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Student Pilot Dilemma - Landings  
User currently offlinexero9 From Canada, joined Feb 2007, 153 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6466 times:

Hi all,

Some of you might remember me as the guy who was afraid of spin training, and was asking advice on that. Now I have a new dilemma on my hands.. Doing circuits.

I'm not really sure what I expect to get out of this thread. I guess just any experiences you guys had with your approaches and landings as a student.

I'm current at about 24 hours, with 19 landings under my belt. Of those 19, only 2 of them were really good in my books (oddly enough, the very first one). The problem is, some days I have decent ones, and others are just horrible. Yesterday was quite bad, as I didn't straighten out the aircraft before touching down. We had a bit of a crosswind from the left, and the right wheel landed first, which isn't good.

I know some of you might say there are things I should be talking to my instructor about, but I guess I'm kind of curious to know at what point other people went solo, and if others were ever in the same boat as me (I'm sure there has to be). I'm just getting a little discouraged at this point. We only did 2 circuits yesterday when my instructor decided to call it a day. I think maybe she's losing confidence in me.

So yeah, I know a lot of you were probably student pilots many many years ago, but maybe there are some student pilots here as well?

Thanks guys.

56 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinebri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6441 times:

My two cents:

First: Relax. Use lighter pressure on the yoke; a couple fingers should be sufficient in most phases of flight. Take a deep breath, enjoy the view, and marvel at the wonder you're taking part in.

Landings are a lot like riding a bicycle. You're going to struggle for a while, then one day, it will click and you won't have any more trouble. 19 landings is probably just scratching the surface. I see most students having it happen anywhere between 20 and 200. And, for what it's worth, don't worry yourself about counting them. You can put them in your logbook, that's fine, but don't fret over them. Focus on the physics. You want to fly the plane as close to the ground as you can without landing, and let the plane land itself. Train your eyes to shift to the far end of the runway and get used to the sight picture as the plane settles onto the runway. You'll turn those bouncers into squeakers in no time, and you'll never look back.

No matter how good you get, you can still improve. There's a little magic involved in every landing in my opinion. Sometimes, when you're not expecting it, like during a bumpy, turbulent approach, you can surprise yourself and come out with the smoothest landing of all times. Other times, on a severe calm day, you can bounce down the runway like Captain Kangaroo (note: practice your go-arounds, too).

You'll know when you have it down, because your instructor will ask you to "make the next one a full stop, I want a cup of coffee." The thrill of your first solo landing will make you realize that you can land safely, all by yourself, and you'll be off to the races. Good luck!



Position and hold
User currently offlineDashTrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1528 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6408 times:

You have 19 landings, 2 of them were good, one of which was the first.... Sounds like a good track record!

The first landing is always the best, then the rest suck for a while. You''ll have a breakthrough where they all become acceptable. It just takes some patience. As far as the crosswind thing, I know airline pilots who can't land in a crosswind. It comes from letting the airplane land you rather than you landing the airplane.

You'll hear people say "you quit flying the airplane". No one ever explains what that means. In a nutshell, use the rudder pedals. Establish your wing down attitude and use the rudder to keep the airplane pointed down the centerline. Use the ailerons to keep the airplane over the centerline. Small corrections are the key, unless you need a big correction.


User currently offlinexero9 From Canada, joined Feb 2007, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6386 times:

Thanks guys for the tips and the encouragement.

I guess I got a bit full of myself, having beginners luck and all on the first one. Then it was basically a downhill slope from there.

Bri, I think one of my big problems is judging just how far above the ground I am. I've concluded it's all luck if I flare at the right time or not.

Oh yes, there was something else I wanted to ask the experts here.. Now I know when you take off with a crosswind you deflect ailerons fully into wind, and as you build up speed you reduce it gradually as they become more effective. That part I understand completely. My instructor though, said as soon as the airplane touches the ground on landing to deflect them full into wind again. I questioned this, but was told to just deflect them into wind fully. I have 2 problems with this.. One is what happens if I think I'm on the ground, so I fully deflect, but then I bounce? The second thing is, wouldn't it be the opposite of take off where you gradually add ailerons as you slow down?

