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Landing issue

Old 11th Aug 2011, 10:35
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Just a word of caution. Your definition of "good landing" should be a 'positive landing' NOT a 'greaser'. A 'positive landing' should still leave your fillings in place but a 'greaser' on a wet runway will lead to aqua-planing ... thus spake my instructor whilst treatening me with his dinghy knife
Even more generally, there is no single technique that works in all circumstances. As above, a greaser is appreciated by the passengers, by the airframe and by the person who has to pay for new tires, but is not always the right method. On a wet and (x-)windy day a positive landing (in the right attitude, at the right speed) will reduce the chance of aquaplaning and will give you better directional control straight away.

A landing with the stall warner blaring means you are on the low end of the speed scale and is something that's possible in most airframes. But there are airframes that will scrape their tail if landed in the near-stall attitude, particularly if, for some reason, you are landing flapless. These airframes need to be landed somewhat faster.

A glide approach from downwind without power is great for practicing forced landings, but might not be appreciated by others in the circuit.

Landing with the throttle fully closed will give you the shortest landing run, but if you're heavy, a bit slow and happen to be approaching rather steep, a short burst of power may help you cushion your descent. And in very gusty conditions, when runway length is not an issue, leaving just a tad power on until after touchdown will increase airflow over the tail, thus aiding controllability.

Just a few examples. At your stage in training, what the instructor wants to see before you go solo is a series of safe and consistent landings in benign conditions. So follow your instructors advice and stick to it. Variations to that technique will come later.
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 10:45
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Pilotanonymous;
Fly the approach as normal, but when you would normally throttle off and touch down, don't. You are not allowed to touch the runway, you should fly 1-3 feet above it. Touch the runway and you loose. When you are approx halfway the runway, throttle up and go around.
I can really recommend this.

I was made to do this by an instructor that was checking me out on the type I currently fly. It made learning the correct 'picture' (what the view outside looks like) a doddle and got me used to handling the aeroplane in the configuration, speed and attitude it would be in in the seconds before touching down. We only needed one or two passes and I've not had a problem landing it since.
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 10:56
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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I would suggest to be very disciplined on approach speed it will help you now and in the future when you fly different types. On long runways with small planes it is too easy to get in to bad habits. If you watch your instructor as has been suggested you will find that his/her approach speed will be very accurate and therefore will avoid the balloon landing (from being too fast) which normally starts bad and gets worse as you try and correct with pitch.
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 11:46
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Find a long runway somewhere with the wind straight down and not turbulent and, with an instructor, position for a landing and fly the aircraft down the runway aiming to stay just above the ground for as long as possible with some power eventually converting into a touch and go - repeat a few times. It is a wonderful way of teaching the brain the required spatial awareness.

That is all landings are really about, the brain developing the required spatial awareness which is why instructors bash students around the circuit. The trouble is rushed landings because of short runways does nothing to give the brain time to develop the required spatial awareness.

Once you have got that bit right landing on the numbers, handling cross winds etc will come a great deal more naturally.

I have done it with quite a few pilots that were struggling with their landings so I know it works.
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 12:27
  #25 (permalink)  
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A 'positive landing' should still leave your fillings in place but a 'greaser' on a wet runway will lead to aqua-planing
I agree with this statement as applicable to arrivals on aircraft carrier decks. As for runways and GA aircraft, I'm not so convinced. Aqua-planing on runways with standing water is a risk. My experience is that few well maintained runways have standing water in amounts to make this a significant risk. (Just "wet", as opposed to standing water, does not create aqua-planing).

Aqua-planing occurs in standing water, as a product of speed of the wheels, and tire pressure as seen by the water (let's say in PSI). The lower the PSI applied to the water, the greater the risk of aqua-planing. The tire pressure seen by the water will not be greater than that in the tire, but could be less, if the whole weight of the plane is not yet on the tire (wings still supporting some after touchdown).

