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


If the airspeed on final approach is excessive, it will usually result in the airplane floating. [Figure 8-34] Before touchdown can be made, the airplane may be well past the desired landing point and the available runway may be insufficient. When diving an airplane on final approach to land at the proper point, there will be an appreciable increase in airspeed. The proper touchdown attitude cannot be established without producing an excessive angle of attack and lift. This will cause the airplane to gain altitude or balloon.

Floating during roundout Figure 8-34. Floating during roundout.

Any time the airplane floats, judgment of speed, height, and rate of sink must be especially acute. The pilot must smoothly and gradually adjust the pitch attitude as the airplane decelerates to touchdown speed and starts to settle, so the proper landing attitude is attained at the moment of touchdown. The slightest error in judgment and timing will result in either ballooning or bouncing.

The recovery from floating will depend on the amount of floating and the effect of any crosswind, as well as the amount of runway remaining. Since prolonged floating utilizes considerable runway length, it should be avoided especially on short runways or in strong crosswinds. If a landing cannot be made on the first third of the runway, or the airplane drifts sideways, the pilot should EXECUTE A GO-AROUND.

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PED Publication