Thanks again for the replies, I do appreciate it.


User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6037 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6388 times:

I highly recommend that you find a book called "Stick and Rudder." It's a MUST READ for anyone, whether the student pilot in the 152, or the 10,000 hour grizzled airline captain.


Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineWeb From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 427 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 6380 times:

First of all, good for you for working on getting your PPL! It is not easy, especially at the beginning when it feels like you can't do anything right. I guarantee it is worth every hour and every landing.

Now, about landings. Without having experienced any of your landings and seeing/feeling what your problem areas are, I can't give a whole lot of help, but I'll do what I can.

First, like bri2k1 said, 19 landings is approximately equivalent to one lap in the pool when learning to swim. I remember days when I did 12 or 15 landings in a row; talk about frustrating! It takes a lot of practice to get landings down, and even when you think you have them mastered, you'll have one where you wonder why they ever let you fly an airplane if you can hardly get it back on the ground in one piece. I had a landing right at the end of my training where I was sure I popped the right main; I nailed the lip of the pavement at the end of the runway, but I went around and landed without incident. Landings are fickle, and you can only master them to a certain extent. Witness all the crazy landings on flightlevel350.com by highly experienced airline pilots to see this. 100% perfection is not possible, but 95% or so certainly is, and that is all you should ask of yourself.

That being said, such a level of competency is a bit far off at the moment (for me too), but it doesn't mean you shouldn't be working toward it. Some things that I can think of that might help you get there are as follows:

1. Slow down! Give yourself a wide pattern; don't be in a rush to get back to the runway. Give yourself time to get through every item on each leg, and if anything doesn't look good by the time you reach short final, go around. Go-arounds are always an option, even when you're on the ground and still rolling. Airplanes want to be in the air, so if the bird is being squirrelly on the ground, get it back in the air and try again.

2. Slow down! This was my problem: on final, I would be way too fast, up to 10kts fast. Remember stalls? It takes a very slow airspeed (possibly very slow, depending on the airplane) to turn the bird into a rock. Approach speeds are there because that's what works best; don't be afraid of getting the airspeed down where it should be. This is especially tricky when landing on wide runways because it appears you are not moving anywhere, even though your speed is good. Focus on the airspeed indicator for speed, not the sight picture. I still struggle with this sometimes; 63kts just seems too slow (for my airplane), but that's what works best. Nail your speeds and you are well on your way to greasers every time.

3. Energy management. This is the idea that altitude and airspeed are inverses, and power buys you altitude. Too low on approach? Don't pitch up; add power to arrest your descent to regain the glideslope. Too slow? Pitch down and add power to both gain airpseed and maintain the glideslope. Managing airspeed (through pitch) and altitude (through power) is key to a stabilized approach. It is rather counter-intuitive, but again, it's what works best.

4. Crosswinds. No one likes them, but they are the norm, not the exception. Apart from proper crosswind control deflections (roll into the wind, yaw against it), use only as much flaps as you need. Don't go all the way to 30 degrees if 20 degrees will suffice; that extra 10 degrees adds a large amount of drag that only increases the need to cross-control. This will allow for a faster approach speed, which results in a decreased need to cross-control (due to higher effectiveness of the control surfaces at higher speeds); together, this lessens the burden of control on you.

5. Fly the airplane all the way to the taxiway. Once you touch down, you're not done flying! Manage the controls until you're stopped, remembering that control effectiveness decreases as you slow down. Hold the nose off the ground as long as possible, increase the crosswind correction as you slow down, and brake only as much as necessary. This is not the time for violent control inputs, although aggressive control may be required to combat gusts. Keep light hands on the controls, with a hand on the throttle ready for a go-around at any point in the landing sequence.