So whether you "arrive" or grease it on, the moment after contact, you're still moving at speed X with tire pressure Y as seen by the runway, so the aqua-planing risk number is the same in either case. Now, if you instantly get the flaps up, and apply the ground spoilers (if you have them), you will transfer more weight to the wheels, and reduce that risk. Not general capability or practice.

If you grease it on, the moment of contact, you're still very close to flying speed, so all the flight controls still are effective. maintaining directional control can still be accomplished with the rudder. Ideally, you're holding the nosewheel off anyway, so you're not using it to keep you straight. If you've landed in a crosswind so strong that you can't keep it going straight on the mains only, because it's aqua-planing, you're not going to keep it straight with the nosewheel either, better go around, and land elsewhere.

Don't worry if you can't grease it on, "arrivals" happen even for the best pilots. Don't avoid greasing it on because you're afraid of aqua-planing on light GA types (I cannot speak for faster heavier planes).
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 12:43
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Oh I remember having exactly the same problem while I was learning and what helped me... Flight Sim. I went out and purchased the Saitek yoke and rudder set. Installed MS flight sim x and then practiced, practiced and practiced. Turn the sound up so you can hear the THUD of a high flare!

It really helped me practice my crosswind technique too.
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 13:26
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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...It really helped me practice my crosswind technique too.
I have done both a loop and roll succesfully in a warrior on M$ flight Sim. Very easy to do and with success every time, so I will try for real tomorrow...
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 18:13
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When you flare your new aim is to get the aircraft to the end of the runway without climbing or descending.
Never ever heard of that before, where do you fly from-would love to watch that.

but a 'greaser' on a wet runway will lead to aqua-planing ..
Really? You have aquaplaned on a 'Wet' runway have you?

you can't quite say how you do it, but it becomes more instinctive and less of a cerubral activity that you have to think through as you do it.
You can say how you do its, its called being a flying instructor. If you are doing things in an aircraft that you cannot explain you may be safer in the clubhouse until you find an instructor who can explain it for you.
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Old 11th Aug 2011, 22:13
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Pull what

... yes, that's the reason for being threatened with a dinghy knife.
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Old 12th Aug 2011, 00:07
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Pull what

Never ever heard of that before, where do you fly from-would love to watch that.
I fly out of Denham - 700m tarmac runway.

This is how I apply Alan Bramson's advice in 'Make Better Landings' page 50:
"The technique to be adopted following the round-out entails holding-off, a lost art among many modern pilots. During this procedure, the aircraft is kept in the air by progressively easing back on the elevator control, increasing the angle of attack step by step with the decrease in airspeed. Furthermore, the process must be enacted so that when the correct attitude is acheived, the main wheels are allowed to make gentle contact with the ground".
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Old 12th Aug 2011, 03:53
  #31 (permalink)  
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"The technique to be adopted following the round-out entails holding-off, a lost art among many modern pilots. During this procedure, the aircraft is kept in the air by progressively easing back on the elevator control, increasing the angle of attack step by step with the decrease in airspeed. Furthermore, the process must be enacted so that when the correct attitude is acheived, the main wheels are allowed to make gentle contact with the ground".
I think that this is the single most useful written advice a new pilot could read and use. The ability to apply this technique to other aircraft types you might find yourself flying in the future, will be very useful. This technique will be applicable to most every tricycle or float equipped aircraft, taildraggers and flying boats are a little different.

This technique requires patience, which is a good discipline for a pilot. Pilots tend to see the other end of the runway coming up, and get a sense of urgency to get on the ground. It's easy to forget that the plane is still slowing down, just in the air. The patience of prolonging the flare as described, is an excellent skill to develop.

This technique has the added advantage of enabling the trial of the runway surface, without committing to the landing. It is a bit like keeping a helicopter light on the skids. If you decide you don't like the surface, and you want to go around, just add power, and perhaps retract some flaps. Otherwise you're already very close to being at the right attitude for a soft field takeoff (which is probably why you decided not to stay!). Hold the attitude, add the power, and you're in the air again with very little pitch correction required.

