane.  This will give you a better perspective as to when to start your flare and then just keep pulling back on the yoke until you stall to the ground.  Once you start your flare, your mission is to NOT let the airplane land.  Never fear, if you keep it off the ground long enough, it will land by itself..   Good flying...

 



Cheers, Jerry NC22375 out of 07N
Bill Greenwood
Warbirds of America MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
121
Posts
24
#3 Posted: 5/12/2010 17:30:26

Good advice form Jerry. Try looking different distances down the runway, probably at least several hundred yards. Then begin the flare high enough and make it a gentle, continuous pull to get the nose up and use up the airspeed. Sort of like pulling back on the reins to stop a horse, needs to be gentle but don't quit on it. You may benefit from watching others as they flare to land, see what works best. All this assumes that you have the approach speed  and correct flaps and trim.



Jerry Rosie
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
482
Posts
101
#4 Posted: 5/13/2010 11:42:19

Hey Bill - I like that horse  and reins analogy!  I plan to use it in the future whether or not you grant permission.  After all - you'll never know
biggrin



Cheers, Jerry NC22375 out of 07N
Peter Skurla
2
Posts
1
#5 Posted: 5/14/2010 09:46:15

Hello Derek--

I also had the same problem when I was first learning to fly. My instructor ran me through an excellent drill that helped fast. My instructor controlled the throttle during landing. He kept minimum power required to stay aloft during flair. My mission was to stay airborne when in ground effect for the length of the runway, 1-3 feet off the runway without touching down. His logic was that in a normal landing there are only a few seconds of flying at this critical point v. providing 15-20 seconds with this drill. I corrected my landings in one morning.
happy

--Pete



Rodger Manecke
1
Post
0
#6 Posted: 5/21/2010 10:09:34

Derek,

Congratulations on your first solo!

The advice given so far has merit but doesn't go far enough. A good landing starts with a stablized approach.  Airspeed control and attitude (the plane's, not yours) are crucial elements for consistently good approaches and accurate and smooth touchdowns.     Know what 1.3VSO is for your aircraft and practice maintaining that speed during your approach.  Have in mind, every aspect of the approach path and intended touch down point when still on the downwind leg.

Discuss 1.3 VSO with your instructor.  If your instructor is not familiar with the meaning and importance of VSO, and determining what it is for your aircraft, consider finding one that is.

During a power on approach, your airspeed control is pitch and altitude or sink rate control is power.  Have your approach stabilized at least at 500' above the runway elevation.  As you cross the runway threshhold. maintain a slightly nose high attitude with increasing back pressure on the yoke aas you ease off the power.  The aircraft will pactically land itself. 

Making a power off approach, use the flaps to control your rate of descent and pitch remains your airspeed control.  1.3 VSO will vary with your flap settings.

On every landing, don't just aim for the runway in general.  On final, stay exactly centered and aim for your touchdown point.

As for anxiety, the more accurate and stabilized your approach, the more confidence you'll feel when crossing the fence.

On with a slight thump is safer than going for a grease job.  You can practice the squeakers once you have the basics mastered.

Good luck!

Rodger  

 



Andrew Michie
4
Posts
2
#7 Posted: 5/25/2010 22:41:47

Hey, Derek. You're getting some awesome advice. Other than what's been said, my advice is to just relax! Have you found that you've had good landings in the past but they aren't consistent? Don't let the ground coming up at you make you nervous. Trust me, your flight instructor will be just as nervous if there's actually a danger (so there probably isn't). Have your instructor demonstrate a good landing every few times around the pattern, relax, and have fun.



Derek Isbell
28
Posts
2
#8 Posted: 5/25/2010 23:36:52

With a little help of my friends i think i've figured it out. not perfect but i can bring the plane down safely... it help that my instructors keep telling me "the wings will fall off" or "you'll die" isn't mortality a great teaching tool?



Guy Baker
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
12
Posts
3
#9 Posted: 7/8/2010 20:22:56

Hi Derek,

Are you suffering from information overload yet
shocked? Great advice all
, but pay particular attention to the 1.3VSO, aiming for your touchdown point while centered (and stable on appraoch) and, look far down the runway (or at the end). Remember, if your approach isn't good the landing probably won't be. Go ahead and go around if needed-no harm done. When you start flying taildraggers it'll make all the difference. Have fun.