There's a lot more that I could tell you, but I'll let this be for now. Probably information overload, but take it a piece at a time. Let us know if you want more pointers, and if so, tell us what exactly you're struggling with. Best wishes to you in your flying pursuits!



Next flight: GRR-ORD-PDX-SEA-ORD-GRR
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6037 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 6370 times:

Quoting Web (Reply 5):
Focus on the airspeed indicator for speed, not the sight picture.

I disagree. The last thing you want to do is focus on anything in the cockpit. Quick glances, perhaps, but your main focus is out the window, looking at the runway, and your position to it. Set your pitch attitude, and use the throttle manage your glide angle.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlinedw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1260 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 6358 times:

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 6):
Quoting Web (Reply 5):
Focus on the airspeed indicator for speed, not the sight picture.

I disagree. The last thing you want to do is focus on anything in the cockpit.

I think he means don't use the sight picture to judge your speed. At least I hope thats what he means. Eyes outside when flying VFR, especially on landing.

When flying, especially with headwind, the airspeed indicator is your best tool for judging speed (duh). Relying on sight often results in faster approaches. Of course, we have other tools like the stall warning horn, aerodynamic buffet, etc. to help us judge airspeed---but I don't like using those in the approach  .



CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 6341 times:

3 words: Practice practice practice!!!!

It will come in time. Just be patient. Don't sweat it. As long as you don't bend the plane or break you or your instructors spine you're fine.

Now if by your 200th lading you're still cratering the runway and zigzagging all over the place, you may have other problems.

How did your CFI tell you to adjust your seat height, by the way?

Quoting xero9 (Thread starter):
and the right wheel landed first, which isn't good.

It isn't bad either, unless you break it. It just doesn't look pretty.

Quoting bri2k1 (Reply 1):
Use lighter pressure on the yoke; a couple fingers should be sufficient in most phases of flight.

        

That has to be the no.1 pet peeve for flight instructors. The death grip is a tough habit to break. You end up over controlling the plane a lot and making jerky movements.

You only need two fingers for flying, even in moderately gusty or turbulent conditions. Don't fight the plane, unless you find yourself flying suddenly into a mountain.

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 6):
I disagree. The last thing you want to do is focus on anything in the cockpit. Quick glances, perhaps, but your main focus is out the window, looking at the runway, and your position to it. Set your pitch attitude, and use the throttle manage your glide angle

  

Learning the "scan" comes later. Right now concentrate on flying the plane while mainly looking outside.


User currently offlinebri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 6311 times:

Remember this: A good landing is one you can walk away from. A great landing is one where the plane can be flown again. So far, all of mine have been great! (Source unknown, sorry)

As far as full deflection of ailerons on landing: it sounds like your CFI wants to get you in the good habit of continuing to fly the plane while it's on the ground. The wing still moves through the air, and taxiing with a rear quartering tailwind in your tricycle-gear plane, or too close to the business end of a turbojet, will require proficient skills here. But nothing is an absolute, except for remembering safety first. Some days and crosswinds will require full aileron; others may require a partial deflection. Remember at those slow speeds they're less effective, and even if the plane bounces you're still going quite slow, so you're not going to flip over immediately. Just make whatever control inputs are necessary to put the airplane where it needs to be. On a gusty day with low-level wind shear, I find myself making many sudden corrections to maintain centerline and the correct attitude for landing. But most days, especially as a relatively new student, will not be like this and your corrections should be anticipated and smooth.



Position and hold
User currently offlineGolfOscarDelta From India, joined Feb 2008, 169 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 6302 times:

Mate I just got my PPL 3 months back. My first few landings were pretty decent/normal and my instructor said i was ready to solo and then it all went to the dogs. My landings started getting worse and one day they sucked so bad that after just 3 touch'n'go's my instructor called it a day. And i tell you what he told me after we tied up the plane that day "Don't beat yourself up thinking about it".

