fundamental guidance on Captain Jake landing

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rod321
Senior Airman
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Location: Birmingham, England

fundamental guidance on Captain Jake landing

Post rod321 »

Hi Pilots

sometimes I land GA planes smoothly (I don't know why); mostly with a bounce or two or so (again, I don't know why)!

I know the book landing speed for given plane (be it Skylane @ 65 kts, Comanche @80 mph @ , Bonanza @80kts). I suspect that I'm landing too sharply once I'm down to 100 feet, especially when close to runway AND/OR still slightly too fast. I suspect I'm trying to avoid "long landings" and/or avoid stalling. And, I don't know where to "fix my eyes".

Many of you will be getting your landings right and will know how you are achieving this! PLEASE ADVISE.

(That said, I've just had a totally believable session flying Isle of Man to Blackpool (Bonanza N228Q; non-mipmap; ; 150 kts with 550 engine; swayin'-and-a-bobblin'; panel wonderfully full of features and controls (though I forgot I didn't need to put fuel pump ON for landing); immersive F1 750 GTN; brilliant Orbx scenery (HD buildings at take-off and approach); atmospheric P3D v4 weather theme 'building storms'.)

Rod
(EGBB; flying A2A and avoiding 30 deg sweltering sunshine, traffic jams and the occasional sneaky mosquito)

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AKar
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Re: fundamental guidance on Captain Jake landing

Post AKar »

My top two generic tips on landing GAs in sim environment with its limitations are:

1. Glide in for the landing. Usually you want to cut your power quite early and deplete your energy using elevator only. Even more early, if you come in fast. You are more than welcome to dip below the straight line during transition. There are situations where to do differently (such as coming steeply over obstacles to a very short field, for example), but those are exceptions.

2. You want to stall the airplane! Just judge your glide so that you are very low when you do. You don't of course end up stalling it (or even getting a nice stall warning) on each landing, but at least you'll be pretty close every time.

-Esa

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ClipperLuna
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Re: fundamental guidance on Captain Jake landing

Post ClipperLuna »

Not a CFI here, but I can tell you what helped me. The first thing was this video, for helping with timing the flare: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rv5HEJCyTuk. The other is, pay attention to where you put the nose relative to he horizon. I know that might sound obvious, but if I'm being perfectly honest, I don't think I really did until I thought about it. Pick it up slowly until it's just touching the horizon.

pjc747
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Re: fundamental guidance on Captain Jake landing

Post pjc747 »

Final approach speed isn't landing speed. The only speed you care about over the runway before actually landing the airplane is your ground speed. This is why we avoid a downwind landing in almost every case. 65 knots right over the runway will be far too fast in a C182. As your energy bleeds off over the runway, we want to convert remaining elevator authority into an appropriate pitch attitude for the plane so that we stall the plane the moment it touches down. The wing stalls exceeding the critical a.o.a., which is the max lift/drag point. We increase lift by increasing our nose up pitch. If we bring these things together as we are above the runway, rather than fixate on an airspeed, our landings will be far better. With a wind of 35 knots we could land hovering in place in a C182 with 40 degrees of flaps, but with zero wind we might not have enough runway to stop if we don't touch down right at the beginning of a 2,000ft runway. This is why groundspeed is our only velocity concern, as it indicates the energy we are approaching the earth with.

n421nj
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Re: fundamental guidance on Captain Jake landing

Post n421nj »

Practice practice practice
Andrew

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rod321
Senior Airman
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Joined: 16 Dec 2014
Location: Birmingham, England

Re: fundamental guidance on Captain Jake landing

Post rod321 »

Hi Pilots: Esa, Clipper Luna (&Rod Machado), pjc747, Andrew, et al

many thanks for your time and expert advice which I find exciting and precious. "Landing" seems a mundane topic and yet I am really thrilled with the outcome of this.
"By George, I think I've got it!" "Shazam! Kerpow! Eureka!"
After concentrating on your advice, I IMMEDIATELY got 3 out of 3 successful SMOOTH (BUMP-FREE, kerpow-free) LANDINGS; Bonanza at Gloucester (EGBJ), tipping down with rain (P3D theme 'grey and raining') with super A2A dynamic rain effects on windscreen.

So that's a good start, and now Andrew's "practise, practise, practise".

Previously, I just thought my notion of landing was adequate of "slow down, go low and gentle forward yolk (NOPE!)". Also, I mistakenly thought the 'landing approach speeds' were the same as touchdown speed!! So, now you've given me insights on errors and correct technique. To still crudely re-state what I interpret and did with the Bonanza without bump-landing:
1. achieve landing approach speed
2. at say 200 feet, REDUCE power by another 10kts
3. descend below 100-50feet and so on and GLIDE, level with runway
4. wait and see the sideways RUNWAY EXPANSION phenomenon
5. CUT THROTTLE TO idle
6. FLARE by easing YOLK BACK to lift engine COWLING to HORIZON
7. (gear wheels touch down first and then front wheel)

I'll give you all good notice when and where I'm in the air next!

I could not have achieved this without your help; which I will appreciate every flight.

Rod (EGBB)

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MaxZ
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Re: fundamental guidance on Captain Jake landing

Post MaxZ »

pjc747 wrote:
26 Aug 2019, 23:38
Final approach speed isn't landing speed. The only speed you care about over the runway before actually landing the airplane is your ground speed. This is why we avoid a downwind landing in almost every case. 65 knots right over the runway will be far too fast in a C182. As your energy bleeds off over the runway, we want to convert remaining elevator authority into an appropriate pitch attitude for the plane so that we stall the plane the moment it touches down. The wing stalls exceeding the critical a.o.a., which is the max lift/drag point. We increase lift by increasing our nose up pitch. If we bring these things together as we are above the runway, rather than fixate on an airspeed, our landings will be far better. With a wind of 35 knots we could land hovering in place in a C182 with 40 degrees of flaps, but with zero wind we might not have enough runway to stop if we don't touch down right at the beginning of a 2,000ft runway. This is why groundspeed is our only velocity concern, as it indicates the energy we are approaching the earth with.

