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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



Maintaining the same viewing angle causes the point
of visual interception with the runway to move
progressively rearward toward the pilot as the airplane
loses altitude. This is an important visual cue in
assessing the rate of altitude loss. Conversely, forward
movement of the visual interception point will indicate
an increase in altitude, and would mean that the pitch
angle was increased too rapidly, resulting in an over
flare. Location of the visual interception point in
conjunction with assessment of flow velocity of nearby
off-runway terrain, as well as the similarity of
appearance of height above the runway ahead of the
airplane (in comparison to the way it looked when the
airplane was taxied prior to takeoff) is also used to
judge when the wheels are just a few inches above
the runway.

The pitch attitude of the airplane in a full-flap approach
is considerably lower than in a no-flap approach. To
attain the proper landing attitude before touching
down, the nose must travel through a greater pitch
change when flaps are fully extended. Since the roundout
is usually started at approximately the same height
above the ground regardless of the degree of flaps
used, the pitch attitude must be increased at a faster
rate when full flaps are used; however, the roundout
should still be executed at a rate proportionate to the
airplane's downward motion.

Once the actual process of rounding out is started, the
elevator control should not be pushed forward. If too
much back-elevator pressure has been exerted, this
pressure should be either slightly relaxed or held
constant, depending on the degree of the error. In some
cases, it may be necessary to advance the throttle
slightly to prevent an excessive rate of sink, or a stall, all
of which would result in a hard, drop-in type landing.

It is recommended that the student pilot form the habit
of keeping one hand on the throttle throughout the
approach and landing, should a sudden and unexpected
hazardous situation require an immediate application
of power.

The touchdown is the gentle settling of the airplane
onto the landing surface. The roundout and touchdown
should be made with the engine idling, and the airplane
at minimum controllable airspeed, so that the airplane
will touch down on the main gear at approximately
stalling speed. As the airplane settles, the proper
landing attitude is attained by application of whatever
back-elevator pressure is necessary.

Some pilots may try to force or fly the airplane onto
the ground without establishing the proper landing
attitude. The airplane should never be flown on
the runway with excessive speed. It is paradoxical that
the way to make an ideal landing is to try to hold the
airplane's wheels a few inches off the ground as
long as possible with the elevators. In most cases,
when the wheels are within 2 or 3 feet off the
ground, the airplane will still be settling too fast for
a gentle touchdown; therefore, this descent must be
retarded by further back-elevator pressure. Since
the airplane is already close to its stalling speed and
is settling, this added back-elevator pressure will
only slow up the settling instead of stopping it. At
the same time, it will result in the airplane touching
the ground in the proper landing attitude, and the
main wheels touching down first so that little or no
weight is on the nosewheel. [Figure 8-8]

After the main wheels make initial contact with the
ground, back-elevator pressure should be held to
maintain a positive angle of attack for aerodynamic
braking, and to hold the nosewheel off the ground until
the airplane decelerates. As the airplane's momentum
decreases, back-elevator pressure may be gradually
relaxed to allow the nosewheel to gently settle onto the
runway. This will permit steering with the nosewheel.
At the same time, it will cause a low angle of attack
and negative lift on the wings to prevent floating or
skipping, and will allow the full weight of the airplane
to rest on the wheels for better braking action.

A well executed roundout results in attaining the proper landing attitude.
Figure 8-8. A well executed roundout results in attaining the proper landing attitude.