Landing.

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C.W.E.
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Landing.

Post by C.W.E. » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:18 pm

..........
The following is how I teach and describe the approach and height judgement for the flare and height judgement after the flare.

First the approach from two hundred feet above the landing to the flare point::

I use a definable point on the runway as the flare point, usually the first big hash marks and runway numbers. This is the aim point for the flare on final, during the last fifty feet the aim point will start to grow in size and also appear to spread out in your vision, at about twenty feet the picture will become quite clear that you are about to fly into the runway. It is at this point that I start the flare with most light aircraft.

Note:

Rather than describe to the student what I am seeing I have them memorise what they observe during the approach by what they see as I call out each different height above the surface.

By using this method the student will quickly imprint the picture that she / he is seeing as they get closer and closer to the point they are aiming for.

( The method I use is having them memorise the closing rate and height above the flare point and touch down as I verbally call the the height they are passing.

Starting at two hundred feet, I verbally say one hundred feet, then fifty feet, then twenty five feet then at twenty feet " start the flare ".

Once established in the flare the height call outs become more frequent - fifteen , ten feet and from that height I call the closure by the foot,,, ten, nine , eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. )

Once the flare is started you then look straight ahead down the runway to the point where apparent movement of the runway markers towards you stops.

What is................... " Apparent movement of the runway towards you stops " ..........

There is a point ahead of the airplane where the apparent movement of the runway markers towards you will cease to move towards you, the closer to your position you look the faster the apparent movement becomes, the further away you look the slower this movement towards you becomes until it stops. This point will change with the speed of the airplane. This is what I describe as " The point at which apparent movement ceases. "

For small training airplanes that approach in the 50 to 70 knot speed envelope the point at which apparent movement of the runway marks towards you ceases will be approximately five hundred feet ahead of the airplane.

That is the distance ahead of the airplane that your centre of sight should be aimed at. This will give you the best picture that will allow you to best judge height looking to far ahead degrades your ability to judge height.

You can see the runway get closer in your peripheral vision as the runway movement close to the airplane changes. Also you can see the far end of the runway in the top of your peripheral vision, which is your attitude guide that allows you to change the attitude as speed and lift decays.

Ideally the airplane should contact the runway in the attitude that the stall occurs. ( Except wheel landings in taildraggers. )

If the nose blocks out your view ahead as you increase the nose up attitude during the hold off all you need do is move your head and sight line to the side and look along the side nose at the runway still using the same distance ahead that gives the picture you need.

Note as you slow down the runway movement picture moves progressively closer. ( About three to five hundred feet ahead is just about right at touch down.


I am willing to keep answering any and all questions about how I teach height and speed judgement, all I wish to do is make flying safer and easier for those who fly for the love of it.

This system works for me because I have been using it for many decades. I used to teach crop dusting where if you do not know how to accurately judge height and closure rate with the surface you can die in the crash into the ground.



By the way:::

I used a camcorder for all my advanced flight training, when the student starts to lose the picture during the training it is easy to review it right after the flight by stopping the video recording and asking the student where they nwere looking and what did they see at that exact time.

and explain where it started to go wrong and explain to them how to correct as soon as the picture changes.



(( The hardest thing about flying is knowing when to say no. ))
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Re: Landing.

Post by PilotDAR » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:32 pm

I'll give it a go!
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Re: Landing.

Post by C.W.E. » Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:00 pm

I'll give it a go!
How did it go?
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Re: Landing.

Post by FreelanceInstructor » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:35 pm

I've used a different approach to the flare, utilizing experience that the student should have already experienced almost on every single flight up until the landing phase of their training. Namely, power off glides(while pointing out the point of zero movement and configuring/trimming for best glide), cruise attitude, slow flight, and the stall. I'm having my students approach the runway after about 3-4 lessons in total, and consistently approach using the numbers as the point of no movement and closely monitoring attitude/altitude management with transfer of controls to me on short final. When the student is assured that a power off glide can be assured to the runway, power is reduced to idle and the flare is started as the aircraft crosses over the runway edge lights(~20' or so). Now, the flare is split into 2 stages. Stage 1: all the student needs to do is focus on pitching for the cruise attitude(4-finger reference) on most light GA aircraft while using the horizon. Hold it there. Stage 2: Once the aircraft begins to settle, stop the aircraft from sinking(exactly like the previously practiced stall) and mentally rehearse not to let the aircraft touch on the ground...of course we all know it will.

