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Airplane Flying Handbook
Approaches and Landings
Normal 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



Effect of flaps on the landing point.
Figure 8-3. Effect of flaps on the landing point.

Considering the factors that affect the descent angle on
the final approach, for all practical purposes at a given
pitch attitude there is only one power setting for one
airspeed, one flap setting, and one wind condition.
A change in any one of these variables will require
an appropriate coordinated change in the other controllable
variables. For example, if the pitch attitude
is raised too high without an increase of power, the
airplane will settle very rapidly and touch down
short of the desired spot. For this reason, the pilot
should never try to stretch a glide by applying backelevator
pressure alone to reach the desired landing
spot. This will shorten the gliding distance if power is
not added simultaneously. The proper angle of descent
and airspeed should be maintained by coordinating
pitch attitude changes and power changes.
The objective of a good final approach is to descend at
an angle and airspeed that will permit the airplane to
reach the desired touchdown point at an airspeed
which will result in minimum floating just before
touchdown; in essence, a semi-stalled condition. To
accomplish this, it is essential that both the descent
angle and the airspeed be accurately controlled. Since
on a normal approach the power setting is not fixed as
in a power-off approach, the power and pitch attitude
should be adjusted simultaneously as necessary, to
control the airspeed, and the descent angle, or to attain
the desired altitudes along the approach path. By lowering

the nose and reducing power to keep approach
airspeed constant, a descent at a higher rate can be
made to correct for being too high in the approach.
This is one reason for performing approaches with partial
power; if the approach is too high, merely lower
the nose and reduce the power. When the approach is
too low, add power and raise the nose.

The lift/drag factors may also be varied by the pilot to
adjust the descent through the use of landing flaps.
[Figures 8-3 and 8-4] Flap extension during landings
provides several advantages by:
• Producing greater lift and permitting lower
landing speed.
• Producing greater drag, permitting a steep
descent angle without airspeed increase.
• Reducing the length of the landing roll.
Flap extension has a definite effect on the airplane's
pitch behavior. The increased camber from flap deflection
produces lift primarily on the rear portion of the
wing. This produces a nosedown pitching moment;
however, the change in tail loads from the downwash
deflected by the flaps over the horizontal tail has a
significant influence on the pitching moment.
Consequently, pitch behavior depends on the design
features of the particular airplane.

Effect of flaps on the approach angle.
Figure 8-4. Effect of flaps on the approach angle.