At about the 15 hour time i had run into the same problem as you; unable to flare right, sometimes flareing too early and then plonking it down a bit hard or not flaring and leading to a float (also due to my approach speeds being slightly above normal). My mistake was that the first few times i did the landings i consciously was lining up the cowling with the end of the runway once i crossed the numbers and keeping it there automatically caused the plane (C172P) to flare right. As i started learning other skills .... for some reason i stopped doing that (aligning the cowl with the runway end) and started trying to flare by judging the height i was above the runway. Now i could judge the height to flare just about right but depending on my approach speed and the wind, reaction time, the gravitational pull of Jupiter on that day and a zillion other things it would always go to the dogs when i tried to do this. At about my 20 hour time frame my instructor realized what i was doing and told me to go back to aligning the cowling with the end of the runway as i cross the threshold - numbers region, and sure enough everything was back smooth again.

Quoting xero9 (Reply 3):
I think one of my big problems is judging just how far above the ground I am. I've concluded it's all luck if I flare at the right time or not.


My point is you don't pick a time(or height above the runway) to suddenly yank the stick back and flare, but you gradually start flaring (by lining up the cowl/some reference point on the plane to the far end of the runway and holding it there) as you cross the numbers and the plane will flare itself just right (considering that your approach speed is not too high or too low).

I'm not saying that that's the exact right method to do it or thats the exact problem you have (though it might be), i'm sure CFI's and many other pilots here with more experience can give some better pointers (to both you and me). But seeing that you seem to be exactly in the same position i was 5 months back makes me think my experience might help you.

Quoting xero9 (Thread starter):
I'm kind of curious to know at what point other people went solo

Thats dangerous territory for your mental perception of your flying skills ... my advice is don't go in there ... you might end up beating yourself up ... i sure know i did.


User currently offlinexero9 From Canada, joined Feb 2007, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 6298 times:

Good advice. I did find on the downwind perhaps I could go slower, and mentioned this to me instructor, but she said it was fine. I am flying in a 150 and usually seem to have a 172 hot on my tail, so maybe that's why she doesn't want me poking around at 70 knots or so on downwind.

I did have some issues with my speed on final, but I've started to get a handle on that. On one of my first approached I let it slip down to about 45 knots, which is pretty low, I realize that. I think at first I was so focused on maintaining that picture out the wind screen that I didn't bother to glance at my airspeed.

I do find I have a bit of a death grip on the control, especially in tense situations (eg landing). Normal flight in the practice zone and I'm pretty relaxed on the controls. I'll try to be more gentle on them next time.

As for seat height, I don't think I have that option, except sitting on a telephone book :P The 150s are as simple as they get. I'm surprised I can adjust it forward.

Oh I had one more question for you guys.. Is it normal not to be able to really tell how high off the ground you are? I worries me that I'll land nose wheel first so that's why I tend to flare early on, and then as the nose up attitude increases, my forward visibility is limited even further, and I'm afraid to glance out the side window down towards the wheel to gauge my height, because I'm also afraid of losing the center line.

All things I hope I'll overcome with time. I only hope I don't really botch one of these landings eventually and be denied a rental!


User currently offlinebri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 6261 times:

Quoting xero9 (Reply 11):
Is it normal not to be able to really tell how high off the ground you are?

It comes with practice. You get used to using your peripheral vision for cues. I don't find any fast rule works, such as where to line up rivets or cowlings etc. because every runway is different. When you are used to a narrow runway and then land on a wide runway, you may tend to flare early, because you see the sides of the runway in your peripheral vision sooner (at a higher altitude) than you do on a narrower runway. This part just takes practice.

Ask your CFI to take a landing, and pay close attention to the sight picture at the various stages. The touchdown is really 3 stages: First, transition from a nose-down to a level attitude just a couple feet off the runway (watch the horizon move downwards). Second, gradually reduce the airspeed while maintaining altitude by increasing back pressure (watch the horizon move downwards some more). Third, when the wing stops flying, slowly settle onto the mains (watch the sides of the runway in your peripheral vision to judge altitude). If you get comfortable with the sight picture out the windscreen during each of these three phases, it will become natural with practice.