I've had a lot of success with this approach in the past with multiples of students, usually resulting in my student's soloing around the 10-12 hour mark. I feel like putting too much emphasis on an actual number for altitudes and airspeed gives the student too much to focus on on an already busy time during the flight. Attitude management being key, and the flare height according to what they feel is normal forces them to look the hell outside, and pay more attention to what the aircraft is telling them rather than what the gauges are telling them. VFR pilots folks, outside the aircraft will tell you almost everything you are going to need to know if taught properly.
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Re: Landing.

Post by C.W.E. » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:46 am

How accurate do you think your height above the runway should be after the flare FreelanceInstructor?
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Re: Landing.

Post by FreelanceInstructor » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:10 pm

C.W.E. wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:46 am
How accurate do you think your height above the runway should be after the flare FreelanceInstructor?
Well, for the most part it's pretty damn good, with the occasional hiccup since nothing is truly perfect. However, i've been kicking myself out of the right seat with my students to solo after about 2-3 dedicated flights of dual circuit training since I've given up on FTU's about 3 years ago. If the student truly understands what the point of zero movement is, what it means, and how it can be modified, the only time a student should be really far off of the appropriate height is a botched approach. Without really getting into the trigonometry of it, if i were to estimate the variance in height on the flare, i'd say it's probably got an accuracy in the order of ~5-10 feet. Coupled with the fact that the student should be paying attention to what's happening outside the aircraft instead of inside during the final stages of the approach, the student should already have a pretty good idea of a good height to start the flare, just by seeing about half a dozen to a dozen landings completed by the instructor.

Personally, I just think giving students numbers to aim for complicates things too much, at least for a PPL student. Sure, know your important speeds(Va, Vy, Vx, etc), however a simple look outside while VFR should be able to tell a pilot everything they need to know about what the aircraft is doing and how it's performing. The gauges in front of the pilot is nice to know information, similar to the tach in your vehicle while driving down the highway. Everyone can accelerate to the approximate speed on the highway, you only look down briefly to confirm the information you are seeing outside. I believe this is the single most important aspects of teaching a student how to fly that is often the failure of the instructor. I cringe when I hear the words "watch your airspeed" when a student is learning to land.
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Re: Landing.

Post by photofly » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:15 am

FreelanceInstructor wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:35 pm
Stage 1: all the student needs to do is focus on pitching for the cruise attitude(4-finger reference) on most light GA aircraft while using the horizon..
Didn’t you say finger references were reasons to find a new instructor? Or was that someone else?

I’m so confused.
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Re: Landing.

Post by FreelanceInstructor » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:21 am

photofly wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:15 am
FreelanceInstructor wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:35 pm
Stage 1: all the student needs to do is focus on pitching for the cruise attitude(4-finger reference) on most light GA aircraft while using the horizon..
Didn’t you say finger references were reasons to find a new instructor? Or was that someone else?

I’m so confused.
ya it was another guy in the "50 reasons why" thread.

Now, for what it's worth, the 4-finger reference is really only something to get the student used to the sight picture when they are green as can be. aka, attitudes and movements and just learning to trim the plane for cruise. 2-3 flights into training, a student should not/would not ever put their hand up on the dash again to set the attitude for cruise, they will be doing it visually while focusing on trim. I only use it to give the student a frame of reference to be used for the lessons to come in the very very early stages. I'm sure that if I didn't clear that up, I would probably be getting shit on in the very near future.
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Re: Landing.

Post by photofly » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:26 am

It’s not a lot of use in the flare, but I often use my thumb for checking approach angles:
https://www.av8n.com/how/htm/landing.html#sec-thumb

I like the shape of my thumb, and I always know where to find it.
I hope that doesn’t make me a bad person.
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Re: Landing.

