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Airplane Flying Handbook
Approaches and Landings
Short-Field Approach and Landing

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Airplane Flying Handbook


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



Unstabilized approach.

Because the final approach over obstacles is made at a
relatively steep approach angle and close to the airplane's
stalling speed, the initiation of the roundout or
flare must be judged accurately to avoid flying into the
ground, or stalling prematurely and sinking rapidly. A
lack of floating during the flare, with sufficient control
to touch down properly, is one verification that the
approach speed was correct.

Touchdown should occur at the minimum controllable
airspeed with the airplane in approximately the pitch
attitude that will result in a power-off stall when the
throttle is closed. Care must be exercised to avoid closing
the throttle too rapidly before the pilot is ready for
touchdown, as closing the throttle may result in an
immediate increase in the rate of descent and a hard

Upon touchdown, the airplane should be held in this
positive pitch attitude as long as the elevators remain
effective. This will provide aerodynamic braking to
assist in deceleration.

Immediately upon touchdown, and closing the throttle,
appropriate braking should be applied to minimize the

after-landing roll. The airplane should be stopped
within the shortest possible distance consistent with
safety and controllability. If the proper approach speed
has been maintained, resulting in minimum float
during the roundout, and the touchdown made at
minimum control speed, minimum braking will be

Common errors in the performance of short-field
approaches and landings are:
• Failure to allow enough room on final to set up
the approach, necessitating an overly steep
approach and high sink rate.
• Unstabilized approach.
• Undue delay in initiating glidepath corrections.
• Too low an airspeed on final resulting in inability
to flare properly and landing hard.
• Too high an airspeed resulting in floating on
• Prematurely reducing power to idle on roundout
resulting in hard landing.
• Touchdown with excessive airspeed.
• Excessive and/or unnecessary braking after
• Failure to maintain directional control.