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Landing issue

Old 10th Aug 2011, 15:09
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ireland
Age: 33
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Landing issue

Well lads. I'm 22 or so hours into my ppl. My flying is going good only for one thing. The landings, Most go well but I have an issue and its quite dangerous at times, Whats happening is when I'm coming into the hold off I'm pulling back to far and at times stalling the aircraft just before landing, This in turn results in a heavy landing. The issue I have is I'm terrified of hitting the ground to hard and not holding off correctly. Any tips ?. My instructor is great and explained that its a normal thing for now but I don't want to be doing this any longer. thanks
IrishJason is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2011, 15:43
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: oxford
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Very common problem. Often caused by not looking far enough ahead. As you come in and begin the round out it is important to be looking well ahead to judge the rate of descent. Not worry- its just a matter of practice.
billiboing is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2011, 16:00
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May help to get a mental picture of what the landing attitude is supposed to look like, and aiming for that rather than just full back stick - fly to that attitude, settle on the ground, then bring the stick slowly fully back once the mains are down.

But yes, consistency of landings is a common early-hours problems; it needs working at, but not panicking about.

Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2011, 16:07
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Here's what helped me:

When you flare your new aim is to get the aircraft to the end of the runway without climbing or descending. Transfer your attention to the end of the runway and when you feel the aircraft start to sink apply a little back pressure, just enough to stop the sink. Carry on doing this until a) you reach halfway down the runway and havn't yet landed - go around or b) you land.

I tend to flare too high so I have learnt to leave the flare until I am really scared of hitting the ground Note: this bit doesn't work if you have a really high scare threshold !
jimmellish is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2011, 16:09
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Join Date: May 2010
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Depending on what type you are flying, you may find that it helps if you keep a little throttle in as this will delay the stall when you are rounding out as the aeroplane will decelerate less quickly. This will inevitably make you more likely to float but on the plus side you will have more time to land the plane.

When you round out, try to fly the aeroplane six inches off the ground. As the throttle will be closed or near to closed, you will find that it will land itself.

I realise that other ppruners will probably crucify me for these tips, but they both worked for me, so its not as if they haven't been used successfully.

Also, looking up the runway helps (as already suggested), but you may also want to try glancing out at 45 degrees from your direction of travel as it can really help you judge your height better.
FleetFlyer is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2011, 16:18
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Thanks lads. Its a pa-28 if that helps. I try to keep looking ahead alright but sometimes instinct kicks in and I want to pull up to much, I have looked out at the 45 to see my angle of land and the height seemed a bit excessive. I'm back flying tomorrow and I'm going to try harder with looking ahead, I also want to try flying along the runway a little longer and see how I get on
IrishJason is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2011, 16:18
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Bearing in mind I'm a novice not an expert what works for me is closing the throttle and transferring sight to end of runway, gradually bring the nose up until you are in the climb attitude (but don't climb while you are doing this!!) which will be nose on the horizon for 172/28 types and just let it settle. Always works for me and my landings aren't bad.
thing is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2011, 16:46
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As mentioned, look far ahead. I hinge on the end of the runway with my eyes normally.

Secondly, two schools here. Some instructors don't want you to do final approach with any throttle and some think it's fine. I tend to approach with throttle always as it makes my landings better (the type I fly kind of has to be flown that way), but obviously this can be a bad practice when in and out of really short fields.

Last edited by AdamFrisch; 10th Aug 2011 at 17:08.
AdamFrisch is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2011, 16:49
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One of the reasons we have an instructor is so they can show you how its done. Watching a couple of times can be worth a dozen tries with someone yacking at you. Ask for a demo.
Whopity is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2011, 16:50
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I'm back flying tomorrow and I'm going to try harder with looking ahead, I also want to try flying along the runway a little longer and see how I get on
Don't fly further down the runway, and for gawds sake don't leave any power on. If your instructor is any good they won't be very happy with that.

You will be flaring to high and leveling off instead of continuing to decend until impact

There is nothing wrong as such with pitching back until the stall warner goes off or it stalls its just that your too high above the runway when you do it.

Genghis suggestion of spotting the landing attitude is correct. Then all you have to do is work on getting it close enough to the runway.

