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Airplane Flying Handbook
Approaches and Landings
Stabilized Approach Concept

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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



Runway shape during stabilized approach.
Figure 8-10. Runway shape during stabilized approach.

Immediately after rolling out on final approach, the
pilot should adjust the pitch attitude and power so that
the airplane is descending directly toward the aiming
point at the appropriate airspeed. The airplane should
be in the landing configuration, and trimmed for
"hands off" flight. With the approach set up in this
manner, the pilot will be free to devote full attention
toward outside references. The pilot should not stare at
any one place, but rather scan from one point to
another, such as from the aiming point to the horizon,
to the trees and bushes along the runway, to an area
well short of the runway, and back to the aiming point.
In this way, the pilot will be more apt to perceive a
deviation from the desired glidepath, and whether or
not the airplane is proceeding directly toward the
aiming point.

Change in runway shape if approach becomes narrow or steep.
Figure 8-11. Change in runway shape if approach becomes narrow or steep.

If the pilot perceives any indication that the aiming
point on the runway is not where desired, an adjustment
must be made to the glidepath. This in turn will move
the aiming point. For instance, if the pilot perceives that
the aiming point is short of the desired touchdown
point and will result in an undershoot, an increase in
pitch attitude and engine power is warranted. A constant
airspeed must be maintained. The pitch and power
change, therefore, must be made smoothly and
simultaneously. This will result in a shallowing of
the glidepath with the resultant aiming point moving
towards the desired touchdown point. Conversely,
if the pilot perceives that the aiming point is farther
down the runway than the desired touchdown point
and will result in an overshoot, the glidepath should be
steepened by a simultaneous decrease in pitch attitude
and power. Once again, the airspeed must be held constant.
It is essential that deviations from the desired
glidepath be detected early, so that only slight and
infrequent adjustments to glidepath are required.

The closer the airplane gets to the runway, the larger
(and possibly more frequent) the required corrections
become, resulting in an unstabilized approach.