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Normal landing touchdown attitude
Normal landing touchdown attitude

The perfect landing

The perfect landing technique explained

The most difficult part of learning to fly is, I think, the landing.  It is a precise series of steps that, when individually understood both aerodynamically and intellectually, result in a straight, soft landing no matter the wind conditions.  Since going solo for the first time I have been doing solo circuits, and have really been concentrating on my landing. Unbeknown to me, my landings, though soft are actually not that great.  Once I feel the aircraft sink I have a tendency to let go of the aircraft and let it sink, instead of holding off elevator pressure as long as I can.  This is one of the things that I have really noticed since I began flying solo.

Proper landing procedure

The proper landing procedure always follows a good approach. In the Cessna 172, this is approaching at 70 knots (with zero flaps) or 60 knots (with full flaps).  We can also use different degrees of flaps, such as 10, 20 or 30 depending on the 172 model.  Once we are over the runway threshold, and 2 -3 feet above the ground, we flare – using whatever works for you for knowing when to flare!  – I use the rule of when “the ground starts to come up so fast that something must be done about it.”

Once that is accomplished, you will feel the sink. My issue has been, that once I feel the sink I ‘give up’ and assume the aircraft is ready to land, and let it sink. This can result in a hard landing.  For me, I don’t get the hard landings but  tend to let my nose wheel touch down too soon. This can be dangerous as it can result in wheelbarrowing. The key is to hold the landing attitude as long as possible and bleed off your airspeed slowly.  So once you feel the sink, pull up until you have a very nose high attitude or high angle of attack.  This will cause the aircraft to sink slowly and incrementally. It will allow the main wheels to touch down first, and the landing will be soft.

What are your landings like? Comment below



About Alicja

Learning to fly at CYBW, no 6 for aircraft movements in Canada. I live in the Rockies, economist, writer, skier, climber, obsessed with mountains & aviation!