BTW if you using the PAPI's that will be half your problem because the approach angle will be all wrong, way to shallow and any extra speed won't do you any favours either because it will just make the plane level off or ballon with the power off and a landing attitude. Trick is the keep decending all the time while pitching back until you get to the landing attitude just as the wheels touch the deck.
mad_jock is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2011, 20:23
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What MJ said and Genghis' point is also valid!

This is a great place to come and learn, to garner information and to help and share.


You will need to spend some time here learning who is worth taking heed of and who might accidentally mislead you. The number of posts by a poster don't really help you, it all comes down to experience!

Your best bet at as a tyro, is to speak to your instructor (the clue is in his title), if you don't like what he says, take it up with the club/school CFI.

Hope that this helps,

stiknruda is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2011, 21:10
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As another hint have a search for posts from Beagle and Whopity on how it should be done.

Both have spent alot of time and effort posting quality briefings on certain subjects.

I might not agree with them on certain subjects ie point and power and closing angle for Nav but both have my respect as I have learned alot from them over the years.

If you see a post by DFC just ignore it because in all likely hood it will be talking utter shite.
mad_jock is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2011, 22:05
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No advice from me (I'm not even at 100 hours yet), just encouragement.

After being consistently good at landings for a while, I reached about 20 hours and somehow completely forgot how to land for a couple of months. It all came back later.

That is, until my skills test when I for some reason tried to flare at 50 feet... turns out being knackered really screws up my height judgement :-)
douglas.lindsay is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2011, 22:40
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Two hints I think may help you are:

1: Make sure you are right on the speeds. Even a little too fast can make a landing tricky.

2: Sit in the aircraft on the Apron and look out of the window. That's how you get a good image of how far below you the runway is, and that will help you know when to flare.
airpolice is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2011, 22:45
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All good advice here, a couple more points:
  • You do need to learn technique, but as you gain experience, it is to some extent like riding a bike: 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.
  • For most people, there's no blinding light, no flash of inspiration when it suddenly clicks. Or it seems to click and then a bit later it all goes to pot again. It just gradually gets better, but with good advice and technique this happens quicker.
  • If it's any consolation, Nigel Everett, ex-RAF and author of the very-readable "Beyond the PPL" writes that it took him 1,000 hours to get consistently good touch-downs!
Edit to add: as stik says, you've no idea of the provenance of advice here. Food for thought here, but reliable advice comes from instructors, not anonymous forum posters.
FREDAcheck is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2011, 22:48
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As others have said: don't worry, you will get the hang of it.

One piece of advise: it often helps to do the following exercise a few times:

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 did this a few times when I had the same issue as you do. It helped me a lot in getting the feel of control on the airplane.

Discuss it with your instructor.
PilotsAnonymous is offline  
Old 11th Aug 2011, 03:03
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Whats happening is when I'm coming into the hold off I'm pulling back to far and at times stalling the aircraft just before landing,
Perfect! A great, consistent landing will result when you do this just inches above the runway. It's easier when you've lot's of length ahead of you, so you're not worried about stopping. (having to stop can be distracting to a greaser landing). If you have a good stall underway as you touch (warning horn for sure) you've a good chance of a no bounce landing, as the wing has no lift anymore. You'll also find that the plane will slow down quite nicely. You don't have to be on the ground, and on the brakes, to slow down for the first bit.

Sure, it's possible to stall, and drop on, or to fly on with too much speed, we all still do it from time to time. Don't worry about it. Every now and again, you'll touch down so smoothly that you'll have to roll the wings a bit to find out that you're on the runway, 'cause you did not feel touching down at all.

Keep trying, it'll come to you....
Pilot DAR is offline  
Old 11th Aug 2011, 04:56
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Qoute - Mad Jock
FlyingKiwi_73 is offline  
Old 11th Aug 2011, 06:43
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South East Asia
Posts: 410
Landing Issue

IrishJason: Check the height of your seat, do you have the correct line-of-sight over the instrument panel. Too high or too low can affect your flare/landing performance. As many others here have suggested, talk to your instructor.
Saint Jack is offline  
Old 11th Aug 2011, 07:31
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: East Anglia
Posts: 723

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
FantomZorbin is online now  

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