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Landing Tips that Really Work

  1. A stabilized approach is critical for students working on learning to land. On glide path/on speed/minimum pilot input.

  2. Try 20 degrees of flaps and 65 kts in a Cessna 172. Configuration changes waste time initially.

  3. Aim the airplane with the elevator and control airspeed with power. You only need to power for altitude and pitch for airspeed when you are slow, typically below 1.3 Vso.

  4. The spot that isn’t moving us where you are going.

  5. Landing speeds change with weight. Lower weights require slower approach speeds.

  6. If the airplane floats a lot, the speed is too high.

  7. Plan the undershoot for the roundout.

  8. As you descend, it appears you are getting lower. At the roundout, it appears the ground is coming to the airplane.

  9. When the runway geometrically expands, it’s time for the roundout.

  10. Raise the nose three fingers above the horizon and keep it there as the speed slows.

  11. Always keep the centerline in the middle of the control wheel in a side-by-side seating airplane.

  12. Manage a crosswind by paralleling the runway with the rudder pedals. Maintain the centerline with the ailerons. This is exactly how much input is required to land with no drift.

  13. When turning base, if the extended runway centerline is on the end of the cowling, you are on glidepath. If it’s above it, you are too high. If it is below it, you are too low.

  14. Turn final when you are 10 degrees from the runway centerline.

  15. When turning from base to final, look through the near numbers to the far numbers to gauge the pivot of the runway centerline to your turn rate.

  16. As the airplane settles from the roundout to the touchdown, the controls will become less effective, so any crosswind correction or directional steering requires more flight control input.

  17. Allow the nosewheel to settle to the ground without using the flight controls.  The nosewheel is the most delicate component of the landing gear system.

  18. As consistently good landings are achieved, use flaps in stages to achieve 30 degrees on the final approach.

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