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Student Pilot: Landing Tips?  
User currently offlineLHMark From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 7255 posts, RR: 47
Posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 12304 times:

I'm taking lessons in a Piper Cherokee 180. My approaches are fine, good planning/rate of descent/airspeed, but I'm having trouble with the roundout.

I keep flaring too early, and bouncing up on the ground effect. I guess my trouble is judging my height above the ground during the approach. Any suggestions?


"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineZSOFN From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1411 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 12292 times:

Practise, practise, practise! Oh and confidence...

I'm not a professional pilot but I've almost completed my ppl hours. I find that it's mostly a case of getting used to that feeling of the ground rushing up towards you! Without a radio altimeter the only thing you have is your visual clues so it's simply a matter of perfecting them. Go for it!


User currently offlineHunUtazo From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 235 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 12294 times:

look farther down the runway

realize the 'cushion' between wing and ground will help, so hold the flare off a little longer,

keep the faith

the brain is learning to fly, even when it's not flying

so, relax it'll get better and better...

also,

industry consolidation...soon

Amr/Nwac

Cal/Ual

Swa/pieces of dal?

misc...lcc...good-luck..



dude
User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 12284 times:

I learned to fly in a C152/172 so the low wing may give you a bigger ground effect problem than I've previously experienced.

That being said, maintain the right attitude throughout the flare and if your right on the speed, the plane will stop flying itself as you slow.

I found learning when to flare as the most difficult part of pilot training because you feel that you're in the wrong attitude as most people are accustomed to commercial airplane approaches that have a much more pronounced nose up component. Most light GA airplanes need to be aimed down to descend.

How many lessons have you had? I know that it was a good 5 to 10 lessons before I felt comfortable with the flare. At some point it just clicks, that's why its important to do so many touch and goes.

If you've got the plane dialed in right (trim, airspeed and attitude) the rest largely takes care of it self. Don't add an extra couple of knots because it makes the flare seem incredibly long as the seconds tick by like minutes while you're learning to land.

Part of the problem may be your own insecurity relative to the control you extert over the plane. Climb up to a good safe altitude (3500 ft agl). Imagine 3000 feet as your runway. Set up an approach and begin your flare when you're 20 feet above you imaginary runway. Do this a couple of times until you're confident that you can control the plane in the manner you want. It's a lot less scary when you runway is an imaginary line on the altimeter rather than a solid piece of earth.

Keep at it. It will come to you. Good luck!


User currently offlineRL757PVD From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4643 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 12274 times:

I had the same problem, everything else was fine but the landings were bad. Its hard to explain, but one day it'll just happen and you will get it, hard to explain. Look further down the runway, perhaps try and be a ittle mroe gentle on the round out, I know i dint mine too abruptly so i rounded out too soon, if you go a little slower with it, it may put you in position for a good flare and touchdown. I went flyting last monday for the 1st time in 3 months and was quite happy to see that i still have it after greasing the 1st landing in quite a while.

So keep at it, but once you get it, it should stick.



Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
User currently offlineZSOFN From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1411 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 12262 times:

This is going to sound lame but Flight Simulator really helped me! My instructor agreed with me that it can be a real help, particularly with touchdowns.

User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 12207 times:

Quoting ZSOFN (Reply 5):
This is going to sound lame but Flight Simulator really helped me! My instructor agreed with me that it can be a real help, particularly with touchdowns.

FS is a double edged sword. I feel that it helped me tremendously but I was so used to looking at the gauges that my instructor would cover them up during my PPL training because I was spending more time looking in the cockpit during certain manuvers than outside as I was supposed to.

The sim will help you set up the approach but due to lack of spatial inputs close to the ground it might not really help you if flaring is what is giving you problems.

This being said, I made it habit to fly every single lesson on the sim at least once before the flight and at least once after the real flight. It was excellent for procedure such as engine failures and go arounds.


User currently offlineRL757PVD From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4643 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 12186 times:

Quoting Pope (Reply 6):
I feel that it helped me tremendously but I was so used to looking at the gauges that my instructor would cover them up during my PPL training because I was spending more time looking in the cockpit during certain manuvers than outside as I was supposed to.

That reminds me... a roundout - flare - landing is 99.99% visual, no need to be looking inside.

As for the FS comment, I didnt use FS, however, ive dont the commercial pilot game at Dave & Busters and it made me feel better about my landings!



Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
User currently offlineFlyHoss From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 598 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 12185 times:

There's some good advice listed above. Look farther down the runway (if that doesn't help, try looking much closer). Practice, practice, practice. Try this - try flying down the length of the runway at a foot or two, but try not to touch down; this exercise will give a long look at the sight picture you need. You might want to have the instructor do it the first time so you can just concentrate on looking outside along (down the length of) the runway.
Good luck, almost everyone goes through this to one degree or another.



A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
User currently offlineLegacy135 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 1052 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 12183 times:

The landing is basically a controlled descend to the runway. As lower the ROD is, the smoother the landing will result. The problem you have, is that you don't know when you need to "pull the yoke" and how much you need to pull it. This may result in a bumpy landing or the aircraft climbing up again. We don't want either one of it. Furthermore we want that nose aligned with the runways center line. Wufff, how to bring that all together?
Let me tell you one of the aviators secretes  Wink Once you are at about 50ft over the runway, start slowly to reduce your power. At the same time YOUR EYES WILL GO TO THE FAR END OF THE RUNWAY. And there they will stay! By looking down the runway, you will automatically "see" your ROD. And even better: By doing so, you just need to give some "foot" on the side you want to have your nose and you will be perfectly aligned. Try it and I am sure, a few more tries and you are doing perfect. It's not a question of "how many", it's a question of realizing how it works. Remember: YOU LOOK TO THE RUNWAYS END, but please the one in front of you Big grin
The biggest mistake, that happens normally is that people are looking down to the runway, into the spot they want to land. This way it won't work. Remember, if you walk in the street and somebody comes towards you: If both look at eachother, you hardly can cross, both are all the time going to the wrong side. You need to look where you want to go. On the landing you want to go down this runway, so you look to it's end.
Now I wish you lots of success in training, take care and

RGDS
Legacy135


User currently offlineLHMark From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 7255 posts, RR: 47
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 12155 times:

Thanks for the advice, guys. I'll be using it in an hour  Smile


"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
User currently offlineZSOFN From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1411 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 12008 times:

Legacy135, that's some top advice.