Hi everyone! I have to strongly disagree to your opinion.
Groundspeed is the reason we pick different landing directions but it does in no way reflect how high or low you are on energy. Airspeed or better yet as you mentioned alpha should be your focus. Paired with a headwind component you'll have less GS than TAS.

Greetings,
Max

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Oracle427
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Re: fundamental guidance on Captain Jake landing

Post Oracle427 »

Absolutely agree with MaxZ.

Groundspeed is whatever you get and there are very many variables that affect it. The airspeed is king.
Flight Simmer since 1983. PP ASEL IR Tailwheel

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bobsk8
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Re: fundamental guidance on Captain Jake landing

Post bobsk8 »

Ground speed is irrelevant. Airspeed is what the aircraft reacts to.
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AKar
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Re: fundamental guidance on Captain Jake landing

Post AKar »

For sake of it, I throw a ball on ground speed. :)

You don't necessarily have an indication of it (at least I didn't back when I was active), but good old glider trick was to use your ground speed (as perceived) on downwind and base - or final if coming straight in - to judge some good extra to your final approach airspeed (and also to not turn on base too late in strong wind). Now, in many places when the wind is strong, you probably will have to deal with fairly strong wind gradient. This means that you can expect to lose some significant airspeed on short final.

In Model Piper Cessna, you can rev your engine to reach the desired touchdown area, and apart of this being somewhat silly, it is a viable option. In gliders, you lack that option (you can retract your speed brakes, but if your speed was tight enough, you will end up into sonofab... -territory regardless).

If you, however, happened to have some extra speed to keep your perceived ground speed at about reasonable figure, when the headwind quickly decreases during the last few hundred feet before your flare height, you end up having just about perfect speed over the threshold without having to make much any last moment corrections. That is, if you judged it perfectly, of course.

So, ground speed is not entirely useless thing in real life approaches - in FSX/P3D it mostly is, because they hardly simulate surface wind gradient.

Incidentally, if you enter the "tower winds" (from ATIS or whatever) into the box, Airbuses do this ground speed based correction automagically.

-Esa

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Oracle427
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Re: fundamental guidance on Captain Jake landing

Post Oracle427 »

Not denying that wind gradients affect performance, but the fact is that the energy state is still a factor of airspeed and ground is derived from the airspeed and all other factors.

The perception of groundspeed will be dramatically different doing landing at a high altitude airport on a hot and humid day vs the takeoff you made from a far away airport that was cool and at sea level earlier in the day.

If you try and fly largely by reference to ground speed sitting the landing at high altitude, you may be in for a surprise.

Even the same airport call be very different to operate from in the winter vs the summer.

So, yes I agree there are many cues to take from ground speed and track while operating with reference to the airport environment, or any other reference on the ground. That information must be used carefully and is no substitute for maintaining the proper airspeed for the configuration and type of landing.

I would say that the ground speed number itself is 100% useless. The only cue that matters is relative motion over the ground in various positions and altitudes provided that the airspeed is established and managed.
Flight Simmer since 1983. PP ASEL IR Tailwheel

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AKar
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Joined: 26 May 2013

Re: fundamental guidance on Captain Jake landing

Post AKar »

Not saying you need to fly by ground speed as a primary reference (never said that - one absolutely shouldn't do that for obvious reasons!), but it can stll be extremely useful as a cue to judge some good extra into your approach speed. (Even more so should you have an actual ground speed figure and reported surface winds. This is also precisely the same logic why they routinely add some percentage of the head wind component into VREF in heavy stuff.) Note that when working with visual cues, this will only start apply when the wind at height is significant - otherwise you don't much perceive anything.

And yes, it varies from airfield to airfield (and from day to day and so on).

If speaking of the actual energy state of an airplane in relation to a fixed point on ground, as it turns out, ground speed is hugely important. Again, not saying it should be anyone's primary control loop parameter - it shouldn't! - but what I do note is that the importance of the ground speed is often downplayed. Effectively, ignoring ground speed is equivalent to ignoring your relatively moving frame of references.

-Esa

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MkIV Hvd
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Re: fundamental guidance on Captain Jake landing

Post MkIV Hvd »

From takeoff to climb to cruise to descent and landing, the only time I ever even give a crap about ground speed is when it's needed for cross country planning and enroute time/fuel calculations...just sayin'... :wink:
Rob Wilkinson
A2A Harvard, Mustangs Civilian & Military, Spitfire, P-40, Comanche, Bonanza, Cub, VATSIM P4 and some other stuff...

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AKar
A2A Mechanic
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Re: fundamental guidance on Captain Jake landing

Post AKar »

Lemme walk you through some points when I manage to get some spare time. You may or may not find them relevant to your kind of flying but I hope you'll find the discussion interesting regardless. There is actually some subtle generality in the subject, from cross & country fuel calculations to descend path calculations to carrier landings...even to why they often launch spacecraft from as close to the equator as practicable. And of course, most importantly, final approaches and wind gradients.

-Esa

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Paughco
Senior Master Sergeant
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Re: fundamental guidance on Captain Jake landing

Post Paughco »

Watch some of SIM CFI's stuff on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50PySVjaMwk and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCA-dYlie78.

Then, when you step up to the A2A P-40, watch this one, which I actually requested that he make: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG8uVYcgoq8.

Seeya
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