Post by FreelanceInstructor » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:37 am

right, however it is an important skill to know what the cruise attitude is like when initially pitching up from the nose down approach angle in my method of teaching the landing. Especially in conditions like bumpy/gusty/turbulent conditions, all hands and feet are on deck. Even a student should be able to handle a few bumps, so I personally don't find it very useful to use any rules of thumb or site pictures using anything else other than your eye looking straight ahead of you...

Now, not saying this rule of thumb isn't useful, it's just not the way I'd teach it.
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Re: Landing.

Post by 5x5 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:28 am

photofly wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:26 am
I like the shape of my thumb, and I always know where to find it.
I hope that doesn’t make me a bad person.
Not sure why, but after reading the above I just felt compelled to post this -

Image
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Re: Landing.

Post by C.W.E. » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:48 am

the student should already have a pretty good idea of a good height to start the flare, just by seeing about half a dozen to a dozen landings completed by the instructor.
The flare height was not the height I was asking about FreelanceInstructor, my question was how accurate should height above the landing surface be right until touch down....

...for instance when doing a wheel landing in a conventional gear airplane the flare and touch down should be one smooth movement in pitch change that results in a smooth contact with the surface..

...which requires accurate height judgement wouldn't you agree?
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Re: Landing.

Post by C.W.E. » Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:20 am

Here is another explanation on height judgement I wrote for the Pprune forum several years ago when I was flying in Europe.



O.K. I will try and describe how I teach correct height judgement for the flare and height judgement after the flare.

First the flare:

I use a definable point on the runway as the flare point, usually the first big hash marks and runway numbers. This is the aim point on final, during the last fifty feet in a small airplane the aim point will start to grow in size and also appear to spread out in your vision, at about twenty feet the picture will become quite clear that you are about to fly into the runway. It is at this point that I start the flare with most light bug smashers.

Note:

Rather than describe to the student what I am seeing I have them memorise what they observe at the flare point, this avoids any misunderstanding of what I am trying to describe. By using this method the student will quickly imprint the picture that she / he is seeing.

Once the flare is started you then look straight ahead down the runway to the point where apparent movement of the runway markers stop.

What is................... " Apparent movement of the runway " ..........

There is a point ahead of the airplane where the eye will pick up the movement of the runway towards the airplane. This point will change with the speed of the airplane.

For little Bug Smashers that approach in the 50 to 70 knot speed envelope the apparent movement of the runway,,, runway marks, will be approximately five hundred feet ahead of the airplane.

That is the distance ahead of the airplane that your centre of sight should be aimed at. This will give you the proper picture that will allow you to best judge height.

The reason that this works is you can "see" the runway get closer in your peripheral vision as the runway movement close to the airplane changes. Also you can "see" the far end of the runway in the top of your peripheral vision, this is your attitude guide that allows you to change the attitude as speed and lift decays.

Ideally the airplane should contact the runway in the attitude that the stall occurs. ( Except wheel landings in taildraggers. )

If the nose blocks out your view ahead as you increase the nose up attitude during the hold off all you need do is move your head and sight line to the side and look along the side nose at the runway still using the same distance ahead that gives the picture that you need. Where apparent movement stops.

Note as you slow down the runway movement picture moves progressively closer. ( About three to five hundred feet ahead is just about right at touch down.


I have an excellent movie that was taken at Airbus Industries during my A320 training and I use it when describing what to look for when determining where the apparent runway movement stops. The beauty of the movie is I can stop it and show the point on the runway where this occurs, then start it up again.

Also the movie is perfect for the flare picture, the A320 approaches at a higher speed than a light aircraft but the picture remains the same when looking at the flare point, it just happens faster. ( oh by the way you don't actually flare an A320 like you do a Bug Smasher but the height judgement is the same. ( aided by the computer voice giving you exact height. )

I am willing to keep answering any and all questions about how I teach height and speed judgement, all I wish to do is make flying safer and easier for those who fly for the love of it.

My system works because I have been perfecting it for fifty years and I used to teach crop dusting where if you do not know how to accurately judge height and speed you die.

So if you all want me to keep explaining my method I am willing to type until everyone understands how I do it.

By the way:::

I use a camcorder for all my advanced flight training, when the student fu..s up it is easy to review it right after the flight and explain where it started to go wrong and how to prevent repeating the fu.. up.
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