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Losing landing ability and confidence

Old 11th Apr 2018, 21:13
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: greece
Posts: 6
Losing landing ability and confidence

Hello everyone ,

I am currently an atpl integrated student pilot with around 60 hours of flight time .
I was training on the diamond da 40 plane and got 50 hours on it , and my landings were pretty much most times good .
Recently due to mechanical issues with the diamond , i had to switch to a cessna 172 for my hour building flying phase . I now have almost 10 hours on the c172 which are mostly added up from cruising between airports and landing once a day , and the landings are bad now , and i have to say that i feel that i returned to zero with my flaring abilities and this is making me lose my landing confidence and flare judging ability .
My other fear is when i return to the da40 i would have lost my landing ability in it too .
Since now im already in the hour building phase ,,scheduling touch and gos would be difficult , and i think that im running out of time in my training to be good at landings again . .
Is it normal to still do many bad landings with this flight time experience ?
What do you think guys ?
Any training stories from other students are welcome .

Thanks in advance .
flyingwael330 is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2018, 22:24
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Join Date: Sep 2010
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You are probably looking the wrong way...look towards the horizon and relax..did the same many moons ago.
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Old 11th Apr 2018, 22:31
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Sydney
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Transferring to different aircraft requires getting a feel for the new type.

You will need to develop a feel for the differences in landing between the 2 aircraft.
The basic landing technique is the same but you need to develop feel.

FWIW I would recommend you do some circuits (preferably initially with an instructor to demonstrate and guide you so you don't reinforce a wrong technique) until you develop a feel for the new aircraft. Even an hour session may make a huge difference.

Circuits teach and reinforce handling skills and are not wasted time.
jonkster is online now  
Old 11th Apr 2018, 22:44
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: France / UK
Age: 65
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The 172 can be tricky to land if you come in too fast. It may be worth asking your instructor to demonstrate some short-field approaches, with an approach speed lower than the one you are using normally.

You could also try a smaller flap setting. Try these different techniques at a safe altitude initially to get accustomed to the feel of the controls and the attitude and power combination.

If the time from flare to touch-down is more than 2 or 3 seconds, and the touch-down is at the correct attitude, your approach speed is probably too high.

Everyone goes through phases of having trouble with landings. Don’t worry too much about getting a smooth landing but concentrate on a good, stable approach and correct flare technique. As others have mentioned, looking at the far end of the runway during the flare may help too.

Good luck!
eckhard is offline  
Old 12th Apr 2018, 00:03
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Join Date: Jan 2018
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Originally Posted by TangoAlphad View Post
I've flown with countless 'can't land the the 172' students with the purpose of getting them on their way and 99% of the time it is incorrect approach speed. The 172 is an absolute bloody doddle to land flown at the correct speed but tricky alright if you are at the wrong speed.

A dual circuit sortie with a good FI will sort you right out. I'll put money your speed/approach has a few errors..
What would you say is the correct approach speed? I switch between a C152 and C172, and I find if I use full flaps in the C172 the same approach speed as in the C152 I end up sinking way to quick, and struggling to keep it on a nice glide path. That's coming in around 60 with 40% flaps... Perhaps its the extra level of flaps?

I'm a PPL student, and I switched from the 152 to the 172, and although I find I can get away with being higher on the final due to the extra flaps, I've also found my glide path to not be as smooth, and either its very steep with power at idle, or I struggle to keep it coming down at a nice glide path with power, it ends up coming down short.

​​​​​​​Any tips appreciated.
PelicanSquawk is offline  
Old 12th Apr 2018, 00:26
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: London
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Originally Posted by TangoAlphad View Post
I've been only airline flying turboprop and recently the 737 in the last 3 years so I don't want to give wrong numbers out. I've not had my hands on a 172 for as while so I'm afraid I'll leave the numbers to a current FI for fear of giving out duff info.

The 172 is heavier machine than the 152. If flown though at the correct speed it is very nice to land although less forgiving of just killing the power and holding off. If you are sinking too fast you may need to consider altering the rate of closing the throttle in the flare.

Thanks for the reply, I appreciate you don't want to comment on it if you've not flown it in a while. I'll probably spend 45 mins in the circuit some time just working on them, and getting it dialled.
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 06:58
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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Originally Posted by flyingwael330 View Post
Hello everyone ,

I am currently an atpl integrated student pilot with around 60 hours of flight time .
I was training on the diamond da 40 plane and got 50 hours on it , and my landings were pretty much most times good .
Recently due to mechanical issues with the diamond , i had to switch to a cessna 172 for my hour building flying phase . I now have almost 10 hours on the c172 which are mostly added up from cruising between airports and landing once a day , and the landings are bad now , and i have to say that i feel that i returned to zero with my flaring abilities and this is making me lose my landing confidence and flare judging ability .
My other fear is when i return to the da40 i would have lost my landing ability in it too .
Since now im already in the hour building phase ,,scheduling touch and gos would be difficult , and i think that im running out of time in my training to be good at landings again . .
Is it normal to still do many bad landings with this flight time experience ?
What do you think guys ?
Any training stories from other students are welcome .

Thanks in advance .

