Chapter 8—Approaches and Landings

Table of Contents
Normal Approach and Landing
    Base Leg
    Final Approach
    Use of Flaps
    Estimating Height and Movement
    Roundout (Flare)
    After-Landing Roll
    Stabilized Approach Concept

Intentional Slips
Go-Arounds (Rejected Landings)
    Ground Effect

Crosswind Approach and Landing
    Crosswind Final Approach
    Crosswind Roundout (Flare)
    Crosswind Touchdown
    Crosswind After-Landing Roll
    Maximum Safe Crosswind Velocities

Turbulent Air Approach and Landing
Short-Field Approach and Landing
Soft-Field Approach and Landing

Power-Off Accuracy Approaches
    90° Power-Off Approach
    180° Power-Off Approach
    360° Power-Off Approach

Emergency Approaches and Landings (Simulated)

Faulty Approaches and Landings
    Low Final Approach
    High Final Approach
    Slow Final Approach
    Use of Power
    High Roundout
    Late or Rapid Roundout
    Floating During Roundout
    Ballooning During Roundout
    Bouncing During Touchdown
    Hard Landing
    Touchdown in a Drift or Crab
    Ground Loop
    Wing Rising After Touchdown

    Dynamic Hydroplaning
    Reverted Rubber Hydroplaning
    Viscous Hydroplaning


The 180° power-off approach is executed by gliding with the power off from a given point on a downwind leg to a preselected landing spot. [Figure 8-27] It is an extension of the principles involved in the 90° power- off approach just described. Its objective is to further develop judgment in estimating distances and glide ratios, in that the airplane is flown without power from a higher altitude and through a 90° turn to reach the base-leg position at a proper altitude for executing the 90° approach.

180° power-off approach Figure 8-27. 180° power-off approach.

The 180° power-off approach requires more planning and judgment than the 90° power-off approach. In the execution of 180° power-off approaches, the airplane is flown on a downwind heading parallel to the landing runway. The altitude from which this type of approach should be started will vary with the type of airplane, but it should usually not exceed 1,000 feet above the ground, except with large airplanes. Greater accuracy in judgment and maneuvering is required at higher altitudes.

When abreast of or opposite the desired landing spot, the throttle should be closed and altitude maintained while decelerating to the manufacturer’s recommended glide speed, or 1.4 VSO. The point at which the throttle is closed is the downwind key position.

The turn from the downwind leg to the base leg should be a uniform turn with a medium or slightly steeper bank. The degree of bank and amount of this initial turn will depend upon the glide angle of the airplane and the velocity of the wind. Again, the base leg should be positioned as needed for the altitude, or wind condition. Position the base leg to conserve or dissipate altitude so as to reach the desired landing spot.

The turn onto the base leg should be made at an altitude high enough and close enough to permit the airplane to glide to what would normally be the base key position in a 90° power-off approach.

Although the key position is important, it must not be overemphasized nor considered as a fixed point on the ground. Many inexperienced pilots may gain a conception of it as a particular landmark, such as a tree, crossroad, or other visual reference, to be reached at a certain altitude. This will result in a mechanical conception and leave the pilot at a total

loss any time such objects are not present. Both altitude and geographical location should be varied as much as is practical to eliminate any such conception. After reaching the base key position, the approach and landing are the same as in the 90° power-off approach.

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PED Publication