The last advantage, is that with this technique, you're going as slowly as practical when you land. I something bad is going to happen, the lower your speed, the better!
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Old 12th Aug 2011, 04:14
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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DAR, I'm a little perplexed at the adulation for the "technique" Bramson mentions above as all I could think was "I wasn't aware that there was any other way to land?". I can't really see any revolutionary tidbits or nuggets of advice in it. How would one else land without progressively flaring and slowing down? Is there some other technique widely adopted I've somehow missed? That's how we all land, albeit some better than others.
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Old 12th Aug 2011, 07:38
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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DAR, I'm a little perplexed at the adulation for the "technique" Bramson mentions above as all I could think was "I wasn't aware that there was any other way to land?". I can't really see any revolutionary tidbits or nuggets of advice in it. How would one else land without progressively flaring and slowing down? Is there some other technique widely adopted I've somehow missed? That's how we all land, albeit some better than others.
Adam

There are other methods of landing. Airlines now positively do not want pilots holding off in the flair as they sail past the numbers trying to get the gentlest contact some way down the runway.
A greaser as many have put it here has nothing to do with landing near the stall and flaring progressively.
A greaser is when at the point of contact between the tyres and the surface the rate of vertical descent is zero or as close to zero as possible.
You could equally make a greaser landing the club PA28 at 110 kts clean as you could at 65kts if your skills and a dollop of luck were up to it!
In a windy gusty day the last thing you want to be doing is the advice above.
On a short runway you may not want to do the above!
In a strong crosswind you may not want to do the above.
There are times when you need to put it down to be blunt!!
In fact one of my best greasers was while putting it down in strong wind conditions. My PAX thought we had not landed But that was more luck than anything else!
so a greaser is not about how you get to the point of contacting the ground but the vertical speed on contact.
That could be with the column back in your chest near the stall or at 200kts. Mind you you would never stop

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Last edited by Pace; 12th Aug 2011 at 09:36.
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Old 12th Aug 2011, 07:46
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Well there is the quite common drive it onto the deck and the struggle to keep it there while braking like hell to stop.
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Old 12th Aug 2011, 08:40
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There is no way any landing can be achieved without a flare. Without braking something, that is. Even firm, plant-it-there landings involve a flare, or crosswinds. All landings involve a flare. Am I missing something?
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Old 12th Aug 2011, 09:04
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Just curious but do you wear glasses? If so, what type.
Regards
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Old 12th Aug 2011, 09:32
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Depends on the type to be honest. If I do a flap zero in my commercial types its flat as a flat thing with the nose wheel barely above the mains maybe 4deg max. All the pitch up does is reduce the rate of decent to something survivable and get the nose wheel out the way the speed doesn't really decay maybe 2-3 knts. Vref is about 120knts your doing about 700ft per min on approach then when you go through 200ft agl and ground effect starts up it reduces to about 300ft per min and through 50ft its back to 150ft per min and then last 10 ft its power to flight idle and ever so slightly nose up and wait for the arrival.

If you drive it on there isn't really a flare as such because its a controlled decent into the ground.

Also if you do a performance landing if you get it right on the limits you can't flare because your already nearly at critcal angle of attack so you can't but I suppose you could say that you had been in the flare for the last 100 ft decent. If you do it right in a C172 with barn door flaps you can stop in the piano keys. I managed it once in the space of a heli pad H. Wouldn't even attempt it these days as I am not current enough on light aircraft, at the time I was doing 30 hours a week with about 50 odd approaches and 5-6 PFL's

PS to the OP please ignore this talk about "other" methods just get the one your learning just now sorted the rest will come later.