Doing my CPL flying in a C172RG right now and what helps me is to make a mental image how the a/c looks out the windscreen when parked. This is the minimum attitude when flairing. Also, airspeed is critcal since there is less ground effect in the flair in a C172 than a DA40. My instructor has a Target Approach Speed of 63 kt, then add 50% of the wind factor (NOT WIND SPEED) & 50% for gusts, max. total +10 kts. If you hold this speed on final, every landing is a greaser Do not be afraid to go around! If it looks/feels wrong, throttle forward and set it up again!!
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 15:02
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: greece
Posts: 6
Thank you all for the advice ,
I think what is messing with my flaring image is also the time between my flights , sometimes i fly once a week due to bad weather and i repeat the same mistakes because i forgot what went wrong last time due to the long time on the ground before flying again . Anyways i will try my best . Appreciate your help
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Old 13th Apr 2018, 22:52
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Poland
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As for me the 172 feels "more stable" (easier to fly) than the 152. But I thought I could join in this thread to ask about what is the "easy landing" speed (I know the "correct" SOP speed) but just wanted to know if my feeling is correct that a slower one makes it easier to make a nicer landing or if it was for example only the weather that made the landing easier) when on the runway threshold for the Cessna 152? Cause I feel like the landing is easier with a lower speed than for example 65 knots on the threshold.

I read somewhere that a good speed was 1,3 x Vs but then I was told that the Cessna as a high wing plane don`t get a strong ground effect during the flare like the low-wing planes get so thats why a higher speed is supposed to make the landing easier. But my personal feeling (that might be completely wrong, cause the weather is different everyday) is that its easier to get a nice landing with a little lower speed than the "correct" speed.
KT1988 is offline  
Old 20th Apr 2018, 03:44
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Europe
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As already mentioned, when landing the C172 nailing the appropriate approach speed on short final will help a lot to make a good landing. If you come in to fast, making a nice landing will be quite a challenge like in any other airplane. If you are too fast during the landing flare the C172 also tends to ballon easily. If that happens, I'd say that's a good occasion to practice a go around! Also keep in mind, that full flaps in a Cessna adds more drag than lift, so if you're power setting is too low your sink rate will increase rather abruptly. Which can easily mess up your entire landing.
Here's what worked well for me. Speed on (short) final 60 kts, once over the threshold/numbers (power to ideal) and let the speed bleed of to 50 kts during the flare (during the flare look at the far end of the RWY, when it starts to pancake, disappears at the far end, start a gentle flare). If it's a perfect landing (in a Cessna) the stalling horn goes on just as the main landing gear touches the ground.

Flay safe and always happy landings!

PS.: There are also some helpful videos on Youtube on how to land a C172.
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Old 20th Apr 2018, 09:41
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: UK
Age: 41
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If you forget about crosswinds etc, it's basically just one control that you're moving back or forward. My method is:
Gradually lose the power when you get to about 20 feet, then pull back so that you fly level along an imaginary line a few feet high. As you slow down you'll need to keep pulling as the speed bleeds off (the flare) and once you're happy that the main wheels are the lowest point - hold still and let it settle onto the ground. A few faster or flapless landings will give you more 'float'/flare time to practice the technique. Then gradually bring the speed back and it will eventually become one continuous control movement.
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Old 20th Apr 2018, 12:34
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Netherlands
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I hadn't flown for a year and went from glass cockpit and low wing to analogue cockpit and high wing configuration

It was definitely not an easy process but with time you get comfortable with it

It's like anything, at the beginning it's always the most difficult part
Negan is offline  
Old 20th Apr 2018, 12:41
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Age: 63
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Originally Posted by PelicanSquawk View Post
What would you say is the correct approach speed? I switch between a C152 and C172, and I find if I use full flaps in the C172 the same approach speed as in the C152 I end up sinking way to quick, and struggling to keep it on a nice glide path. That's coming in around 60 with 40% flaps... Perhaps its the extra level of flaps?

I'm a PPL student, and I switched from the 152 to the 172, and although I find I can get away with being higher on the final due to the extra flaps, I've also found my glide path to not be as smooth, and either its very steep with power at idle, or I struggle to keep it coming down at a nice glide path with power, it ends up coming down short.

​​​​​​​Any tips appreciated.

I used to fly a 172 with the 40 degree flaps, but if you are at 60kt with them, you'll pretty much go straight down, I'd advise taking 10 degrees out then you'll be ok at 60kt. The 40 degree is great if you quick AND high, put the extra in over the numbers at 100 feet and you touch down before you know it.

Last edited by golfbananajam; 20th Apr 2018 at 12:41. Reason: typo
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Old 20th Apr 2018, 19:54
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: uk
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Had to add, as an ex-instructor, I hated training people on the 172. If you couldn't get the speeds right it would invariably get out of hand and the longer you went round the circuit the worse it got.
macdo is offline  
Old 21st Apr 2018, 19:18
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 135
Originally Posted by flyingwael330 View Post
Hello everyone ,

I am currently an atpl integrated student pilot with around 60 hours of flight time .
I was training on the diamond da 40 plane and got 50 hours on it , and my landings were pretty much most times good .
Recently due to mechanical issues with the diamond , i had to switch to a cessna 172 for my hour building flying phase . I now have almost 10 hours on the c172 which are mostly added up from cruising between airports and landing once a day , and the landings are bad now , and i have to say that i feel that i returned to zero with my flaring abilities and this is making me lose my landing confidence and flare judging ability .
My other fear is when i return to the da40 i would have lost my landing ability in it too .
Since now im already in the hour building phase ,,scheduling touch and gos would be difficult , and i think that im running out of time in my training to be good at landings again . .
Is it normal to still do many bad landings with this flight time experience ?
What do you think guys ?
Any training stories from other students are welcome .

Thanks in advance .
I owned a Cessna 150 for three years and my landings were pretty good, I chalked up 320 hours in that aircraft. Then a couple of years ago I sold it and bought a PA28 Warrior III, it took me a good few hours to get the landings acceptable (to me at any rate). Different aircraft, a different set of landing profiles. Stick with it and do plenty of T&G's.
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