Position and hold
User currently offlineDashTrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1528 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 6223 times:

One other thing. If your 150 has arm rests, use them to anchor your elbows. Don't move them off the arm rest. I know there's not one in the center, but you don't have that hand on the yoke anyway.

After a few thousand hours, don't ask me to land an airplane with no armrests. It will result in an investigation.....


User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 59
Reply 14, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6218 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

The three best pieces of advice I've learned (with regard to landing the 150/152):

1 - Force yourself to focus on the far end of the runway through the flare and landing. It might feel strange to not look at the section of runway immediately in front of you, but I bet your landings will improve

2 - In the flare, when judging your height and anticipating when your main gear will touch down, simply challenge yourself to not let the mains touch. Challenge yourself to see how long you can hold the mains 6 inches off the runway. When I concentrated only on this, and not on trying to touch down, my landings improved quite a bit.

3 - If one of your feet continually falls asleep and bothers you, remove your wallet.  



Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlinexero9 From Canada, joined Feb 2007, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6203 times:

Quoting GolfOscarDelta (Reply 10):
My first few landings were pretty decent/normal and my instructor said i was ready to solo and then it all went to the dogs. My landings started getting worse and one day they sucked so bad that after just 3 touch'n'go's my instructor called it a day

Whew okay so it's NOT just me! Let me ask you this, because my instructor was optimistic about me soloing very shortly after having a good run.. Did you end up having to go up them a few more times than expected?

I will certainly apply your advice the next time I'm up

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 14):
1 - Force yourself to focus on the far end of the runway through the flare and landing. It might feel strange to not look at the section of runway immediately in front of you, but I bet your landings will improve

I really need to get this through my brain too. I think I've just been way too focused on looking right at the nose of the plane looking to see if I've drifted or not aligned with the center line.

The funny part is, I'm sure soon I'll probably look back and this and go "but it's so easy, why couldn't I do it before!". Until then, I'll be mindful of putting a sideways load on the gear. I'd rather set it down harder than I should instead of sideways. It's not a nice feeling, that's for sure.

Quoting GolfOscarDelta (Reply 10):
Thats dangerous territory for your mental perception of your flying skills ... my advice is don't go in there ... you might end up beating yourself up ... i sure know i did.

True enough. I believe the minimum in Canada is 15 hours, which I'm passed. I was hoping somewhere around the 25 hour make, which doesn't seem likely. I think though once I get passed my landing issues I'll be okay. I caught on pretty quickly with the rest of the exercises. I'll try obtaining my PPL as close to the 45 hour minimum as possible, so it'll balance it self out hopefully :P


User currently offlineLemmy From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 258 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6196 times:

Quoting DashTrash (Reply 2):
Small corrections are the key, unless you need a big correction.

Words to live by.



I am a patient boy ...
User currently offlineDesertFlyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 515 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6100 times:

I'm not going to give you technical advice on how to fly the plane because I think everyone here has already handed you some great advice. Instead I'll get a bit more into the mental aspect of flying the plane. Here is my take on it from getting my PPL almost exactly 3 years ago. Landings were easily my most difficult challenge. Pretty much all other aspects of flying the plane gave me no trouble and I was very natural, but landings gave me a lot of stress. Like you, some days were ok, some were horrible. I had two different instructors over the course of getting my PPL, and especially the second one was not patient with my inconsistent landings. This made it worse for me. The first instructor I had was usually relaxed and would take time with me, and in fact I flew with her right before testing for my PPL to get a boost of confidence, it's one of the best things I ever did.

So don't get down on yourself. Landings are tougher for some than others, don't let your instructor getting frustrated put weight on you. The best thing you can do is keep practicing, and you WILL get it. The more often you get it, the more your confidence in your decision making will build and the better you will do. That's what it boiled down to for me and I wish someone had given me this advice back then.