And other PPL's these techniques arn't really required for normal wx they are more for when some sod has told you to go flying and is paying you for the joy of flying in soaking trousers and only ever seeing the runway out the side window usually only 10 seconds before you land. FO's don't usually get there head round them until flying 100-200 approaches in crap wx. By about 400 they are profficent at them. The first 50 is quite amusing though, their faces afterwards are just screaming "WTF have I got myself into".
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Old 12th Aug 2011, 09:48
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Adam

I second Jocks piece above. In really short landings in the Citation you can use the AOA. Other times you just fly it on and sometimes with the Citation which has straight wings I will flare on longer runways to try and get that allusive chairmans landing as we call it
BUT the greaser has little to do with the flare as such and all to do with the rate of descent on contact.
These landing methods are relevant to light GA aircraft but starting out you use the basic principle as outlined as you are likely to be landing on low wind days.

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Old 12th Aug 2011, 11:07
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Back in the days when PPLs learned on tailwheel aircraft, a correctly fully-held-off flare was mandatory; the aeroplane demanded it! If you touched down too soon (i.e. not properly held off) the mains would bounce the aeroplane nose-high which the pilot has to sort out either with a bit of power to cushion the subsequent touchdown, or with a go-around. Do the same in a trike, and the mains bounce the aeroplane nose-low, slamming the nosewheel on whereupon the pilot resorts to the brakes to slow down.

Just see how many broken nose gears there each month in the AAIB reports.

3-point landings are for taildraggers, yet how many trikes do you see touching down on all 3 together at any GA airfield any day of the week? It is sloppy and expensive (in nosewheels) technique. ALL landings on SEPs should be fully held-off (with the possible exception of extreme cross winds) except wheelers in taildraggers. Even here there is an intial hold-off until the mains kiss the runway, then a tiny forward movement of the stick to pin them down. You can then either let the tail down gently as the speed decays, or (my preferred method!) progressively apply forward stick until the tail gently descends despite full forward stick (in a decent wind you might well have stopped by then!).

I have never, in 32 years of GA flying (mostly tailwheel) ever experienced aquaplaning either on strips, airfields, or major airports even in heavy rain.

The main thing about landing a light aircraft is.... try to keep the aeroplane in the air as long as possible - try to stop it from landing - so that when it does touch down it is fully held off with most of the energy dissipated.

Last edited by Shaggy Sheep Driver; 12th Aug 2011 at 11:32.
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Old 12th Aug 2011, 11:33
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Shaggy

try to keep the aeroplane in the air as long as possible - try to stop it from landing -
I do not have tailwheel experience other than a couple of hours years back so bow to your superior knowledge. All you have advised is excellent the only issue I would take up with you is the snippet above.
Unless you are a fair weather pilot only which many are that technique would get you into big problems on windy days with crosswind and down draughts.
Holding off in crosswinds and down draughts near the stall is asking for problems.

There is a misconception about landing! In still air we want to land at the slowest speed possible and at a speed that the aircraft wont continue flying ie floating down the runway. Although an aircraft will land quite happily while still flying
Full flap (if the aircraft is fitted with flaps) will reduce the stall speed as well as adding drag.
But throw all that out of the window for a second? Does an aircraft have to be landed with that technique NO!
Does an aircraft have to be landed near the stall? NO
I can remember landing a Citation at Gatwick one winter winds where 45 gusting 70 kts 20 degrees off the runway.
The worst part was wind shear down the approach so much that speed was jumping 30 kts up and down.
I held 170 kts most of the way down adding 20 kts to VREF and flying the aircraft onto the deck.
The Citation could be landed at any speed within flap and gear limits if you are skillfull enough.
OK I am being pedantic in splitting landing aircraft at a slow as possible speed normally 1.3 Xs the stall over the fence and highlighting the fact that that does not equal landing in all situations.
I will also add something controversial that floating is a reflection of pilot technique not landing the aircraft too fast.An aircraft floating is still flying yet an aircraft can quite happily land while still flying!
Different horses for different courses and different landing techniques for different situations

Pace

Last edited by Pace; 12th Aug 2011 at 12:37.
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