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Airplane Flying Handbook
Approaches and Landings
360° Power-Off Approach

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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




The 360° power-off approach is one in which the airplane
glides through a 360° change of direction to
the preselected landing spot. The entire pattern is
designed to be circular, but the turn may be shallowed,
steepened, or discontinued at any point to adjust the
accuracy of the flightpath.
The 360° approach is started from a position over the
approach end of the landing runway or slightly to the
side of it, with the airplane headed in the proposed
landing direction and the landing gear and flaps
retracted. [Figure 8-28]
It is usually initiated from approximately 2,000 feet or
more above the ground—where the wind may vary significantly
from that at lower altitudes. This must be
taken into account when maneuvering the airplane to a
point from which a 90° or 180° power-off approach
can be completed.
After the throttle is closed over the intended point of
landing, the proper glide speed should immediately be
established, and a medium-banked turn made in the
desired direction so as to arrive at the downwind key
position opposite the intended landing spot. At or just
beyond the downwind key position, the landing gear
may be extended if the airplane is equipped with
retractable gear. The altitude at the downwind key
position should be approximately 1,000 to 1,200 feet
above the ground.

After reaching that point, the turn should be continued
to arrive at a base-leg key position, at an altitude of
about 800 feet above the terrain. Flaps may be used at
this position, as necessary, but full flaps should not be
used until established on the final approach.
The angle of bank can be varied as needed throughout
the pattern to correct for wind conditions and to align
the airplane with the final approach. The turn-to-final
should be completed at a minimum altitude of 300 feet
above the terrain.
Common errors in the performance of power-off accuracy
approaches are:
• Downwind leg too far from the runway/landing
• Overextension of downwind leg resulting from
• Inadequate compensation for wind drift on base
• Skidding turns in an effort to increase gliding
• Failure to lower landing gear in retractable gear
• Attempting to "stretch" the glide during undershoot.
• Premature flap extension/landing gear extension.
• Use of throttle to increase the glide instead of
merely clearing the engine.
• Forcing the airplane onto the runway in order to
avoid overshooting the designated landing spot.

360° power-off approach.
Figure 8-28. 360° power-off approach.