[Edited 2010-03-12 14:35:47]

User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2825 posts, RR: 45
Reply 18, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6038 times:

Quoting bri2k1 (Reply 1):
No matter how good you get, you can still improve. There's a little magic involved in every landing in my opinion. Sometimes, when you're not expecting it, like during a bumpy, turbulent approach, you can surprise yourself and come out with the smoothest landing of all times. Other times, on a severe calm day, you can bounce down the runway like Captain Kangaroo (note: practice your go-arounds, too).

Very true, my friend. I have several landings in my logbook at this point, and despite having flown my current aircraft for well over 10,000 hours, I still get surprised (either good or bad) on occasion. Relax about the landings. They take time, and they are a blend of science and art: counting them is fine for your logbook, but different people learn at different paces and in different ways. The important thing is that you practice often and don't measure yourself against others.

Quoting DashTrash (Reply 2):
You have 19 landings, 2 of them were good, one of which was the first.... Sounds like a good track record!

I agree with Dash, here. 19 is such a small number compared to what you will have in a lifetime of flying that the quality of any of them in particular is statistically meaningless. Again, relax about the landings, and talk to your instructor. If you are doing well in the other phases of flight, I would look into having a couple of hours of instruction with a different instructor who may be able to provide some insight or a technique that gets through to you better. It's not an insult to your instructor, it's your training!

Quoting xero9 (Reply 3):
Bri, I think one of my big problems is judging just how far above the ground I am. I've concluded it's all luck if I flare at the right time or not.

Join the club!   That's a problem all of us have at times, sometimes the ground surprises even very experienced people! Ditto on timing the flare...the two can't be separated anyway!

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 4):
I highly recommend that you find a book called "Stick and Rudder." It's a MUST READ for anyone, whether the student pilot in the 152, or the 10,000 hour grizzled airline captain.

I don't know that I'm "grizzled", but I do agree with this suggestion. When you get more advanced the other must read book is "Fly the Wing" by Jim Webb; you don't have to wait to read it, but I would read "Stick and Rudder" first, for sure.

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 8):
How did your CFI tell you to adjust your seat height, by the way?

Bingo! I was going to mention that exact same thing. Seat adjustment is even more important in bigger aircraft, but it is critical that you adjust your seat THE SAME WAY EVERY TIME, or the landing will look different every time you fly, and your landings will never obtain consistency. There are a variety of methods to do this; if you haven't discussed this with your CFI, do so without fail next time you fly! It WILL make a huge difference.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 14):
1 - Force yourself to focus on the far end of the runway through the flare and landing. It might feel strange to not look at the section of runway immediately in front of you, but I bet your landings will improve

I hesitate to give specific advice without being in the aircraft with you, but a common error is focusing to close during the roundout and flare.


User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2760 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6022 times:

Quoting xero9 (Thread starter):
I'm current at about 24 hours, with 19 landings under my belt.

That sounds reasonable to me. When I instructed I would guess that most of my students were around 30-35 landings when they first soloed. Maybe I was a bit paranoid, but I wanted to make sure they could handle engine failures in the pattern, unexpected crosswinds, and regular landings consistently. 20 landings just isn't enough to teach all of that and then see consistent performance from a student.

If it makes you feel any better, I had some long gaps between lessons that set me back and I had 28 hours and 51 landings before soloing.



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineGlom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2818 posts, RR: 10
Reply 20, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6011 times:

Quoting xero9 (Thread starter):
We had a bit of a crosswind from the left, and the right wheel landed first, which isn't good.

That's good in a crosswind, isn't it?

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 8):
Learning the "scan" comes later. Right now concentrate on flying the plane while mainly looking outside.

Monitoring the ASI is essential because winds screw up any hope of being able to judge speed on approach. But otherwise, keep most of the gaze outside. The sooner HUDs become prevalent the better.

Quoting xero9 (Thread starter):
(oddly enough, the very first one)

Know the feeling. My last several approaches have been poor. Far too much energy.


User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5981 times:

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 18):
There are a variety of methods to do this; if you haven't discussed this with your CFI, do so without fail next time you fly!

