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Airplane Flying Handbook
Transition to Jet Powered Airplanes
THE STABILIZED APPROACH

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Airplane Flying Handbook

Preface

Table of Contents

Chapter 1,Introduction to Flight Training
Chapter 2,Ground Operations
Chapter 3,Basic Flight Maneuvers
Chapter 4, Slow Flight, Stalls, and Spins
Chapter 5, Takeoff and Departure Climbs
Chapter 6, Ground Reference Maneuvers
Chapter 7, Airport Traffic Patterns
Chapter 8, Approaches and Landings
Chapter 9, Performance Maneuvers
Chapter 10, Night Operations
Chapter 11,Transition to Complex Airplanes
Chapter 12, Transition to Multiengine Airplanes
Chapter 13,Transition to Tailwheel Airplanes
Chapter 14, Transition to Turbo-propeller Powered Airplanes
Chapter 15,Transition to Jet Powered Airplanes
Chapter 16,Emergency Procedures

Glossary

Index

For most airports, the airplane will pass over the end
of the runway with the landing gear 30 – 45 feet above
the surface, depending on the landing flap setting and
the location of the touchdown zone. It will take 5 – 7
seconds from the time the airplane passes the end of
the runway until touchdown. The flare is initiated by
increasing the pitch attitude just enough to reduce the
sink rate to 100 – 200 feet per minute when the landing
gear is approximately 15 feet above the runway
surface. In most jet airplanes, this will require a pitch
attitude increase of only 1° to 3°. The thrust is
smoothly reduced to idle as the flare progresses.

The normal speed bleed off during the time between
passing the end of the runway and touchdown is 5
knots. Most of the decrease occurs during the flare
when thrust is reduced. If the flare is extended (held
off) while an additional speed is bled off, hundreds or
even thousands of feet of runway may be used up.
[Figure 15-25] The extended flare will also result in
additional pitch attitude which may lead to a tail strike.
It is, therefore, essential to fly the airplane onto the
runway at the target touchdown point, even if the
speed is excessive. A deliberate touchdown should be
planned and practiced on every flight. A positive
touchdown will help prevent an extended flare.

Pilots must learn the flare characteristics of each model
of airplane they fly. The visual reference cues observed
from each cockpit are different because window
geometry and visibility are different. The geometric
relationship between the pilot's eye and the landing
gear will be different for each make and model. It is
essential that the flare maneuver be initiated at the
proper height—not too high and not too low.

Beginning the flare too high or reducing the thrust too
early may result in the airplane floating beyond the
target touchdown point or may include a rapid pitch up
as the pilot attempts to prevent a high sink rate
touchdown. This can lead to a tail strike. The flare that
is initiated too late may result in a hard touchdown.

Proper thrust management through the flare is also
important. In many jet airplanes, the engines produce a
noticeable effect on pitch trim when the thrust setting
is changed. A rapid change in the thrust setting requires
a quick elevator response. If the thrust levers are
moved to idle too quickly during the flare, the pilot
must make rapid changes in pitch control. If the thrust
levers are moved more slowly, the elevator input can
be more easily coordinated.

Extended flare.
Figure 15-25. Extended flare.

 

15-23