Pope, I agree with you about effectively becoming IFR too soon! Where flightsim really helped me was with basic navigation and as a free practise time for flares. It's not perfect but if you employ the rules Legacy135 suggested to flying a sim, I reckon it'll help a lot.

Enjoy yourself!


User currently offlineSkibum9 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1229 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 11940 times:

Quoting Pope (Reply 3):
Most light GA airplanes need to be aimed down to descend.

No disrespect to the Pope, but this is very bad advise. GA planes, or any plane should not be pointed down to descend while on final approach to landing. The methodology that should be used is Pitch = Airspeed, while Power - Altitude. With that being said, if you are trimmed to your approach speed, all you need to do is reduce power or add drag to descend. Since you are in slow flight, the pitch will be level to slightly nose high. Adjust your power to descend on your desired glide slope. If you find yourself dropping to fast, add power, do not pull up the nose. If you are not descending fast enough, reduce power, but do not point the nose down as you will increase your airspeed, which will cause you to float or overshoot. But like everyone says, as you begin to flair, look down the runway so that you can see your sink rate, which you will notice out of your peripherals.



Tailwinds!!!
User currently offlineAA87 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 11918 times:

I also learned in a 175 but flew low wings a few times. Three comments, first, one thing that I realized is in a small single its important to hold the nose just slightly above level until the last minute. If its too high (and flare attitude of a big airliner is way too high for your purposes), much easier to porpoise if there's any excess airspeed, or thud if there isn't. Even for a greaser, nose wheel only needs to be a foot or two higher than main wheels, no more. So I would concentrate on trying to hold close to level attitude until just before ground contact, and even then just pull back slightly. Takes practice, but key is managing attitude (assuming power/speed where they should be). BTW, I never liked "trimming" for landing, I preferred zero trim and hands on management of elevator. If any others disagree, this stale 120+ hour pilot defers to your wisdom, just sharing what worked for me.

Second, unless you become a pro, you will never not have bad landings. Learning how to do it and than having bad ones, even many in a row, just means you're making progress, so don't get discouraged. Its like gymnastics, diving, etc., even the best of em have bad performances.

Third, not to sound like a granny, but the various posts gave some great ideas on practice methods, but I strongly encourage you not to do anything you have the slightest doubt about, without your instructor. Especially doing slow speed maneuvers less than 3000 agl. Safety is main reason, but you'll learn more effectively if you can concentrate on the maneuver and not your risk envelope. Adult supervision next to you is the best money you'll ever spend in flying (no, I'm not a self-serving instructor !).

Best of luck !


User currently offlineMTYFREAK From Mexico, joined Apr 2004, 376 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 11852 times:

I fly a C172 and what I can say is that as you get closer to the ground slowly bring up the nose until you align it to the Horizontal line of the landscape and if no ground effect takes place then you should have a smooth landig,

other than that just practice!!

Have fun,

BTW, This should be on the Tech's and Op's Forum

Have a safe Landing.



Only here for the beer...
User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3517 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 11849 times:

Quoting AA87 (Reply 13):
Second, unless you become a pro, you will never not have bad landings

ha, even professional pilots have bad landings. no one is spared from the occasional uncomfortable hard thump on landing. you get better at it, and have them less frequently, but they still happen.

On my Commercial - Multi Checkride, my only landing was a rock hard whomp against the concrete. The examiner told me to make a soft field landing, which for some reason made me do a shortfield, so i was like "i'll get this thing down and stopped before (taxiway) Delta". And i did, and i looked over him and smiled and said "and we're off on delta". He said "well, that was a great short field, but if you remember I asked for a soft field". and i was like

"oh..."


haha. but the rest of the flight before that landing was so good he just chuckled and told me to head toward the FBO.


The best way to round out your flare and settle down on the ground is to look past the spot you're going to land on, don't ever look at it after you have picked it out on short final (1/2 mile from the threshold). just feel the airplane out, pulling back on the throttle and the yoke in increments and keep your eyes on the far threshold (the opposite end of the runway). give it a few trys and you should be good to go.



Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineSLUAviator From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 357 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 11847 times:

Keep your chin up! I have God only knows number of landings under my belt, and I believe the words of one of my teachers from college.... "no matter how many you have done, landings come and go. You can have a week of amazing landings followed by a week of ones where you wonder if you broke the plane. You have to remember the good landings will come back, so keep going out and doing them." That is from a guy who owns a bunch of planes and had thousands of hours flying.


What do I know? I just fly 'em.......
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8182 posts, RR: 24
Reply 17, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 11735 times:

Don't fu*k up.

Really though, it's all visual and judging the right altitude. Make it a smooth pullback till you judge you've slowed your decent enough, but keep decending. Don't let yourself float if you can help it. Even after 200 or 2000 landings there are still bad ones too. Some days I can grease it all day and then as soon as I land at home I pull off a carrier landing and I'm surprised my teeth are still in my head.



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