        

MANY CFIs overlook this. It is extremely important.

Dunno about the 150 but in the 172 your eyes should be level with the top of the of the line where the window ends and the door frame begins.

The other method, which is my preferred one as it works in most planes, is to set the seat height just high enough so the top of the glareshield/panel just barely covers the tip of the nose cowling in such a way that any slight leaning forward will expose more of the cowling.

Of course all this must be "measured" while properly seated, not leaning forward or slouched or any of that crap.

Quoting Glom (Reply 20):
The sooner HUDs become prevalent the better.

HUDs are for cheaters and lazy people  


User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6037 posts, RR: 14
Reply 22, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5972 times:

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 21):
Quoting PGNCS (Reply 18):
There are a variety of methods to do this; if you haven't discussed this with your CFI, do so without fail next time you fly!

        

MANY CFIs overlook this. It is extremely important.

Dunno about the 150 but in the 172 your eyes should be level with the top of the of the line where the window ends and the door frame begins.

This is why transport aircraft have alignment devices to ensure that each and every time you sit down, you are right where you need to be.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlinemoose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2323 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5953 times:

Quoting xero9 (Reply 3):
Bri, I think one of my big problems is judging just how far above the ground I am. I've concluded it's all luck if I flare at the right time or not.

A hundred years ago, flying the KC-135, one of the practice maneuvers we did in training was a landing attitude demo. You would fly the airplane down to the flare, add a little power, then hold the landing attitude down the runway until it was time to go around. It let you get a sense of the proper view out the front, the correct pitch angle, as well as a feeling of how high above the ground you should be. You might want to ask your instructor to do something similar, so you can see how it should look.

One time, while flying the T-38 in UPT, I had to do a practice heavy weight, single-engine approach and landing. After initial takeoff, I drive it around the pattern and line up for a straight in visual approach. I had that thing nailed - on airspeed, lined up on centerline, the VASIs looked perfect. Just as I'm thinking this is going to be the best landing in the history of manned flight, I hear the instructor yell "FLARE" over the intercom, followed immediately by a huge BOOM.  Wow! I was expecting to see the gear struts poking through the top of the wing. I guess it wasn't really that bad, as we continued the touch and go and headed out to do some air work, but it's something I've never forgotten.  



KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
User currently offlinebassbonebobo From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 66 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5918 times:

Quoting Glom (Reply 20):

Quoting xero9 (Thread starter):
We had a bit of a crosswind from the left, and the right wheel landed first, which isn't good.


That's good in a crosswind, isn't it?

No. Upwind main first

Quoting xero9 (Thread starter):

The fact that you realize that your landings are not as good as they could or should be is half the battle. I have flown with several people that had no idea that their landings were terrible. Your best bet is to have the instructor demonstrate a landing for you. Focus hard on everything that is going on (the sight picture, control inputs, etc.). When you know what a good, stablized approach and landing is supposed to look like compare your approaches to that. DO NOT FOCUS ON THE LANDING ALONE. A perfect landing requires a perfect approach. When I have one of my particularly craptacular landings I can usually trace it back to a mistake that I made very early in the approach (usually during or prior to the base-to-final turn). What has helped me most, in all of my training, has been to talk my way through everything. It helps you remember what to do and do it consistently. It will also help your instructor when and where you are making any mistakes.

The most important thing is to relax and have fun.



