Teaching Landings: General Aviation: 100 Years of Safety Experience
What’s a landing? A landing is the successful transition of an aircraft from flying … to a stop on the surface where the pilot intended.
What’s a good landing? • Helpful definitions: • If you can walk away, it’s a good landing. • If you can reuse the airplane, it’s a great landing. • Alternate definition: • Airplane on ground. Crew alive. Mission success.
Why am I here? • Reduce the number of landing accidents, and • Reduce the number of fatalities • Exchange ideas • Improve teaching
Landings Number Four on the NTSB List • Landings are 30.3% of Accidents . . . and are 4.7% of Fatal Accidents compared to • Climb phase accidents are 2.9% of Total . . . and are 4.7% of Fatal Accidents
How dangerous is landing? Year 2009 per 2010 Nall report: • 348 landing accidents • Only 6 were fatal. • TOO MANY FATALITIES!!! • TOO MANY ACCIDENTS!!!
Why fatalities? -- NTSB Year 2006 per NTSB 2010 report: • Botched crosswind approach, hit tree on go-around at approach end • Bounce, PIO, VMC roll on go-around (multi-engine) • Botched water landing (seaplane) • Wheels-down water landing (seaplane) • Broken crankshaft, off-field
Which is more important, long life or check ride? • Saving lives should be our first concern. • It’s more important to teach safety than to prepare for the check ride. • Do we agree?
Forum Priorities • Primarily, we’ll talk about preventing landing accidents. • How to teach the necessary skills so they won’t be forgotten. • Afterwards, we can talk about making beautiful landings.
If landing is safe,what is dangerous? • A badly executed approach • A botched go-around • In 2008 one fatal undershoot • In 2008 three fatal overshoots
Two elements of landing • Directional Control • Energy Management
What are the results of bad Directional Control? • Directional Control problems lead to bent airplanes and bruised egos, but generally, not to fatalities. • We’ll return to this topic
What is energy management? • Use of • Throttle • Elevator • To get the aircraft down to runway • At the right place • At the right speed
What are the principles of energy management? • Landing will not occur if the airplane is going too fast. • Arrival will be rough if the airplane is going too slow. • Damage is related to kinetic energy.
What is a Stabilized Approach? • “ . . . a constant angle glidepath towards a predetermined point on the landing runway.” What does it look like? • “. . . during a stabilized approach the apparent runway shape does not change.” Reference Airplane Flying Handbook page 8-8.
Where should you aim? • Aim 1/6 of the way down the runway • The descent angle should be controlled throughout the approach so that the airplane will land in the center of the first third of the runway.
What is the right approach speed? • What the manufacturer suggests • Or in its absence, 1.3 x VSO
What is the right approach speed in gusty conditions? • What the manufacturer suggests • Or in its absence • 1.3 x stall speedplus • Half the gust factor
Do you agree? If you fly a stabilized approach at the right speed, you are unlikely to hurt yourself.
What do bounces and PIO have in common? • Are they the result of a preoccupation with landing? • … rather than maintaining a landing attitude at the runway ?
Secrets to the Perfect Landing • There are three secrets to a perfect landing. • Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
How many crosswind approach techniques are there? The Airplane Flying Handbook describes two: • Wing-low (sideslip) method • Crab method Which do you teach? Why?
How many crosswind touchdown techniques are there? The Airplane Flying Handbook describes one: Wing-low (sideslip) Even if using a crab, the approach must be converted to wing-low before touchdown.
What about special situations? • When, if ever, do you retract flaps on a short-field landing? • What is different in an engine-out situation?
What about particular airplanes? • What is different about retractable landing gear? • Do we need to talk about conventional gear? • Any ski plane instructors here? • Any seaplane instructors here?
Any closing advice? • Every takeoff is optional; landings are mandatory. • NOT SO. • Every landing is optional, unless you are on fire or out of gas. • If in doubt, GO AROUND.
Summary Landings: • Retention of pilot skills • Energy management • Stabilized approach • Different crosswind techniques
Thanks WWW.SAFEPILOTS.ORG Best in Flight Morristown WWW.BESTINFLIGHT.net Thank you to Robert Hadow, BEST in FLIGHT, for his insight, time, and expertise in developing this Forum. Please give credit to these organizations when using the presentation or material from the presentation. WWW.FAASAFETY.GOV