Rule #176. Any device that can crawl across the table on medium, does not need to be brought into the office.
25 Post contains images GolfOscarDelta : ...trying to maintain the damn thing on the centerline i was looking only a short distance ahead => my flares were high or low but mostly high. An
26 PGNCS : Yes there are, but since I don't know how his aircraft is equipped (I am guessing it does not have a design eye reference point indicator of any sort
27 Post contains images xero9 : Hehe, thanks for the great replies guys, you have no idea how much it's helped mentally, and will try to put the advice to use the next time I'm up in
28 Post contains images Zkpilot : Most important thing once you cross the threshold is to look towards the horizon at the end of the runway, this will help prevent you from floating an
29 musang : There's a fair amount of good advice so far. Your only problem will be to distill and summarise it! Doubt it. She probably decided your heart wasn't i
30 Goldenshield : I don't know of a light aircraft that does. In the case of the 152, you can't go up and down with the seat, so the only way to achieve height over th
31 2H4 : On this note, I recommend heading out to the airport on a not-so-busy day, pulling the airplane out of the hangar, and simply sitting in it for a whi
32 Glom : Of course. It's much more clear when you read what was originally said.
33 musang : Goldenshield. Acknowledged, with apologies. I must have highlighted the quote then somehow clicked "quote selected text" in one of your replies. Regar
34 Fly2HMO : There's been a glitch in the quote system lately. You're not the only one.
35 RJ111 : Learning to flare is very much trial and error i found. Sometimes giving lots of advice can just boggle your mind. You have to learn how to do it your
36 Fly2HMO : Ah yes another good one I forgot about. SMOOTHLY reduce the power while simultaneously pitching up as you rotate. "Chop and drop" is good for short f
37 cobra27 : it will work out eventually. My technique is a little extra speed (if the airflield is loong enough) and slowly down to earth. Someaircraft are just b
38 alwaysontherun : Interesting thread with some good posts! I am only a green LSA (Ultra Light) student, but I do recognize the problems that Xero9 faces. Especially the
39 Post contains images soon7x7 : If you are having confidence issues with aspects of flight that is normal, if you think what you are experiencing is abnormal, or you are not progress
40 alwaysontherun : Pictures, anyone??? Youtube??? I guess once you think you´ve seen it all and you don´t need to learn nothing anymore…………it starts to get da
41 Post contains images soon7x7 : No...cameras at KISP=vorbotten!
42 Alias1024 : I had a student that had major problems with this. I'd tell him to release the death grip and try to be smooth with the controls. No luck. I'd tell h
43 Tams747 : Just keep practicing and dont get discouraged, it will come with experience just like everyone has said already. Not every landing will be something t
44 ThirtyEcho : All 19 of them were good; some were better than others. Quit evaluating yourself on the basis of landings. Landings are how the non-pilot passenger i
45 Fly2HMO : Amen! A lot of newbies put too much importance in landings. You can not possibly master landings until after you've mastered all other aircraft maneu
46 rcair1 : This is a big one - I was scanning down all these looking for this. One of the biggest things I found to make my landing better was not to focus righ
47 tams747 : What retractables are you flying were a little side load will fold it up? That would have to be a really bad landing
48 ThirtyEcho : He didn't say that it was a little side load; apparently, it was a real boinger. A big side load against the direction of retraction is seldom troubl
49 Post contains images tams747 : Taildragger I agree with completely. I fly a 150 with the spring steel gear everyday, I dont really ever side load it at all but there are people on o
50 ThirtyEcho : I have many, many hours and landings in spring steel geared Cessnas from back in the 1960s and 70s. I wasn't implying that a fixed gear airplane woul
51 Post contains images goldenshield : I agree, they are very rugged. Since the 152 and172 were both meant as trainers/entry level aircraft, the gear had to be. I'm trying to find the pict
52 tams747 : Thats a bad day for both of those pilots! That would have be really scary to be in that cessna.
53 Post contains images 2H4 : Always good to have another NIFA person around. Indeed. I watched a Mooney bounce once, come down on one main first, and fold it up. The best caption
54 PGNCS : You make a very valid point, and I appreciate you bringing the lack of vertical adjustment up (I haven't flown a 152 in probably 15 years, so I apolo
55 ThirtyEcho : Agreed. Good landings come from good approaches. You aren't giving away all of your secrets for success, are you? Your C150 has those marvelous 40 de
56 N6238P : I've done tons of time with my flight team doing landings in the 152 and the one thing that stays constant from this all the way to flying a light twi
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